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O’Fallon land use density reduction and density bonuses proposed

By: John Tremmel


O’Fallon Bill No. 7113 sponsored by council member Rose Mack [Ward 2] would reduce the R-4 Apartment House District code maximum density to 14 units per acre instead of 20.  The bill also would establish density bonuses similar to what surrounding communities already have and, in theory, keep O’Fallon competitive with those communities.

A density bonus is incentive-based and allows developers to increase the maximum allowable density in exchange for helping the community achieve public policy goals and providing public amenities. Examples include public access to trail systems and bicycle paths, “green building” certification, adding affordable housing units, providing open space, and providing creative building site designs.

Neighboring communities such as St. Charles City and County, St. Peters, Weldon Spring and Wentzville already have density bonuses in their Planned Unit Development [PUD] code. O’Fallon currently does not allow R-4 zoning to be used in a PUD.

The bill would direct city staff to identify areas where a density bonus would be allowed, acquire input from commissioners and council members, and develop specific policy for density bonuses in conjunction with updates to the city comprehensive plan.

At the Aug. 8 city council meeting, a public hearing and first reading of the legislation were conducted. If this bill follows typical procedure, it will be scheduled for second reading and vote for final passage at the Aug. 22 council meeting.

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