SHINE A LIGHT ON CITY GOVERNMENT
Friends & Neighbors,
The Board of Aldermen had a busy evening on March 17.
During the 6:00 PM Work Session the Board discussed suggestions for traffic calming measures in the City. Later, during the Business Meeting, residents of the Canvas Cove subdivision were present to share their views. The Board expressed interest in reviewing published data regarding the pros and cons of using traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, speed dips, speed tables, lane narrowing, radar signs, and active policing. Placement of bumps, dips, etc. at a particular location must be engineered. Also, the Board thought it important to have a consensus among residents who will have to deal with bumps and dips, etc. as they come and go from home.
The Board also discussed the proposed Old Town Square development and the merits of creating a Transportation Development District (TDD) to help pay for what is expected to be some costly infrastructure upgrades, including a turn lane on Town Square Avenue.
At the 7:00 PM Business Meeting the Board conducted a public hearing to review the City’s Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). The City is permitted to discharge its stormwater into Lake St. Louis, Dardenne Creek, and other minor waterways by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, acting as agent for the US Environmental Protection Agency. Permits are renewed from time to time and the City must update its SWMP to comply with evolving EPA regulations in order to win renewal. When updates are added to the SWMP the City is required to hold a public hearing. The principal changes this year involve added inspections and record keeping requirements.
ZONING CHANGES FOR ANNEXED PARCELS
Over the past several years Dardenne Prairie has annexed 13 parcels into the City. Under state law, the parcels retain the zoning classification from St. Charles County until formally changed by the Board of Aldermen. Before considering the zoning changes, City first completed a substantial revision to the Comprehensive Plan which sets forth the vision for future land use, among other things. The Comprehensive Plan was adopted last fall and the process for completing annexations approved last year was completed late in the year. The parcels with residential zoning in the County, with three exceptions, were zoned residential in the City. The three parcels zoned residential in the County were rezoned as C-3 Retail Commercial in the City. One of the property owners had previously requested the County to change his zoning to C-2 Commercial but that effort was not successful. The three parcels are located on Technology Drive adjacent to the existing C-3 Retail Commercial district including Town Square Shopping Center.
VILLAS AT DARDENNE PLACE
The Board passed three ordinances to enable the development called “Villas at Dardenne Place” to advance. The development, located on five acres at the northwest corner of Feise and Hanley, calls for 15 single family detached villas to be constructed and marketed by Bridgewater Communities, Inc. That company built the Villas at Barathaven.
WIRELESS HORIZON INC.
The Board approved a minor change to the Site Plan for Construction of a Training Facility and Headquarters for Wireless Horizon, Inc. This will be located on 3 acres in the Hubble Drive Industrial district. The company performs construction and repair of cell towers.
DEDICATION OF SEWER LINES
The Board authorized the dedication of new sewer lines to the Duckett Creek Sanitary District. The sewer lines are newly constructed in the Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex.
CONTRACT FOR MINOR STREET REPAIRS
The City awarded a contract to Parisi Contracting LLC to perform minor street repairs based on work orders issued by the City from time to time. Most major street repairs and slab replacements are performed by contractors hired by the County Highway Department and assigned to Dardenne Prairie under the authority of a contract the City has with the County. The good news about the County’s contract is that the City gets major slab replacement and other repair work done at a lower unit cost than the City would ordinarily get when contracting directly with paving companies. We get to enjoy the economies of scale which the County’s large-scale contracting achieves. The less good news is that we need to identify work we want done a year in advance. Work being performed in Dardenne Prairie by the County’s contractors this year was planned in July of last year. Problems not seen last year but needing attention now will not be included in the County’s work. The Board of Aldermen determined to hire a contractor who would perform street and sidewalk repairs, pavement striping, and pothole repairs within a few days of receiving a work order from the City. If this contract is successful, we expect to allocate more funds to the mission in next year’s budget and perhaps we will add to this contract later on in 2021.
OLD TOWN SQUARE TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT
After a healthy debate during the Work Session, the Board agreed in the Business Meeting to enter a development agreement that will lead to the creation of a Transportation Development District (TDD) for Old Town Square. Under Missouri law, a TDD can be created, upon petition by a developer, by order of the Circuit Court. The TDD can collect sales tax which can reimburse the developer for specific costs incurred in construction of such things as streets, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water lines, traffic signals, and improvement of intersections. The developer is also obligated to reimburse the City for legal, administrative, and certain other expenses incurred by the City participating in the creation of the TDD.
Old Town Square is planned as a $55 Million mixed-use retail and multifamily residential development on 18 acres at the intersection of Bryan and Town Square Avenue. There will be 60 attached Villas, 6 apartment buildings housing 204 one or two bedroom apartments and over 22,000 square feet of retail space in 3 buildings. The people who developed the Junction in Wentzville are the ones bringing Old Town Square to Dardenne Prairie. One of the new retail establishments will be Imo’s Pizza. The developer told the Board that about 6,000 sq. ft. are intended for a fine dining restaurant.
PROPERTY TAX RATE STAYS THE SAME FOR 2021
The Board adopted a resolution projecting the real and personal property tax rate in Dardenne Prairie to be 10.25 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the same rate as 2020. Dardenne Prairie has the lowest property tax rate of any city in St. Charles County (except Weldon Spring, which has no property tax but has a utility tax, instead).
DARDENNE PRAIRIE ATHLETIC COMPLEX
We are watching the progress on construction of the Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex. Youth Baseball & Softball season is fast approaching. We have 454 kids on 33 teams scheduled to play on the new fields. Half of the teams are coached by Dardenne Prairie resident coaches. This is the largest number of teams and players I have witnessed since joining City government.
RHONDA VINCENT AND THE RAGE COMING TO DARDENNE PRAIRIE MAY 20TH
The Grammy Award winning member of the Grand Old Opry, nationally renowned bluegrass entertainer of the year Rhonda Vincent (a Missouri girl) is coming on May 20, 2021. This is a ticketed event. You can get your tickets, while they last, on-line at www.dardenneprairie.org. Tickets are $40. Bring chairs if you want, but not coolers. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
APRIL 6 IS ELECTION DAY
Voters in Dardenne Prairie will be asked to vote for Mayor. I am running for re-election. Alderman John Gotway is also running for Mayor. Alderman Kevin Klingerman of Ward 1 is retiring and candidate Mr. Kasey Reilly is running unopposed. Alderman Mike Costlow is running unopposed in Ward 2. Incumbent Alderman Gotway is not running in Ward 3. Mr. E. J. Sansone is running unopposed in Ward 3.
There is one proposition on the ballot. Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen have voted to annex a parcel of vacant land on the south side of Highway N, east of Longview Estates. The property is in the path of long-term growth of the City and should be subject to the land use contemplated by the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The City will not have any say in what is built on that parcel unless it is annexed into the City Limits. Please vote YES in favor of the annexation.
The Board of Aldermen’s next meeting is Wednesday, April 7. Work Session begins at
6:00 PM; the Business Meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Come see your City Government at work.
“Shine a Light on City Government”DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO