County planning panel conducts hearing on subdivision on east side of Von Talge

‘Von Talge Commons’ next to group of attached homes

By Gloria Lloyd

The county Planning Commission recently conducted a public hearing on a proposed subdivision, with neighbors showing up to find out what the developer’s plans are for the site on the east side of Von Talge Road.

The nine-member panel met without a quorum for the Jan. 27 hearing, with only four of its members present: Chairman Wayne Hilzinger of Oakville and members Rob Forney of Kirkwood, Keith Taylor of Ballwin and William Ballard of north county.

Tony Lee is requesting a Planned Environment Unit, or PEU, in an R-3 10,000-square-foot Residence District to build “Von Talge Commons,” a subdivision of attached single-family residences on 2.55 acres in the Mehlville School District on the east side of Von Talge Road, about 125 feet north of Von Talge Trails Court. Lee is under contract to buy the land, pending the zoning decision.

The proposed subdivision is in a residential area next to the Villas in Sienna Oaks, a group of attached houses. Real-estate attorney John King of Lathrop and Gage said that Lee wants to build five attached buildings, or 10 total units, at the site.

The houses will be a minimum of 1,500 square feet and start selling for $375,000 to $400,0000, which does not include an optional finished basement. Owners who buy property at the site will have to agree to deed restrictions that will ensure they maintain the streets and landscaping around the site, King noted.

Southbury Manor subdivision Trustee Alan Haker spoke against the development on behalf of the residents of his subdivision, noting that the subdivision is already overrun with excess stormwater from the Villas development and that residents are concerned about more housing flooding their properties. The subdivision is downhill from both developments.

Engineer Mark Doering, representing Lee, said that the subdivision will improve stormwater runoff compared to the current empty site, using swales to capture the runoff and two retention ponds to contain it on the property.

“The acre and a half that used to sheet flow into these people’s backyards will now be captured on our site, and we’ll take it to the water treatment plants,” he said.

Haker also noted that neighbors might be unaware of the new subdivision, since the public-hearing sign announcing its potential rezoning had blown over in the wind. He only found out about the development after a friend saw it in the newspaper and told him about it, after which he went to the site and propped the public-hearing sign back up.

“I guess after your little problem down here in Oakville, maybe you guys should be concerned,” he told the planning panel. “You should maybe make some other arrangements to make sure that there’s a public notice that everybody can see.”

Neighbor Jim Clemmons, who lives in one of the neighboring villas, requested a barrier of evergreen trees be planted between the two subdivisions and that Lee move a manhole from the neighboring subdivision onto his property. Doering agreed to both requests.

Neighbor Judith Nye said she was concerned about the runoff effects from the development, since she recently had to spend $2,000 to prevent flooding on her property.

“I’m concerned about water, I just don’t want to spend another $2,000, and I welcome the new neighbors,” she said.

In a nonbinding show of hands of those in attendance, six raised their hands to say they were in favor of the subdivision and one raised his hand to say he was opposed or with concern.