County planning panel rejects topsoil proposal

With a 6-0 vote, the St. Louis County Planning Commission recently rejected an Oakville man’s proposal to sell topsoil that would be cleared for a private lake on his property.

Commissioners voted March 22 to deny Dane Eiler’s request for a conditional-use permit on his land to be able to sell topsoil left over from digging a five-acre, four-foot-deep lake.

Eiler told the Call he wanted to speak with his attorney before commenting on the decision.

While county planning officials had recommended approval of Eiler’s proposal, commissioners in February indicated they wanted him to clean up his land — 29 acres between Green Road and the Meramec River that is zoned as a flood-plain non-urban district — before they took a vote on the request for a conditional-use permit.

Eiler first approached the county with his proposal in 2007. He has said he wanted 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.

Before the March 22 vote, county officials told the commission Eiler had cleaned up equipment that was sitting out in the open on his property, and that he planned to build a tree buffer between his land and Crystal Lake.