Shine a Light on City Government 07/20/2016

Friends & Neighbors,

Well, where to begin.

Many of you have seen the news reports.  Yesterday, Walmart informed me the company has decided not to proceed with the Neighborhood Market in Dardenne Prairie.  The spokeswoman said they had reviewed the expected return on investment and decided it was not sufficient.  A different spokesperson said the decision was based on an evaluation of Walmart’s business throughout St. Charles County, including all its stores.

This project has been under review since February.  The first public hearings were conducted in March and continued to every meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Aldermen since then so that all citizens would have the opportunity to speak.  Only about 10 people came to the many meetings to express opposition.  Some opposed any development; some opposed Walmart.  Some wanted Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  Neither of those companies was interested in opening a store in Dardenne Prairie.

The City worked diligently with the Bopp family representatives (the property owners) and Walmart to encourage a development  at the corner of Bryan and Feise Roads that would be an asset to the community.  The neighborhood grocery store was to be about 46,000 sq. ft. (smaller than Shop n’ Save) to include a drive thru pharmacy and a feature being introduced in some stores so shoppers could order food on the internet, drive to a waiting area next to the store, and have the groceries brought to and loaded into your car.

We pressed Walmart to go above and beyond the standard industrial box store to design a building that would be more suitable for Dardenne Prairie.  Last week the Planning & Zoning Commission approved the design and the site plan at a meeting attended by Walmart’s development engineers, architect, real estate attorney, project manager and PR representative.  There was no hint that Walmart would abandon the project the day before the Board of Aldermen were prepared to give final approval to the project.

The Bopp property  was zoned for Commercial Development when the its 175 acres were annexed into the City over 3 years ago.  The development plan for the Bopp tract that was approved in the prior administration called for 86 acres of commercial development amounting to 770,000 square feet under roof (more than both outlet malls in Chesterfield).  The remaining 90 acres remained zoned for residential development.

In recognition that the original plan was ill conceived, the property owners proceeded with a plan to develop 16 acres for commercial use.  The Walmart store and gas station were part of that 16 acre commercial development across the street from QT and CVS.

A responsible city government looks ahead to plan and provide for the public’s needs.  In Dardenne Prairie we manage the city budget carefully.  We live within our means, i.e., our current revenue.  We deliver important services (police, road maintenance, parks & recreation) and debt service.  In 5 to 10 years, however, the aging streets, sidewalks, and storm sewers will require much more maintenance, repair and replacement than is the case today.  When that time arrives we have the choice to let our streets go to pot or to fix them.  If we do not have more sales tax revenue by then it will be necessary to raise property taxes.  In order to replace the expected sales tax revenue that the Walmart Neighborhood Grocery would have provided, we would need to more than double property taxes.  We will need even more revenue than the one store would have provided so it is imperative that we find commercial development that will fit within our community.  Failing that, we let our infrastructure deteriorate or we raise property taxes.

In other matters tonight,  a delegation of citizens from a subdivision in Ward 3 came to ask the City to help rid their neighborhood of skunks.  A couple of people and their dogs have been sprayed during evening walks near their homes.   Several others report skunks living on or near their property.  Ordinarily, getting rid of wildlife would be a problem for property owners or Home Owner Associations to resolve.  Skunks present a unique problem, as you can well imagine.  Fees charged by St. Charles County Animal Control to trap and remove skunks come to $80 to $120 per animal.  The City will consider taking the lead to solve this unique and potentially expensive problem

The City Parks & Recreation Department is offering Fall youth baseball and softball, Co-ed recreational softball, kickball and wiffle ball leagues.  Contact Mathew De Winters (mathew@dardenneprairie.org) for more information.

Prairie Day is scheduled for September 17.  Look for more details soon. It will be bigger and more fun than ever!

The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 2016.  Workshop begins at 5:30 and the business meeting begins at 7:00.  Come see your City Government at work!

