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Lake Saint Louis’ image committee looks to discover what amenities residents want

Lake Saint Louis officials are backing off letting its image committee send out an opinion survey of city subdivision homeowners associations, saying the survey may revive calls for allowing more residents to become Lake Saint Louis Community Association members.

“That’s not going to happen,” Alderman John Pellerito [Ward 3] said.

Pellerito, Mayor Kathy Schweikert and other aldermen said the city could not force the association to allow more access and the association’s governing board hasn’t shown an interest in doing so. Directing residents to the association is about all they can do, the officials have said.

“By sending this out we’re going to have people think something is going to change and it’s not going to happen,” Schweikert said.  Aldermen Jason Law [Ward 3] agreed, saying the survey may “raise false hopes.”

The city’s newly adopted comprehensive plan suggests finding ways to unify residents outside of the community association. Months ago, the board agreed to allow the city’s image committee look at this question. The image committee looks at ways to market the city.

Committee members have been working on finding out about amenities that subdivisions have and those that residents want. Schweikert said residents could ask the city to fund a community swimming pool, tennis courts or a community center. However, the community association has roots that go back to Lake Saint Louis’ beginnings in the 1960s. The association manages private amenities that include 85- and 600-acre lakes, a clubhouse, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a golf course.

The association’s boundaries take in much of the oldest residential area around the lakes and exclude many newer subdivisions. People within the association’s boundaries pay an annual assessment to maintain and use the amenities. Area residents voted in 1977 to become a fourth-class city with its own separate city government and its own public amenities.

Schweikert said she and aldermen often had explained the association’s status and the limits the city government has over private amenities, but it’s a subject that comes up often. To that end, City Administrator Paul Markworth suggested the committee continue its marketing efforts, including developing a guidebook that could be given to new city residents.

Markworth said that, instead of developing a community center, city officials might want to continue and enlarge ties with an area identified in the comprehensive plan as its city center – The Meadows at Lake Saint Louis.

Schweikert said she had met people at events at The Meadows who are from WingHaven or from along Hwy. N and who identify themselves with Lake Saint Louis.  “That’s a very good thing,” Markworth said.

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