Dardenne Prairie Mayor David Zucker can be a touch sarcastic at times.
On March 21, in a work session of the city’s Board of Aldermen, Zucker addressed the need to act quickly to assist both a local developer and a colony of Indiana bats.The developer was seeking an agreement to allow land disturbance on a piece of property at 2450 Technology Drive near Post Road. Specifically, the agreement will allow the developer to knock down trees on the tract by the deadline of March 31.
“It’s time sensitive,” Zucker told the board. Apparently, it’s been determined that there are some trees on parts of the tract that may serve as habitat for the Indiana bat, an endangered species.
“I don’t know this for a fact but I suspect a zillion bats live over in the [August] Busch Wildlife Area and they just drop over to Dardenne Prairie to annoy the homeowners and developers occasionally and then, they go back to the Busch area,” Zucker quipped.
The August A. Busch Wildlife Area is located off Hwy. D, adjacent to Interstate 64, and wayward wildlife such as beavers or skunks, are nothing new in the city. The Indiana Bat is a small dark brown or black bat with a mouse-like nose that was once found throughout much of the eastern United States. In summer, it tends to migrate to wooded areas.
“At any rate, they [the bats] have a friend in Washington that has issued some rule that prohibits cutting down trees between March 31 and Nov. 1,” he said. “If they [the developer] don’t get this done by the end of next week, they are dead in the water for six months.”
Zucker said plans are expected to come before the board next month for a review of a project calling for 47 single-family housing units on the property as well as land left open for future commercial or office development.
The board voted 4-0 to allow the early site preparation. Aldermen John Gotway [Ward 3] and David Wandling [Ward 2] were absent.