“Shine a Light on City Government”

DAVID C. ZUCKER

Mayor,

City of Dardenne Prairie, MO

636-755-5306

 

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Notice is hereby given that the City of Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, will conduct a Public Hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as same may be heard, at the City of Dardenne Prairie City Hall located at 2032 Hanley Road in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, and before the Board of Aldermen on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as same may be heard, at the City of Dardenne Prairie City Hall located at 2032 Hanley Road in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, concerning the following:

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT

Name of Applicant: Loradale Holding, LLC
Name of Owner: Loradale SDI LLC
Present Zoning Classification: “C-2”, General Commercial
Proposed Zoning Classification: “C-2”, General Commercial
Proposed Use: Indoor Self Storage Facility
Property Location: The 5.00 acres more or less of land commonly known as 7351 Highway N located north of Highway N and approximately 900 feet east of Stump Road and more particularly described in the Conditional Use Permit Application received by the City on July 5, 2016, on file with the City Clerk.

 

Attached Documents 

300 FEET ADJ PROP OWNERS LIST

7351 Hwy N 300 adj prop map

cup app dardenneprairie

LEGAL DESCRIPTION 7351 Hwy N

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS 7-5-16

sp app dardenneprairie

SQ-20160701-A2.0

SQ-20160701-A2.1

15035pre

15035preRev

Comment Response Letter

Fence photographs

SQ-20160701-A2.0

SQ-20160701-A2.1

Posted in News, Public Notices

Shine a Light on City Government – 7/10/2016

Friends & Neighbors,

The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen met on Wednesday, July 6 in workshop and business meetings.

The BOA approved the revised Area Plan/Planned Unit Development for the 16 acre portion of the Bopp property at the NW corner of Bryan and Feise.  The BOA has held public hearings at every meeting since March to receive input from the public.   As I have reported to you since March, the Bopp family has proposed to subdivide the 16 acres into five lots.  Two lots are to be sold to Walmart for a Neighborhood grocery store and a gas station.  A few citizens have attended and spoken at these hearings, although we have not had any speakers since the May hearings that I recall.  There were a few speakers who objected to Walmart and expressed a preference for Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  A few speakers objected to any development, stating that existing retail stores in Dardenne Prairie were enough for our needs.  One or two speakers urged that no retail development take place so as not to increase traffic and also assumed that existing sales tax and property tax revenue were more than adequate for the City’s needs.  Your City Government has taken its time to consider all the input.  Let me briefly respond to some of what we have heard.

  1. The City reached out to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Lucky’s Market.  They were not interested in locating a new store in Dardenne Prairie.  The City can’t make them come here.
  2. The City hired a development expert to assess the market for additional retail.  The startling report showed that Dardenne Prairie residents are spending  tens of millions of dollars for groceries and other retail products outside of Dardenne Prairie.  Our residents can support more retail.
  3. There are only  a few areas within the City limits that are currently available for development.  Some of those areas are better suited for residential development.  The 16 acres at Bryan & Feise Roads have been zoned for commercial use since 2013.  The property owner is legally entitled to develop that property for commercial use.  The City has worked hard to ensure the development will be attractive and well landscaped.  The Walmart market and other buildings that will eventually go on that land will not be the industrial boxes that you see in other cities.  We pressed Walmart and the Bopp family to step up the appearance of all structures that may be built on that parcel.
  4. Sales tax and property tax revenue (along with some other revenue streams) are sufficient today to pay for city services, including police protection and routine highway maintenance.  We have a multi-year plan to repair and replace streets that are at the end of their useful life.  Luckily, most of our streets are relatively new.  In 10 year, however, many streets will reach the end of life and will need to be replaced.  When that time comes, we must have a much more robust source of revenue.  Absent the growth of retail sales taxes, we will face the choice of tripling or quadrupling real estate property tax rates (requiring voter approval) or letting our streets, sidewalks and storm sewers  remain in despair.
  5. To be sure, we don’t want to over develop, but we must keep an eye on the future needs of the residents of our City.  We would like to keep our property tax rates low (lowest in county, except for Weldon Spring which has no property tax) and still deliver good quality service to the citizens.

