Scroll down or click below to find:
- The latest updates
- Links to articles, op-eds, and the new filing documents
- Next steps
- A description of the current “new” proposal
- A little history of conservation in the area
- A timeline of the proposal in Committee and Council meetings
The Great Rivers Environmental Law Center has been pursuing a legal remedy over the last many months for the proposed Missouri Bluffs subdivision project that the Katy Land Trust and many others have opposed since it was announced in December, 2017.
In light of the developer’s continued insistence that the individual plaintiff represented by GRELC will not suffer sufficient impact from this development to give her standing to sue, the plaintiffs have filed to dismiss this lawsuit and are weighing their options.
Unfortunately, as of now, there will be no trial on March 12. We will keep you informed of possible future actions that may be pursued.
There is much more to do. We need the members of our community to come together, raise awareness, and show up to oppose this proposed development.
The hard work will continue for GRELC and their attorneys and there is no assurance of success. At the very least, we hope to minimize the damage to be caused by this development by ensuring that promises that have been made by the developer — protection of the tree canopy and “no disturbance” areas, for example — are kept and are specified in ways that will be enforceable in the future.
There may be more opportunities for you to make your voices heard to ensure that these bluffs look the same way next October as they do today.
Stay tuned here on KLT’s website and visit the Weldon Woods website for continuing updates on why this decision should be reversed — and for creative and innovative ideas about how this property should be used — for the benefit of all St. Charles residents. We will continue to look for ways to make what has happened less bad for this remarkable river bluff property.
Links to articles, op-eds, and plan / filing documents:
The Most Recent Revised Proposal:
When the developer of this project returned with a new, slightly altered and equally unacceptable proposal, it was for 339 new housing units on this fragile, steep river bluff that will be connected by miles of narrow roadway. The project will still abut the Great Rivers Greenway Trail that connects to the Katy Trail and will be on the blufftop overlooking the Missouri River near two state conservation areas. The road construction, infrastructure and home building would destroy trees, habitat, views and the landscape along this section of river. Included in the new proposal are cosmetic changes that offered no significant improvement from the earlier proposal.
A History of Conservation in the Area:
The land that stretches west along the Missouri River past Highway 40 remains largely rural and undeveloped. Driving Highway 94 or riding the Katy Trail in that area feels much like a drive or ride deep in the Ozarks, not 5 minutes from suburban St. Charles. This area provides hiking, biking and sightseeing that are among the best in Missouri. It has retained that feel for decades because of the land protection provided by creation of the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas in the late 1940s.
Read more history in this Post Dispatch op-ed: A public legacy — and an opportunity to lead and in Ray Hartmann’s column “What began as a university conservation effort is ending up a subdivision” in St. Louis Magazine.
The plan documents show information about a large housing development proposed on property in this area that is currently owned by the University of Missouri. This land is on the Katy Trail and close to the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas just west of Chesterfield.
We believe that the scale and the location of the project are cause for questions regarding the impact on the river bluffs from the perspective of plant and wildlife habitat, aesthetics and traffic.
Here is the history of the proposed development as it winds its way through the St. Charles County Planning & Zoning Commission and St. Charles County Council.
|Meeting Date||What Happened|
|Planning & Zoning Committee Meetings|
|December 20||The committee heard the re-zoning application presented for the first time.|
|January 17||The committee postponed the re-zoning vote until the meeting on February 21.|
|February 21||Before the February 21 meeting, the application for rezoning was withdrawn, so it was not discussed at this meeting. The developers created a new application for re-zoning before the next meeting.|
|March 21||The vote on the new application for rezoning took place at the March 21 P&Z meeting, with 8 out of 9 voting against it.|
|St. Charles County Council Meetings|
|April 9||The developers presented their green-washed proposal. The County Council heard the recommendation from the P&Z committee and saw our opposition fill the room.|
|April 30||The ONLY person speaking in support of the proposed subdivision at this hearing was the developer’s lawyer.|
|May 21||The County Council was supposed to vote on the proposal, but instead a new plan was discussed – building 339 housing units on the same land.Once again the County Council postponed the vote and indicated they would provide at least a week’s notice when they decide to vote on it in the future.|
|June 25||At this meeting, the St. Charles County Council voted to approve the plan that will allow the Missouri Bluffs subdivision to proceed. The “plan” that was approved was not specific and will need much clarification and refinement in future meetings. This is the 5th or 6th plan that the developer has submitted.|
|July 25||A lawsuit challenging the St. Charles County Council’s decision to allow the Missouri Bluffs subdivision to proceed was filed on behalf of Weldon Woods Inc. by Great Rivers Environmental Law Center.|
|October 29||A hearing is held at the St. Charles County Courthouse and a trial date for the case was set for March 12, 2019.
|February 2019||Plaintiffs file to dismiss the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center lawsuit following the developer’s continued insistence that the individual plaintiff represented by GRELC will not suffer sufficient impact from this development to give her standing to sue.|