Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Opens Door for Annexation Vote Court Accepts Compromise That Removes Tracts Where Residents Oppose Change

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Judge Opens Door for Annexation Vote Court Accepts Compromise That Removes Tracts Where Residents Oppose Change

Article excerpt

The city of Union has crossed the last hurdle needed to ask voters on April 2 to approve the annexation of 1,100 acres southeast of the city.

Following an early morning hearing on Tuesday, Associate Circuit Judge Joseph Ladd allowed the proposal to go to voters. He accepted a compromise between the city and landowners at the eastern edge of the area that the city wants to annex.

Under state law, the city needed a judge's approval to present the proposal to voters. By raising objections last fall, the property owners frustrated the city's plans to put the proposal to a vote in November. To pass, the proposal needs separate simple majorities from voters in the city and in the area proposed for annexation.

In the compromise, the city removed the Klenke and Kruel tracts - about 110 acres - from the area proposed for annexation. The tracts are at the east end of the area. The city also agreed not to consider annexing the tracts as long as they are undeveloped or until they are sold.

The city wants to annex an area generally bounded by the Bourbeuse River, Old U.S. Highway 50, U.S. Highway 50, a line from Denmark Road to Prairie Dell Road, College Road, the north and east edges of the College Heights subdivision and Highway 47. As many as 700 people live in the area.

The area includes East Central College. The annexation would extend the main part of the city to commercial and industrial parks that the city wants to develop. The area proposed for annexation almost surrounds a Wal-Mart store that is under construction.

Aside from the community college, the area is largely vacant. The Strawberry Fields subdivision is in the eastern part of the area proposed for annexation, and the College Hills subdivision is at the southern end of the area.

Union Mayor Glenn Van Leer said annexation would allow the city to promote orderly growth in the area.

"In other areas, we have problems with everything being intermingled," he said. …

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