On Wednesday, July 13 the Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider Walmart’s application for a Conditional Use Permit and its Site Plan for the Neighborhood Market and gas station.   The Conditional Use Permit and Site Plan will  then go before the Board of Aldermen on July 20 for final action.

You should also be aware that the Town Square Apartments located behind Shop n’ Save are nearing completion.  There are 48 apartments in two buildings.  They are fully leased and have a waiting list of about 50 applicants.  The developer secured approval from the BOA in 2013 for a total of six apartment buildings and is ready to proceed with the next phase which includes 2 apartment buildings.  These apartments are restricted to tenants that earn no more than $60,000 per year.  Rents are required to be no more than $475 for a 2 bedroom unit or $550 for a 3 bedroom unit.  Applicants are screened to avoid renting to convicted felons or financial deadbeats.

The BOA decided to move all City bank accounts to First Bank located at Town Square.  Accounts had been with PNC bank for many years.

The BOA amended the Municipal Code to aid police in the enforcement of the City’s prohibition against operating motorized vehicles (golf carts, mopeds, ATVs, etc.) on the walking/biking paths in city parks, including Barathaven and Bluebird Meadow.  Vehicles operated by persons under 17 may be impounded by the City, requiring an adult to come to the impoundment lot to recover the vehicle.

The spring season for youth baseball and softball draws to a close next week.  The fall season is scheduled to begin in August.  In addition the City is offering Co-Rec Softball and kickball at the Dardenne Athletic fields next to City Hall.  Check out the Parks & Rec schedules posted at the City’s website, www.dardenneprairie.org.   These programs are new to the City park.  Come out and enjoy the great weather and fun activities.  Also new this year, the City Park concession stand operates from 11:00 AM to provide food, snacks, and beverages to patrons of the park.  No need to pack a picnic lunch; you can get hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and other goodies right at the park.

Come see your City Government at work!  P&Z on 7/13 @ 7:00 PM; BOA on 7/20 @ 5:30 and 7:00 PM.

 

“Shine a Light on City Government”

 

DAVID C. ZUCKER

Mayor,

City of Dardenne Prairie, MO

636-755-5306

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment

St. Charles Urban County Public Hearing/Public Comment Notice

Urban County Amendment 2016

 

St. Charles Urban County Public Hearing/Public Comment Notice

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Substantial Amendment to St. Charles Urban County Plans for FY15

Thirty Day Public Comment Period June 24, 2016-July 23, 2016

Public Hearing will be July 19, 2016, 6pm, St. Peters City Hall

In an effort to expend prior year funds, the County is proposing substantial amendments to its’ FY5 plan to reallocate funds between programs to allow for more timely expenditures.

 

FY15 Allocation Prior FY15 Adjustment Proposed FY15 Adjustment Amended FY15
Urban County Clearance/Demolition $100,000.00 ($50,000) ($50,000) $0.00
Urban County Home Improvement Loan Program $137,087.00 ($50,000) ($50,000) $237,087.00

 

In accordance with the Citizen Participation Plan, the County will accept public comments for a 30 day period beginning Friday, June 24, 2016. Comments may be given during a public hearing on July 19, 2016, beginning at 6pm at St. Peters City Hall located at One St. Peters Centre Blvd, St. Peters, MO 63376. Comments may also be directed to the Planning and Zoning Division Director, by telephone (636-949-7900 ext. 7225), FAX (636-949-1815), by email to rmyers@sccmo.org or by mail or in person (Department of Community Development, 201 N. Second St., Suite 420, St. Charles, MO 63301). All comments should be submitted by 9:00 am on July 25, 2016. Persons requesting special accommodations should contact the City at least 24 hours before the hearing by calling 636-477-6600 ext. 1365.

