South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Proposed subdivision sparks mixed feelings

Residents express concerns on traffic, lot sizes, blasting

Residents living near a proposed subdivision at Heintz and Cambridge Pointe roads are happy with some aspects of a new plan for the site, but still have some worries about how the new development could affect their homes and traffic in the area.

The previous developer that tried to build on the site across from the Cambridge Pointe subdivision, Lawless Homes Inc., had plans approved to build a subdivision in early 2005 but did not complete the project, leaving an eyesore and extensive damage to neighboring houses that went uncompensated, neighbors said last week at a public hearing on a new plan for the site.

The current owner of the 20.9-acre site, Pinnacle Development, proposes the “Cambridge Hills” subdivision of 30 single-family detached houses. The company requests approval of the subdivision plat and the same zoning previously approved for Lawless at the site, R-2. The houses will be a similar size and price as homes already in the area, noted Steve Gower, Pinnacle’s representative at the Oct. 14 hearing.

The development is smaller than the proposed subdivision from Lawless, which the planning panel approved for 42 houses, and smaller than the 56 houses that could be allowed at the site under R-2 zoning, Gower added. The McBride and Son-built houses will range from one to two stories on lots that average 0.29 acres, with some lots smaller and some as large as half an acre, and will sell for an average of $320,000.

No one spoke in favor of the plans, and seven nearby residents let the panel know their concerns, including traffic, lot sizes and the company’s potential liability for any damage caused from construction.

The plans for Cambridge Hills call for two exits onto Heintz Road, which many of the residents objected to, but they like that the company will build sidewalks along Heintz.

All the residents who spoke said they worry about effects on traffic and already experience problems from congestion on Heintz. The road is used to get to Oakville High School and, at peak periods, as a cut-through to the highway for those who want to avoid traffic on Telegraph Road.

Combined, that means that driving half a mile in the morning on Heintz can take 20 to 30 minutes due to the bumper-to-bumper traffic, said Steve Ford of Cambridge Pointe.

A tributary bisecting the site means that the property can only be developed in two sections, each of which must have its own exit onto Heintz, Gower said.

When the planning panel approved the development plans from Lawless in 2005, it required the company to build turn lanes on Heintz, which was not done.

Some neighbors, burned by the previous developer not finishing the project, wondered if the same thing would happen again.

“I’m afraid they’re just going to go under like the last people did and make another mess of the situation,” said Barbara Jeglijewski, who has lived in Cambridge Pointe since 1995.

Gettysburg Estates neighbor Susan Reifeiss said she wants the area to be developed, but wants the developer held accountable for any damage to neighbors’ homes from blasting.

Pinnacle has not yet decided whether it will blast at the site, Gower noted, but said the company would follow all Missouri regulations on blasting if it did.

In a nonbinding show of hands taken after the hearing, 11 favored the subdivision and 11 were opposed or had concerns.

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