Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Group Loses Round in Struggle against Valley Development Planners Back Idea of High-Technology Businesses

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Group Loses Round in Struggle against Valley Development Planners Back Idea of High-Technology Businesses

Article excerpt

Members of the O'Day Valley Association want the bulldozers to stop at U.S. Highway 40-61.

They lost a round last week when the St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of a rezoning measure that would allow some property in the O'Day Valley to be developed by high-technology companies. The fight will resume next month when the County Council takes up the issue for final action.

To show their displeasure at last week's zoning commission meeting, 50 O'Day members hoisted slogan-bearing placards - such as "Urban sprawl means urban crawl." A public hearing on the application had been held Feb. 19, but no public comment was allowed at last week's meeting. Most of the members are well-off professional people who moved to the area around Highway DD, south of Highway 40-61, for its open space and room to raise horses and dogs. But the placards with their pleas were for nought. Although Commissioner William Sass asked, "What's the rush?" the commission voted 6-2 to recommend approval of high-technology zoning for about 175 acres. The original application was to rezone about 274 acres. Part of the land is now zoned for residential use with a minimum lot size of three acres. Other parts are zoned for commercial use and for mobile home parks. Despite the mixed zoning, the site has no mobile homes or businesses. Most of it is woods and farmland. Councilman Bill Gatewood, R-1st District, who represents the County Council on the commission, joined Sass in casting dissenting votes. Commissioner Robert Cross of Wentzville was absent. In a surprise move, the vote was taken after the county asked that about 95 acres be dropped from consideration for rezoning. That acreage is west of DD and is farthest from Highway 40-61. In another unusual move, County Engineer Joe Nichols recommended dropping from high technology rezoning an additional five to 10 acres along O'Day Creek. The creek crosses the southeast corner of the old Safari Camp property. …

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