Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Development Plans near Park Draw Fire Traffic, Flooding Are Concerns for Site near Whitecliff

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Development Plans near Park Draw Fire Traffic, Flooding Are Concerns for Site near Whitecliff

Article excerpt

Crestwood residents voiced opposition at a hearing last week to the development of 5.6 acres just south of Whitecliff Park.

About 30 residents turned out March 28 to hear developer Sebastian Rucci of Laguna Hills, Calif., present his case for the rezoning with charts and a 21-page report. The issue was tabled.

About 30 residents attended the hearing March 28.

Rucci presented a report to the board outlining his reasons for seeking rezoning and a preliminary plat of the proposed development. The development would include an 11-lot subdivision on a cul-de-sac. The average lot size would be 13,628 square feet, about a third of an acre.

One boarded-up house sits on the parcel.

Rucci asked that the land be rezoned from R-1 to less restrictive R-3 residential. The rezoning was approved by a 4-to-3 vote at the city planning-and-zoning commission meeting March 1.

Rucci said that all the residential property adjoining the area had been rezoned to R-3, as had 98 percent of all residential property in Crestwood. Without the rezoning, development of the parcel was impossible, he said.

But Alderman Tracy Huston said the project was impossible anyway because the acreage drops off into a ravine. "There are just a few pieces of property in St. Louis County that can't be developed," Huston said. "This is one of them."

Several residents said that building on the parcel would increase traffic, damage surrounding property and possibly worsen flooding in the area.

Roger Anderson, of 9118 Grant Farm Trails, told the board that he and his wife feared that cutting down trees and grading to build would exacerbate flash flooding of nearby Gravois Creek. Anderson noted that a woman drowned in a flash flood last year near the parcel of land.

Rucci told the board that according to his study of the area, the increase in storm-water runoff would be minimal. He also claimed that runoff from Grant Farm Trail emptied into the parcel. …

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