Planning panel urges OK of Lawless plan; takes no action on Fred Weber rezoning

By SCOTT MILLER

Staff Reporter

The county Planning Commission recommended approval of a proposal last week to build 41 new homes on Heintz Road across from the Cambridge Pointe Subdivision, but did not address the area’s most controversial zoning issue — Fred Weber Inc.’s asphalt piles.

Lawless Inc. sought to build 50 homes ranging in price from $250,000 to $400,000 across from Cambridge Pointe Subdivision on Heintz Road. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request as long as only 41 homes are built, not 50.

At a public hearing last month, residents of the subdivision likened that part of Heintz Road to a NASCAR speedway with dangerously fast traffic, no turn lanes and no sidewalks. They worried another subdivision would add more congestion.

Under the Planning Commission’s recommendation, however, Lawless would have to improve access into and out of the development with turn lanes, according to commission member Bill Sneed.

The measure now moves to the County Council.

“I’ll be taking a close look at that development,” Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, told the Call. “I haven’t allowed those developments unless they put sidewalks in place. My concern is that those people that are living there want to walk on the sidewalk, not on the street. I may be adding sidewalks to that (legislation). I will be looking at turn lanes also.”

The commission also was expected to make a long-anticipated decision on Web-er’s growing south quarry asphalt piles, but deferred a decision so Department of Plan-ning staff could complete more studies.

“Various letters of oppositions and support are being reviewed by the county health department’s environmental staff and the Missouri Department of Natural Re-sources to get expert environmental opinions on those issues brought up in the letters and at public hearings,” said Deborah Salberg, a zoning section head for the De-partment of Planning.

Cambridge Pointe residents want Weber away from their neighborhood, saying the piles are detrimental to the environment and their health. They argue Weber is seeking the zoning change to build a trash-transfer station there in the future. While this zoning would allow the station, Weber still would need to get county permission to construct it.

Fred Weber illegally is piling the asphalt at the site based on the land’s zoning status, according to county allegations. The asphalt operation has existed more than 30 years without complaint.

Weber is asking the commission — and ultimately the County Council, which casts the final vote — to change the zoning to allow its operation. If not, the company would move its piles to appropriate land that actually is closer to Cambridge Pointe homes, Weber officials claim.

Weber wants the zone changed from Non-Urban and Flood Plain Non-Urban districts to M-3 Planned Industrial District and FPM-3 Flood Plain Planned Industrial District so the company can continue to use the 23-acre site to store and recycle asphalt.

The commission is expected to make a decision Monday, Dec. 6, Chairman Doug Morgan said. The Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. in the County Council Chambers of the Lawrence K. Roos building in Clayton.