Posted in News, Public Notices

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015

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Shine a Light on City Government – 06/15/2016

Friends & Neighbors,

We had a short evening at the Board of Aldermen tonight.  During Workshop the BOA was briefed by the outside audit firm of Botz, Deal & Co. concerning the audit of the City’s finances for 2015.  We received a clean audit report indicating a solid financial condition.  As of December 31, 2015 the City had $4.8 million on hand of which $3.67 million was in the General Fund and the remainder in special funds.

The Board was asked to consider changing banks from PNC, which has been the City’s depository for many years, to First Bank, located in Town Square.  The primary reason for changing banks is the substantial increase in interest offered by First Bank.  We expect about $10,000 per year in interest from First Bank compared to about $3,500 a year from PNC.  The BOA will be asked to vote on a change at the next meeting on July 6.

At the business meeting the BOA opened a public hearing concerning the Bopp property Area Plan/Planned Unit Development and the Walmart Neighborhood Market conditional use permit.  No one came to testify for or against either subject.  At the request of the property owners and of Walmart the public hearing was continued to the July meeting while Walmart and the Bopp ownership work out some details of their transaction.

The rest of the business meeting was devoted to routine approvals of expenditures, two temporary permits to sell fireworks and renewal of liquor licenses.

Three subdivisions were identified last year as having the greatest need for replacement of broken pavement.  The work is planned to be done over a period of 3 years, one third per year.  Dardenne Acres, Dardenne Meadows, and Quail Hollow residents should expect to see work begin later this summer.

The City is soliciting citizen volunteers to join the Planning & Zoning Commission.  If you are interested in serving your community, please contact me at City Hall.  We will be looking to update the City’s comprehensive plan and to rezone parts of the Uptown Zoning District by year end.

The City is accepting resumes for the position of Business Promotion Specialist.  The job description is posted on the City’s website (www.dardenneprairie.org).

The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen is Wednesday, July 6, 2016.  The Workshop begins at 5:30 and the Business meeting begins at 7:00 PM.  Come to City Hall and see your Board of Aldermen at work.

 

“Shine a Light on City Government”

 

DAVID C. ZUCKER

Mayor,

City of Dardenne Prairie, MO

636-755-5306

 

 

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment

Shine a Light on City Government – 06/08/2016

Friends & Neighbors,

Tonight I am reporting on last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting (06/01) and tonight’s Planning & Zoning meeting.  This will be brief.

Last week the BOA resumed the public hearing to discuss the Area Plan and Planned Unit Development for the Bopp property at Bryan and Feise.  No citizen asked to testify.  The Bopp representative requested the matter be continued to June 15.  Tonight the public hearing at P&Z was resumed to discuss the Conditional Use Permit application submitted by Walmart for the Neighborhood Market and gas station.  No one asked to testify.  Walmart requested the hearing be continued to the 2nd Wednesday in July (07/13).  Just to summarize progress to date,  The BOA and the P&Z opened public hearings in March and have continued the hearings thru April, May and June in order for the parties to address several concerns about the project and to allow the public plenty of time to comment to the City about the proposed project.  The latest continuance was requested by the Bopps and Walmart because they have recently renegotiated some aspects of their deal and wanted to have all the contracts signed before appearing before the City again.  We understand that Walmart has agreed to build the Market according to the designs requested by the City (version 7) that are based on a Neighborhood Market approved in Bluffton, SC.

We look forward to the Bopps presenting their updated Area Plan/Planned Unit Development for approval by the BOA next week (06/15).  The Walmart Conditional Use Permit will go before P&Z on July 13 and the CUP and Site Plan will go before the BOA on July 20.  The public still has time to provide feedback to both the BOA and P&Z.

Looking ahead to matters unrelated to the Walmart project, we expect one or two property owners to request approvals to build indoor storage facilities on their properties.  The BOA discussed the idea in Workshop last week, noting that the City code forbids outdoor storage of boats, trailers and RVs in residential neighborhoods.  The reality is people have “stuff” to store and need the services of indoor and outdoor storage businesses.  Any proposal to build such facilities will be closely reviewed and we will insist that structures and landscaping harmonize with the high standards of the better developments in the City.

