County panel’s rejection of topsoil plan appealed

An appeal of the county Planning Commission’s decision to deny an Oakville man’s request to sell topsoil that would be cleared for a private lake on his property will go before a County Council committee.

Sixth District Councilman Steve Stenger, D-south county, recently referred Dane Eiler’s appeal to the Public Improvements Committee for a public hearing. Stenger chairs that committee.

The hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, in the County Council chambers, 41 S. Central Ave. in Clayton.

The Planning Commission voted 6-0 in March to deny Eiler’s request for a conditional-use permit on his land — 29 acres between Green Road and the Meramec River that is zoned as a flood-plain non-urban district — to be able to sell topsoil left over from digging a 5-acre, 4-foot-deep lake.

Eiler first approached the county with his proposal in 2007. He has said he wants to dig the lake to enhance the area’s beauty, and to sell the leftover topsoil to offset some of the project’s costs.

But he’s been at odds with residents of nearby Crystal Lake subdivision, who have opposed his plans for various environmental reasons. Eiler has said his proposal meets all regulations.

In denying Eiler’s request, the commission stated it was concerned “about the ability or desire of the petitioner to mitigate the impact of the proposed excavation and material removal on the adjoining residential development … (T)he noise and dust created by the proposed dirt removal, as well as the view of the site from adjacent residences would have a negative impact upon the adjacent property owners, if the CUP were approved.”

Commissioners also stated the “introduction of a commercial use for hauling material off site at this location” was inconsistent with the Meramec Greenway Plan, adopted by the County Council in 2003.

The plan recommends development in the flood-plain be limited to “recreational, agriculture and limited utility uses that can withstand inundation without significant danger to lives or property.”