Friends & Neighbors,
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are dealing with this cold weather. It will soon pass, I’m sure, but in the meantime take care of yourselves and take comfort that pitchers and catchers report to spring training in just 30 days!
IT’S GREAT TO LIVE IN DARDENNE PRAIRIE:
According to the November 2017 report from WalletHub, Dardenne Prairie is the second best city in Missouri in which to raise a family, placing ahead of all other cities in St. Charles County and behind only Wildwood by a mere six tenths of a point. See all the rankings and the study criteria at https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-families-in-missouri/41116/.
PARKS & RECREATION:
Our community’s quality of life is excellent but we are striving to make it better. We invite your to City Hall on January 23, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM, for the first of three scheduled Town Hall Meetings to hear what residents want us to add to the City’s recreation programs. If you want to provide input this is your chance
In November, the voters of Dardenne Prairie approved an additional half cent sales tax to fund Parks and Recreation (and storm water projects). Even with the additional half cent tax we still have the lowest city sales tax compared to our surrounding cities.
We estimate the additional tax will bring in about $600,000 at the current level of business activity. We estimate that we can finance 6 to 7 million in construction costs and have money left over for operating expenses. The question is: What should we develop. Rather than construct a building then see what can fit in it, we are asking the public to tell us what recreational services they want then we will strive to design facilities that will accommodate those services. We are conducting surveys by mail and online; we are meeting with representatives from schools, churches, other interest groups and we will hold at least three Town Hall meetings
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT:
We expect significant growth in Dardenne Prairie in the next few years. There are well over 300 acres of undeveloped land in various locations in the City. Some parcels are zoned for residential development; other parcels are located along Technology Drive between Winghaven Blvd and State Rte. 364. For Dardenne Prairie, a key component to continued economic development is access to roads. Currently, the City is participating in an engineering and economic study, along with O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, and St. Charles County, to determine how we may provide better access to and from Interstate 64 along Technology Drive west of Winghaven Blvd. Better access, including slip ramps, would benefit customers wishing to patronize the Dardenne Town Square Shopping Center and would render the undeveloped or underdeveloped property along Technology much more accessible. We are holding an Open House for the Public from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, January 16 to review some suggestions for improving access and we are inviting interested parties to attend. The Open House will be at Dardenne Prairie City Hall.
UPDATING THE CITY’S COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:
The Planning & Zoning Commission has started the process of revising the City’s Comprehensive Plan which provides a roadmap for future development. The Commission will review existing zoning districts to see if they should be revised in light of changes in the economy, traffic patterns, and development in surrounding areas since the Plan was adopted. The Commission will be holding public meetings each month for much of 2018 to examine the factors influencing development and to receive input from residents and other interested parties. One of the several questions the Commission will examine is what size lots in the R1D residential district will we require. Currently the City requires lots to be 12,000 square feet (quarter acre) with 10 foot side yard setbacks. Other cities are permitting house to be much closer together. We need to hear from citizens about the issue of density of residential development. Many residents have expressed a desire to retain the quarter acre lot size with 10 foot side yards (i.e., 20 feet between houses). A number of developments in Dardenne Prairie, however, have been approved with smaller side yards. Developers claim new home buyers want nice big houses on small lots so they have less yard work to perform. That said, larger lots appear to be sold at premium prices and are usually the first lots to be purchased in a new development which suggests buyers do want larger lots. We will be inviting the public to tell us how they want us to handle the issue of housing density.
The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17. The workshop begins at 6:00 PM and the business meeting will commence at or shortly after 7:00 PM. Come see your City Government at work!
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO