Friends & Neighbors,
I am reporting to you on the two most recent meetings of the Board of Aldermen and the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Board of Aldermen Meeting on June 6
The Board approved the rezoning of a 5-acre parcel to C-2 General Commercial. The property is located at the intersection of Monet Drive and Highway N next to Canvas Cove had been recently annexed into the City. It was previously zoned R1A single family residential in unincorporated St. Charles County. The area along Highway N is shown in the City’s Comprehensive Plan as intended for commercial development.
The Board also approved the development of a 38-bed short term physical rehabilitation facility to be called Sunterra Springs of Dardenne Prairie. There was some opposition to the development expressed by some residents of Canvas Cove, but the developer made changes to the design and position of the building and to the extensive landscape plan in response to residents’ requests. At the conclusion of the public hearing the president of the home owners’ association thanked the developer for the extensive changes and withdrew the HOA’s opposition. Construction is expected to begin in the fall.
In other action, the Board amended the municipal code to provide more flexibility in approving planned unit developments where removal of existing trees, in certain circumstances, impose a requirement for reforestation or the payment to the city of hundreds of thousands of dollars in development fees. This amendment would not likely be invoked very often, but when needed it may make the difference between growth or no growth within the City.
The Board also approved a contract to add new surveillance cameras to the City Hall Park. This action was taken in the wake of a break-in and theft that occurred in March. Several thousand dollars of equipment were stolen from a maintenance shed in the park. Existing camera coverage was not sufficient to identify the thieves.
P&Z Meeting on June 13.
Commissioners continued to examine issues affecting future development in Dardenne Prairie as part of the on-going revision of the Comprehensive Plan. Debbie Haley, of Haley Properties LLC and a Dardenne Prairie resident, provided an excellent tutorial on the kinds of issues and costs that developers and builders (residential and commercial) must take into consideration when deciding where and how to develop property. As Commissioners review applications for development we are now better equipped to ask the right questions and to recognize the balance that may be needed between achieving the City’s long-term vision for orderly development on the one hand and driving up costs and risks to developers and builders on the other hand. At some point development costs and restrictions render projects too hard to perform.
The Commissioners adopted a resolution to express opposition to a proposed development that was presented to the St. Charles County Planning & Zoning Commission. The property located at 7800 Highway N is a parcel of unincorporated St. Charles County that rejected involuntary annexation in Last November’s election. The owner proposes to build an outdoor storage lot for RV’s, boats and trailers. The area is not suitable for such a facility and, in the opinion of the Dardenne Prairie P&Z Commissioners, such a business at that location would be very detrimental to the retail commercial businesses at Town Square, to the residents nearby on Highway N, and to the ICD campus.
Board of Aldermen Meeting on June 20.
The City’s outside auditor reported on that the City’s financial records were in excellent shape and the City’s financial condition was likewise excellent. The auditor complemented City staff and City Clerk/Treasurer Kim Clark in particular, for meticulous record keeping and cooperation in the conduct of the annual audit for 2017.
The Board approved two storm water projects to address drainage issues in the Cove at Dardenne and the Avalon neighborhood.
The County Ambulance District has a very large “flag pole” on next to its station near the QT at the corner of Bryan and Feise. That “flag pole” is also a cell tower. The District has been approached by the company that owns the tower asking that the District permit changes to be made to the tower that would eliminate the very large American Flag that is displayed on the pole. The District has asked the City to invite the public to comment on the proposed change. At the June 20 meeting the Board of Aldermen expressed their strong preference to “Keep the American Flag proudly flying.” The City is conducting a survey. Please go to www.dardennprairie.org and take the survey. Three simple questions. Easy to do.
The Board adopted a resolution to oppose the application for an outdoor storage lot for RVs, boats and trailers at 7800 Highway N, in unincorporated St. Charles County. We are informed that consideration of the request for approval from the County has been postponed.
Alicia Gay, who has served as the City’s Economic Development Coordinator for the past 2 years, resigned last week to take position in the private sector. We wish Alicia success in her new job. The vacancy on City Staff has been posted (see the website) and applications are being accepted through July 10.
The Board of Aldermen will not meet on Wednesday, July 4. Our next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, July 18. On that date we will also be hosting an Open House Meeting to which the public is invited to talk about the Parks & Recreation Master Plan. More details will be provided in July. Come to City Hall and see your City Government at work!
HAVE A GREAT 4TH OF JULY!!
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
City of Dardenne Prairie, MO