Later this summer P&Z will begin the process of revising the City’s Comprehensive Plan and revising the Uptown Zoning District.  We will again invite public participation in this process.

Baseball is being played at the Dardenne Athletic Fields now that the rains have abated.  The Concession Stand in City Park is open during the day and during ball games and other events.  This Saturday (06/09) we have a concert and a movie at City Park.  You can come to enjoy the entertainment and don’t have to drag a cooler with you.  Food and beverages are sold at the Concession Stand, including wine and beer.  Check out the City’s website (www.dardenneprairie.org)  for more details about the Concert and Movie this Saturday and the schedule for the rest of the summer.

Come see your City Government at work next Wednesday, June 15.  The workshop begins at 5:30 and the business meeting begins at 7:00.

“Shine a Light on City Government”

DAVID C. ZUCKER

Mayor,

City of Dardenne Prairie, MO

636-755-5306

DP_Logo_002

Posted in News

Ambrose Schulte Auction – The Wagon Master

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY HOME CONSORTIUM – PUBLIC NOTICE

ST. LOUIS COUNTY HOME CONSORTIUM
PUBLIC NOTICE

St. Louis County HOME Consortium is eligible to apply for and receive federal funds from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership and Emergency Solutions Grant programs. St. Louis County is the “Lead Agency” for the St. Louis HOME Consortium. The St. Louis HOME Consortium are contiguous units of local government that have joined together for the purpose of receiving a HOME allocation and administering a HOME Program as a single grantee. The members of the St. Louis HOME Consortium include St. Louis County, the City of Florissant, the City of O’Fallon, the City of St. Charles, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. Each of these members receive their own allocation of CDBG funds.
The St. Louis HOME Consortium has prepared a draft of its Five Year, 2016-2020 Consolidated Plan which is an application for federal funds provided by HUD for the aforementioned programs. This draft Consolidated Plan includes proposed activities that the Consortium plans to undertake utilizing funds that should be made available on or about August 31, 2016. Copies of this draft Consolidated Plan will be available for public review and comment beginning Friday, May 27, 2016 through June 27, 2016, at the Consortium offices listed below during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.)
St. Louis County has also prepared a draft of its Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Plan which is an application for federal funds provided by HUD for the aforementioned programs. This draft 2016 Annual Plan includes proposed activities that St. Louis County plans to undertake utilizing funds that should be made available on or about August 31, 2016. Copies of this draft Annual Plan are included in the Draft Consolidated Plan and will be available for public review and comment beginning May 27, 2016 through June 27, 2016, at the following Consortium offices during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.)

St. Louis County Government Centers

  • West-74 Clarkson-Wilson Center - Chesterfield, MO 63017 (314-615-0900)
  • North-21 Village Square - Hazelwood, MO 63042 (314-615-7400)
  • South-4546 Lemay Ferry Road - St. Louis, MO 63129 (314-615-4000)

St. Louis County Department of Planning

  • Office of Community Development- 41 S. Central, 5th floor, Clayton, MO 63105 (314-615-4414)

City of Florissant

  • Government Building – 1055 rue St. Francois, Florissant, MO 63031 (314-839-7680)

City of O’Fallon

  • City Hall, 100 N. Main Street, O’Fallon, MO 63366 (636-240-2000)

City of St. Charles

  • City Hall Community Development Office, Ste. 303, 200 N. Second Street, St. Charles, MO 63301 (636) 949-3222)

Jefferson County

  • Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, 5217 Highway B, Hillsboro, MO 63050 (636-797-5336)

St. Charles County

  • Administrative Building, 201 N. Second St., St. Charles, MO 63301 (636-949-7900)

