State legislation introduced to improve notification on rezonings

JEFFERSON CITY — Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, and Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, introduced legislation today — Feb. 20 — in the Missouri Senate and House to provide better notification for rezoning in unincorporated St. Louis County.

“Our legislation is in response to the failure of St. Louis County planning and zoning to properly notify residents and businesses of proposed zoning changes for any new development,” Haefner stated in a news release. “Our constituents deserve a better notification process when changes are proposed that impact their community.”

“The first meaningful public discussion of such a substantive development should not happen after the foundation has already been poured,” Sifton stated in the release. “It is absolutely clear that the people we represent were not given adequate notice of the National Church Residences development. Had they, the project may not have advanced. At the very least, residents would have been able to be heard much earlier in the process.”

The bill seeks to strengthen rezoning in unincorporated St. Louis County, in some respects, according to the release. Under the bill, notice by publication must be provided in a newspaper with a circulation of at least 10,000 copies.

“Many constituents feel notice by publication in a legal trade newspaper with a circulation of less than 1,000 is woefully inadequate,” Sifton stated.

The bill also provides for notice of a rezoning hearing to be given by certified mail to adjacent landowners and to trustees of subdivisions within a mile of the proposed rezoning.

“Notification via certified mail will ensure proper notice of a hearing has been made,” Haefner stated.

Additional provisions require a 30-day notice of a rezoning hearing rather than the current 15 days, make the county’s voluntary email notification system mandatory, and require notice to occupants within 1,000 feet of a proposed rezoning as opposed to just owners.

“We sincerely hope the legislature will take these important steps to give better notice of rezoning to residents of unincorporated St. Louis county,” Sifton stated.

“Our constituents deserve to know about zoning changes in their community and have an opportunity to weigh in before construction begins,” Haefner added. “This legislation will help make sure that happens.”

Senate Bill 904 and House Bill 1942 will next be assigned to a committee.

For more information about Sifton’s legislation this year, visit To follow Haefner’s legislation, log on to