Friends & Neighbors
I am very pleased to report that the fountain in City Hall Park has been repaired and is working like new! Until late last week we were not able to operate the fountain because of a structural leak in the concrete basin which made it impossible to retain water. Our Building and Grounds Superintendent and crew, assisted by Alderman John Gotway, discovered the leak and repaired it. By doing the work “in-house” we saved the tax payers about $16,000 in additional costs based on several quotes from contractors. Many thanks to Bob Easley, John Gotway and the crew!
The Dardenne Prairie Board of Aldermen met in workshop and regular session on Wednesday, July 17. Here are the highlights:
The Board enacted an ordinance establishing stop signs and speed limits in BaratHaven. Police are now empowered to write tickets for violations. Signs have been posted for years, most likely by the developer, but were never authorized by the City. An ordinance establishing a no parking zone on Dardenne Woods Drive was enacted as a safety measure for traffic turning north from Feise Road. An ordinance was passed placing a yield sign at the intersection of Dardenne Landing Court and Dardenne Woods Drive, also for safety. Some BOA meetings are more exciting than others.
The Board held a Public Hearing concerning the proposal to place a moratorium on issuing development and construction permits in the Uptown Zoning District. The City is taking a look at the Uptown Zoning District and its building restrictions to determine if the Uptown District should be retained, revised, reduced, or eliminated. While that process is underway it seems desirable to let the world know that changes may be on the way. People who may otherwise plan to invest lots of money for engineering and architectural work necessary to meet the rigorous standards of the Uptown District may choose to wait to see what changes, if any, the City makes. One couple who own property in the Uptown Zone objected to any moratorium on the grounds that it might scare off potential buyers of their land. It was noted that their property had been for sale for 9 or 10 years. The Uptown Zone has been in place for 8 years and during that period only three projects have been undertaken: City Hall; St. William Apartments, and the Town Square Apartments being built behind Target and JC Penney’s. Such lack of development over 8 years suggests the building code and Uptown concept may be a barrier, especially when one sees the growth of new businesses in Wentzville, Lake St. Louis and O’Fallon. The Public Hearing was continued to August 19th after Planning & Zoning holds its hearing on the same subject. All citizens are invited to participate.
Meanwhile, the review of the Uptown Zoning District will continue. We will publish a schedule of informal and formal meetings to be held over the course of the next few months to hear the views of the residents of Dardenne Prairie, property owners in and adjacent to the Uptown Zoning District, developers, realtors, business owners, and other subject matter experts. While it may be easy to criticize the Uptown Zoning District’s restrictive building code, if the City were to make changes what would take its place? That is the real challenge facing our residents and City government. What do we want the City to become or to look like? I invite all interested citizens to take part in this extended public discussion about the future of Dardenne Prairie.
Residents of BaratHaven are encouraged to step forward as candidates for appointment to the Board of Directors of the BaratHaven Community Improvement District. Three of the five seats are available. If you are a resident or property owner of BaratHaven you are eligible for appointment. I urge those interested in looking after the interests of BaratHaven residents to contact me at City Hall for more information. Appointments will be made in August and are subject to approval by the Board of Aldermen.
The Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a Back-to-School Fair at Morningstar Church on Saturday August 1 from 8:00 AM to Noon.
The City has rescinded the policy of charging a security deposit for rental of park pavilions and meeting rooms. Rental fees still apply but the separate security deposit is history.
The City will accept payment for rental of facilities by credit card as well as by check or cash; we will add a convenience fee to credit card charges.
The next Music and Movie event at City Hall Park is scheduled for August 1: Sunset Amusement band will play from 6:00 PM to dusk, followed by the movie, The Lorax.
The next Board of Aldermen meeting is Wednesday, August 5, 2015, starting at 5:30 PM. Come see your City Government at work.
“Shine a Light on City Government”
DAVID C. ZUCKER
Mayor, City of Dardenne Prairie, MO