All comments regarding either the proposed draft St. Louis HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan or the draft St. Louis County Annual Action Plan should be put in writing on or before June 27, 2016 and directed to:

Mr. Jim Holtzman, Director
Office of Community Development
41 S. Central Avenue, 5th floor
Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 615-4414 (VOICE)
(314) 615-5467 (TTY)
1-800-735-2966 (Relay Missouri TTY Callers)
1-800-735-2466 (Relay Missouri Voice Callers)
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Posted in News, Public Notices

Shine a Light on City Government 05/19/2016

Friends & Neighbors,

The Board of Aldermen met in Workshop and Regular Sessions on May 18.  I think it was the most interesting meeting we have had since I became Mayor.

Over 100 adults and children attended to support a proposal to create one playing field for the sport of cricket.  The American Cricket Academy & Club of St. Louis, a non-profit group, headquartered in Dardenne Prairie, presented petitions and speakers to support the development of youth cricket in Dardenne Prairie.

The BOA voted 4 to 1 (with one Alderman absent) in favor of the proposal.  Accordingly, the City will enter an agreement to install a “cricket pitch” between two practice fields in Barathaven/Greenway Park.  A pitch is a hard surface (in this case, concrete) for the batter and pitcher (called a bowler).  The playing area where the fielders stand will cover most of the two adjacent practice fields.  In order to make room for the playing field the City will locate the soon to be restored walking trail to the southern edge of the park property.  The cost of the work to establish the pitch and playing field will be reimbursed to the City by the Cricket Academy & Club.  In exchange for the Club paying for the installation of a cricket playing area, the City will reserve the playing area (2 practice fields) on 31 days (Saturday & Sunday) between about April 1 to about the end of October for 8 hours each day.  The reservation fee will be waived for 3 years and a discounted reservation fee will be collected in years 4 & 5.  When practice and games begin (we hope by late June) the public is invited to come watch the kids learn to play cricket.

Later this year we hope to present some cricket matches for the public at the Dardenne baseball fields next to City Hall.  No dates have been reserved as yet.  For such exhibition games we would use a temporary turf mat instead of a concrete “pitch.”

The BOA approved the application for St. Charles County Road Board funds for two street projects: Hanley Rd. north of Feise and Weldon Spring Rd.  We won’t know the Road Board decision until at least August.

The BOA modified the City’s zoning code to permit the temporary sale of fireworks on ground along South Outer 364 on a vacant lot next to the Thoele’s Mobil Station.  Public hearings were held at the Planning & Zoning Commission last week and at the BOA last night.  No one spoke in opposition to the change though I did receive a couple of e-mails objecting to fireworks being sold in Dardenne Prairie.  Temporary fireworks stands have been permitted in Dardenne Prairie for decades.  Last night’s action adds one new location.

A public hearing was opened to hear citizens input regarding the Bopp’s  Area plan and the Walmart Neighborhood Market application for a conditional use permit for the NW corner of Bryan & Feise Roads.  These hearings have been held and continued to every meeting since March to allow plenty of opportunity for citizen input.  No citizen appeared to speak last night and the applicants requested the hearings be continued to June to allow more time to complete their final applications and drawings.

The BOA approved a modest change to the Area Plan for the Pinecrest Apartments on Stump road.

I announced that the City completed the refinancing of its $3.1 million debt on May 17, reducing the interest rate by about half and projected a savings of about $283,000 in interest expense over the next 12 years.

The City Hall Park Concession Stand is open for youth baseball and will be in full operation on Saturday May 21 for the first Concert in the Park, complete with food service, wine and beer.  As of May 25 the Stand will open at 11:00 AM for patrons of the City Park.

The next Board of Alderman meeting is scheduled for June 1 at 5:30 at City Hall.  Come see your City Government at work!

“Shine a Light on City Government”

DAVID C. ZUCKER

Mayor,

City of Dardenne Prairie, MO

636-755-5306

 

 

Posted in News, Shine a Light on City Goverment