The Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen approved a rezoning and preliminary subdivision plat for the controversial proposed Windsor Park subdivision after the developer agreed to scale back its density and make other changes.
But those changes didn’t alleviate the fears of nearby residents that blasting of underground rock in the new subdivision might damage their homes’ foundations and water wells. Some residents also were worried about whether a narrow and curvy section of Freymuth Lane could handle the traffic generated by the property.
The board voted 4-1 with one abstention at its July 2 meeting to approve a rezoning from non-urban district to single-family residential or SR2 and a preliminary subdivision plat on the 43.89-acre tract off Freymuth Lane on the south side of Interstate 64.
Alderman Gary Torlina [Ward 1] cast the lone no vote and Alderman Gary Turner [Ward 1] abstained.
The vote came after the board delayed a final decision on the rezoning and plat at its June 18 meeting following developer Bill Luetkenhaus’ agreement to making some changes.
On June 18, Luetkenhaus agreed to cut the number of single-family homes down from 86 to 80 and to eliminate a requirement for a second road entrance to Oak Bluff Drive that was objected to by residents of the Oak Bluff Preserve subdivision.
During a public hearing at the board’s July 2 meeting, Luetkenhaus told residents that most of the homes built will be McKelvey Homes rather than Payne Family Homes and may range in price from $350,000 to $700,000. Many will have a higher square footage than earlier proposed. Luetkenhaus also said he planned to revise the entrance to the subdivision off Freymuth to make it more attractive. He said he plans to provide $20,000 to McKelvey to improve the entrance and also plans for extensive landscaping.
Though Luetkenhaus has said that extensive blasting at home sites might not be needed, he reaffirmed that some blasting may occur. That news prompted concerns by residents. David Vogt, of the Estate of Hawk Ridge subdivision, showed photographs of foundation cracks and other damages gathered from Heritage of Hawks Ridge residents, who said the damage stemmed from blasting during construction of the nearby Estates at Wyndstone subdivision in 2017.
“I’m just curious how people would feel if this was your home after you received these cracks,” Vogt said. “All of this can be avoided if blasting is taken off the table.”
But Mayor Kathy Schweikert said the city has little control over regulating blasting because the state has oversight over that process and those permits.
Residents also said they were worried about the impact of traffic from 80 more homes on Freymuth Lane. The board has been discussing some interim work on Freymuth, from Lake Saint Louis Boulevard to near the I-64 outer road, with $650,000 available for replacing a culvert and $440,000 for widening Freymuth by adding two feet of gravel on each side of the road.
At the board’s work session before the July 2 meeting, the board also discussed two other options for repairs on Freymuth including spending about $1.6 million to improve Freymuth using funding the city has budgeted for concrete and asphalt projects.
A third option is applying for St. Charles County transportation sales tax money from the county Road Board that might be as much as $3 million but not available for three years. The road board, which includes volunteers named by the county executive and approved by the St. Charles County Council, reviews applications for funding from local municipalities.
The board agreed to wait and see if the city is awarded the grant before making a final decision. An application for the funding has to be filed with the county by next week and notification of an award could come in August. However, residents at the board meeting strongly suggested that Freymuth repairs should proceed.
“I hope you take into consideration that the road is not accessible for walking or biking,” said resident Carol Cadwallader. Putting 80 more homes along Freymuth would add more traffic with no sidewalks being planned, she said. “No establishments should be allowed to be put in there until there until the city decides to something about that road.”
But Schweikert and other aldermen said the expense of installing sidewalks is very expensive.
Meanwhile, board members praised Luetkenhaus for working with residents and for his presentation to the city. “That’s the best-presented site plan we have heard in a long time,” Alderman John Pellerito [Ward 3] said.
Plans for the property have come a long way. In December 2017, Payne Homes proposed a 129-lot subdivision on the site, that the city’s planning and zoning commission recommended be denied. That proposal was withdrawn.