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Dardenne Prairie voices opposition to vehicle storage area near its boundaries

Dardenne Prairie officials aren’t wild about the idea of a vehicle storage yard close to an area it views as its present and future business center.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a resolution at its June 20 meeting protesting and opposing a rezoning and conditional use application for a six-acre tract of unincorporated land along Hwy. N near the city’s boundaries.

The resolution amounts to a remonstrance on the application, which could come before the St. Charles County Council. A remonstrance requires five of seven councilmembers voting in favor of the application in order to approve it.

The tract, at 7800 Hwy. N, is about 450 feet east of Keystone Crossing Drive.  The applicant, Steven Roden, wants to use the property for automobile, boat, trailer and recreational vehicle storage and possibly other future commercial development of the property.

The application, scheduled to be reviewed by the county planning and zoning commission on June 20 was continued to another date.  The commission’s recommendations go before the council, which takes final action.

Rebecca Corson, an attorney with the firm of Hamilton Weber LLC, which represents Dardenne Prairie, told the county commissioners that the city feels the storage facility would be a “blight “ on the adjacent city and surrounding area. Along with being an “eyesore,” Corson said the storage yard, located adjacent to present and future retail areas of the Dardenne Prairie, may discourage future business from coming to the city.

The resolution states that the property’s present C-1 neighborhood commercial district zoning “is reasonable and consistent with the surrounding area.” The property is located be between Hanley Road and Mertz Farm Lane, adjacent to Keystone Crossing subdivision and other “low traffic” areas, according to an analysis by the county’s planning staff.

Even through the commission’s review hasn’t happened, the planning staff already has recommended the rezoning and conditional use permit be denied. The rezoning isn’t “conducive” to community needs and the conditional use permit isn’t appropriate, the staff recommendation states.

City officials have been worried about the use of unincorporated areas close to the city, over which it has no jurisdiction or control.

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