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Proposed rezoning, concept plan for development near Missouri Bluffs meets heavy opposition

Aerial view of Missouri Bluffs development area

St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended against a proposed rezoning and concept plan for a proposed housing development just south of the Missouri Bluffs Golf Course that now is expected to be reviewed by the County Council at its April 9 meeting.

The commission took action at the end of a four-hour meeting on March 21 that featured strong audience comments against the proposals. The commission offers recommendations that the council acts upon.

The rezoning application seeks to rezone a 386.52-acre site from agricultural to R1-A planned unit development overlay. The concept plan is for “The Bluffs,” a proposed residential and recreational planned unit development.

In February, the developers – Missouri Bluffs Golf Joint Ventures and NT Home Builders – indicated they would amend an earlier rezoning request and development plan. That change, in the zoning classification to R1-A overlay, would limit multi-family dwelling units. The multi-phased proposal includes 289 single-family homes [down from the original 315 single-family homes] and up to 73 attached dwellings [down from 120 multi-family units] on 198.2 acres.

The property has been zoned agricultural since 1959. The University of Missouri-St. Louis has owned the property as part of the Missouri Research Park, which was developed along Interstate 64. The tract is near the village of Weldon Spring Heights and the city of Weldon Spring.

But the rezoning and concept plan ran into a storm of protest from more than a dozen residents and citizens who opposed both and spent several hours questioning the loss of scenic property near the Katy Trail, the amount of new traffic the development might generate, the need to upgrade the intersections of Research Park Drive and Research Park Circle, narrow streets and steep road grades, and whether it was improper for the university to sell the land.

Some commissioners applauded some aspects of the revised plans, just not enough.

“I think the plan is perfect,” said Commissioner Gary Griffin, “but it’s in the wrong place.” He acknowledged that there has been “so much opposition.”

Only Commissioner Craig Frahm voted in favor of the rezoning and concept plan. County Councilmember Mike Klinghammer [District 6], the council’s liaison to the commission, voted against the rezoning and concept plan.

 

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