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Lake Saint Louis delays decision on zoning on Windsor Park subdivision until July

The Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen delayed a final decision on a rezoning and a preliminary subdivision plat that would clear the way for an 86-lot subdivision to be known as Windsor Park.

The board agreed at its June 18 meeting to delay the final vote after developer Bill Luetkenhaus said he was agreeable to lowering the density of the proposed subdivision and to have more homes built by McKelvey Homes. The board agreed to delay consideration of the bill until its July 2 meeting.

The rezoning is strongly opposed by residents of at least three nearby subdivisions. Those residents turned out in force at the June 18 meeting to argue that the proposed subdivision was too dense and might lower their property values, that construction work might tear up and damage nearby Freymuth Lane, and that any blasting of underground rock during construction would damage nearby basements and water wells.

Luetkenhaus and his consultants spent more than two-hours during a public hearing on June 18 describing the project and outlining “compromises” to obtain approval of the project board.  “I want to work with people,” Luetkenhaus said.

The subdivision on 100 and 110 Freymuth Lane is a property originally brought into the city by Payne Family Homes. Luetkenhaus was seeking a zoning change from non-urban district to SR2 or single-family residential district. In response to residents’ concerns, he said that the development would have 7.1 acres of common ground, including a stocked, 1.9-acre lake; improvements to the site entrance and sidewalks; and extensive tree planting.

The homes built will range in price from $350,000 to as much as $700,000 with $20,000 set aside for repairing construction damages on Freymuth and installing a second exit to the development, which is required if the development has more than 81 units. Luetkenhaus said blasting rock at several home sites likely would not be needed but he wanted to preserve that possibility.

Brad Goss, an attorney representing Luetkenhaus, said plans for the development largely agree with provisions for the property as outlined in the city’s new comprehensive plan. He also said studies suggest that housing values aren’t necessarily affected negatively by the adjacent property.

But residents weren’t sold.  Jerry Leigh, a resident who spoke for a group of adjacent subdivisions –the Estates of Hawk Ridge, Hawk Ridge on the Green, Heritage at Hawk Ridge and Oak Bluff Preserve among them – questioned the lot sizes in the proposed subdivision compared to existing subdivisions. The new subdivision would be next to some of the most expensive homes in the city, he said. He and other residents said the property probably would be developed but they had questions about whether this was the right development. “It’s the density of the site, the quality of the homes,” Leigh said.

He and residents later questioned Luetkenhaus citing Kehr’s Mill Road in St. Louis County as an example how a 20-wide road like Freymuth could accommodate traffic. Leigh said any blasting may endanger water wells.  Residents also said they were also worried about the amount of construction traffic and new commuter traffic on Freymuth, which is undergoing some repairs by the city that may not hold up in the long term.

Leigh suggested cutting the number of homes to 81, which may eliminate a requirement that a second road entrance has to be made to the property.

Alderman Gary Turner, [Ward 1] noted Leigh’s suggestion of cutting the number of lots to 81 with a SR-1 zoning that would eliminate the need for emergency road access into the development and lower its density. As the board was poised to vote, Luetkenhaus said he was willing to accept 81 units and allow McKelvey to build more of the houses.

In the end, city officials said Luetkenhaus may have to stay with the same zoning, otherwise, the application would have to be resubmitted. A new site plan with the changes may have to be submitted before a vote. The board opted to review the rezoning at their July 2 meeting.

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