Homes proposed near Telegraph, Treeridge raise concerns about potential runoff problems

By BURKE WASSON

Amid some residents’ concerns about potential runoff problems, the county Planning Commission is considering a proposal to construct 55 homes similar in style to the Grey Cliff subdivision just southeast of Telegraph Road.

McBride & Son Home Land Development Inc., represented by attorney John King, presented plans April 24 to the Planning Commission to add an additional six homes to the 49 originally proposed for the 25-acre development near Telegraph Road and Treeridge Trail. The 4.7-acre area where the six homes would be added currently is zoned non-urban, and McBride & Son representatives are asking that the County Council change zoning to residential.

King said each of the 55 homes likely would range in size from 2,700 square feet to 4,000 square feet and be priced from $325,000 to $500,000.

But nearby residents and homeowners fear that watershed issues in the area are not adequately addressed in the builder’s proposal, which eliminates a detention area to add the new homes. Kevin Katon, who owns two properties on Telegraph Road and Christopher Drive, said both properties flood during heavy rainfall and wonders how much more runoff would occur with an influx of new homes.

In response to homeowners’ concerns and the elimination of a detention area, the builder has proposed building a pump station at the site of the development to move water away from the area.

“With regard to the stormwater, there will be a pump station that will be built that will be built under the standards of (the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District) and the departments of St. Louis County,” King said.

King added that the homeowners of the new subdivision would be responsible for paying maintenance fees for the on-site pump station.

“This pumping station will be a part of our development and will be built immediately with the other homes in the subdivision,” King said. “Anybody that comes into this subdivision will be told as part of their cost or subdivision fees to take care of maintaining that pump station. So anybody that buys there will know that.”

While the builder recognizes that the construction of a pump station is crucial to the area’s flooding concerns, nearby residents wonder if prospective homeowners would rather buy homes at another location instead of living in a subdivision where they would have to pay maintenance fees to keep the station operating.

“What this means is that all the residents of this plan will be saddled with this lift station from what I understand to pay for it as part of their development,” said Pete Trace.

King contends that those homeowners do not have to worry about runoff problems because of the pump station itself and that people should look at the pump station as a reassurance against such trouble.

“It will be sized to contain a lot of this water,” King said. “That water will be caught on our side and then pumped into another watershed. They’ll be pumping it to a different watershed away from the people.”

In the event that MSD requires another detention area near the subdivision, the county Department of Planning stipulates that the “detention facilities shall be completed and in operation prior to the issuance of building permits exceeding 60 percent of the approved dwelling units or paving of any driveways or parking areas.”

Besides addressing runoff concerns, the proposal for the new homes also cuts off access to the subdivision from Christopher Drive. The entrance now is planned off Telegraph Road.

In response to Planning Commission member Bill Sneed’s question about the width of the lots, King responded that they would be 80 feet wide, which is slightly smaller than homes in Grey Cliff. However, the homes still will be wide enough to contain three-car garages.

The 4.7-acre area in question is planned to be added to a 25.15-acre plot that was rezoned last year as an amended planned environment unit, or PEU, to R-2 zoning.

That location is on the west side of Christopher Drive at Christopher Place and the southeast side of Telegraph Road, about 400 feet northeast of Denacre Drive.

“This tract of land was originally zoned for them a year ago,” King said. “Now with an additional piece of ground, they seek another zoning.

“What we have is this additional tract. We want to add that to the present PEU that we have that’s located on the southeast side of Telegraph. That’s all presently zoned non-urban and we’re requesting it be zoned R-2. That’s the same zoning that we have on the tract where they originally had a PEU planned and approved.”