Sunset Hills cluster home proposal withdrawn by developer

Pictured above: A ‘No Cluster Homes’ sign along Robyn Road in Sunset Hills. The vote on the proposed Fischer & Frichtel cluster home development has been delayed for a third time until the April 23 meeting. Photo by Erin Achenbach.

By Erin Achenbach
Staff Reporter
eachenbach@callnewspapers.com

Residents opposed to the proposal for a cluster home development at the Krueger family house property on Robyn Road in Sunset Hills will get their way after all, but not by a vote through the Board Aldermen.

Developer Fischer & Frichtel LLC withdrew its proposal late last week for 12 villas, which opponents call cluster homes.

The developer offered no explanation other than that they wanted to withdraw in an email sent to City Administrator Eric Sterman.

The withdrawal marks the end of what frustrated residents opposed to the plan considered a nearly six-month-long ordeal that saw multiple delays on a public hearing and vote for the proposed 5-acre development at 4055 S. Lindbergh Blvd., 9312 Lincoln Drive and 9255 Robyn Road. 

Over the past few months, dozens of “No Cluster Homes” signs began to appear in yards around the city, especially along South Lindbergh Boulevard.

The developer had proposed 1,600- to 2,200-square-foot maintenance-free villas, with included landscaping, that would have been marketed to empty nesters. The villas would have been one to 1.5 stories with two-car garages, with the option for a three-car garage.

To accommodate the proposal, changes would have had to have been made to the city’s zoning laws since the property is currently zoned for R-2 Residential with a minimum 20,000-square-foot-lot size; the proposal would have required the zoning be changed to PD-RC Planned Development-Residential/Cluster Homes.

The Planning and Zoning Commission had initially approved the project in September 2018, when Fischer & Frichtel proposed 15 villas. Delay after delay then followed. The proposal was originally slated for a public hearing in October but was postponed twice until December. The board was then scheduled to vote on the proposal in January, but the petitioner requested a delay until the February meeting, where once again the vote got a continuance since there was not a full board.

The vote was delayed for a third time at the March board meeting, despite the presence of a full board, because the developer wanted more time to reach out to surrounding residents of the property. A final vote was scheduled at the April 23 meeting will no longer take place.

There are currently no other proposals for the property, Sterman said.

There have been at least two other proposals for villas at the site.

One by Pulte Group was dropped when Pulte pulled out of the St. Louis market.

A second one by Benton Homebuilders also fell through.