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

Residents concerned about increased traffic from subdivision proposal

Proposal includes access to Grant’s Trail, green space
The preliminary development plan for ‘The Grove at Grant’s Trail,’ per the St. Louis County Planning Commission March 11 public hearing agenda. The subdivision features 121 single-family homes.

The St. Louis County Planning Commission held a public hearing March 11 about a proposed 121-home, single-family subdivision in the 6th County Council District. 

The Grove at Grant’s Trail, LLC, requested a zoning change from M-1/FPM—manufacturing/flood plain manufacturing to R-4/FPR-4-residential/floodplain residential, with planned environment unit procedure, for the development of a 121-lot subdivision at 10245 Spokane Drive on 35.2 acres. The proposed location is on the northwest side of Interstate 55, and is primarily surrounded by R-4 and R-6 zoning.

The home builder for the subdivision would be St. Louis builder McBride Homes. 

During the hearing, McBride attorney and representative of the developer, Katherine Moore, outlined the proposed development’s features. The petition includes 121 homes, divided into two different models – 89 lots in the McBride “Bayside series” and 32 in the “Heritage series,” each featuring two different lot sizes. 

According to Moore, the proposal promises extensive common grounds covering 13.04 acres, which would be overseen by the homeowners’ association, with a commitment to maintain 52% of the area’s trees. Additionally, the development plans to provide access to Grant’s Trail. 

Both home series are designed to offer two-car garages and will feature building heights ranging from one to two stories. 

“This site is zoned M-1, that’s an industrial zoning category. Currently, it’s vacant … again, it’s surrounded by residential land uses,” Moore said. “So M-1 zoning allows for a whole host of intense uses, whereas our proposal … (would be) much more consistent with what already exists in the area, and much more in line with the neighboring property uses… It would basically be a downzoning.” 

Moore added that McBride had held preliminary meetings with residents neighboring the property, who did not have any objections to the proposal or the rezoning. The primary point of concern was added traffic accessing the new subdivisions through the existing neighborhoods. Moore said a traffic study was underway and that the developer would “abide by its recommendations.” 

However, public response at the hearing was mixed. Ralph Simon, a neighboring resident in the Westin Place subdivision and HOA trustee, expressed support for the residential use of the property over industrial development but was concerned about the potential impacts on local traffic. 

“My biggest concern is traffic … This is a big residential walking area. So you will see residents walking in that area from before dawn until a couple hours after sunset. It’s just a very popular thing,” Simon said. “I don’t understand why they aren’t bringing the road off of Green Park Road.” 

He added that he also had concerns with one of the property lines in the proposal butting up to Greenwich Place. 

“It looks like some of the new proposed lots will come right up to some of the residents on Greenwich,” Simon said. “Right now, that is a wilderness area … a lot of wild animals back there, and it would be to their benefit and ours to have a little buffer space between the lots.” 

Several in attendance at the public hearing spoke against the proposal, with the primary points of concern again being traffic, as well as what some perceived to be a lack of notice about the proposal and public hearing. County planning staff placed a public hearing notice sign on Spokane about the petition ahead of the hearing.

One member of the public who spoke against the development was Mary Baron, a HOA trustee in the Reavis Gardens subdivision. 

“Our community is significantly concerned about this, and we collectively are opposed … Our subdivision has about 243 addresses, but that doesn’t include several multi-family apartment buildings,” she said. “On McBride’s own plan, they are estimating 242 vehicles. This would increase the traffic flow significantly on a street that I don’t believe was designed for it.”

“We do not have sidewalks … and the additional cars, delivery trucks, emergency, trash trucks. This is all going to degrade our quality of life in our subdivision,” she added. “It is an older subdivision, primarily consists of senior residents … it’s a very close-knit community. Lots of people out walking dogs, walking with children.” 

During the rebuttal portion following public comment, Moore again emphasized that the developer had requested a traffic study, and is “open to whatever those recommendations are and suggestions are in that traffic study.” 

“We understand their concerns and it is being studied and we are committed to getting it right here,” Moore said. 

Moore also addressed one commenter’s question regarding the floodplain zoning designation and whether or not homes would have to purchase floodplain insurance. Moore said that the site would be raised where needed to remove that area from floodplain designation. No homes will be built or sold in the remaining floodplain. 

In total, 10 meeting attendees said they were in favor of the proposal, while 22 were in opposition. 

The Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the proposal at its next executive session. The developer will also have to come back before the commission for site plan approval later on in the process, due to the P.E.U.

Final approval for the development will come from the County Council.