Nov 02

Annexations and Development in Rural Areas

Posted on November 2, 2022 at 1:31 PM by County Council

In the last decade, St. Charles County has seen explosive growth with many residents leaving St. Louis County and other urban areas for a more quiet and safe way of life. Just in the last two years, St. Charles County has had an explosion of apartments, over a 300% increase. Currently there are approximately 33 apartment complexes that take advantage of the federal voucher system for HUD housing. Local leaders will say we need housing for younger people and lower income workers. These apartments are approved by municipal city council members and only one has been approved by St. Charles County Council. 

There is currently a large development under consideration on property across from the Frontier Middle School and the Canine Country Farm property along Highway DD all the way up to Schwede Road. This developer approached me asking for four to six homes per acre, which I do not support and urged three acres per lot to maintain the rural atmosphere. At this point, the developer has approached the homeowners in a three-acre subdivision off Sommers Road and the owners of the cricket fields on Highway DD, attempting to have the property annexed into the city of O’Fallon. This development would bring hundreds of homes and destroy the natural beauty and character of our county.

These aggressive annexations and explosion of apartments is not good for St. Charles County. It brings heavy traffic and creates additional crime. It’s a zero-sum game and becomes a tax subsidy for other citizens in the county to maintain the roads and sewers, increase the necessary police officers to maintain safety and the extra burden on the school districts.

There are thousands of acres that make up the Busch Wildlife area of which citizens from all over come to enjoy for fishing, walking trails and managed wildlife hunts to maintain the wildlife habitat. Because managed wildlife hunts are allowed in the Busch Wildlife area, how dangerous would this be for high density developments surrounding this area? There needs to be state legislation drafted on these aggressive annexations, so we do not destroy the rural areas in this county.   

It amazes me how many people move away from areas they do not like anymore due to crime and poor schools, among other things, but then bring the same ideology to their new environment that they just moved from.

May 05

A Jewel for the Region

Posted on May 5, 2022 at 1:45 PM by County Council

Southwest St. Charles County is a jewel for the entire region. It is home to the oldest wine district in the country and is one of the largest with 67 wineries from St. Charles to Hermann, perched on the Missouri River bluff. With the wineries, unique shops, bed and breakfasts, parks, boating, and camping, it is a popular destination. 

With this popularity comes more commercial and residential development. And while development of all kinds can be good, we need to keep a close watch to make certain the beauty of this rural area isn’t lost.

Large corporations have purchased many of the well-established local wineries with the hopes of drawing more people to enjoy the beauty of the countryside. But often, drawing more people to an area can jeopardize the very thing that makes it so attractive.

In rural, agricultural areas, the majority of new housing development is on 3-5 acres. With the influx of people wanting to move to more rural areas, developers often want to build subdivisions on ¼-acre lots. The County’s requirement for five-acre minimum lots is what makes this area so attractive and beautiful and helps preserve the countryside, rural roads, trees and hillsides. While further development of the wineries and tourist options provides positives for St. Charles County, we also want to be sure to counter the growing demand for higher density residential development and stay true to the future land use goals of larger lot development in this area as outlined within our Master Plan.

Even in fast-growing counties, the rural way of life must be preserved so tourists, and most importantly, the people who live there can still enjoy what brought them there in the first place. St. Charles County must remain small town strong!

Aug 27

COVID-19: Challenges and Concerns

Posted on August 27, 2021 at 9:42 AM by County Council

COVID-19 has made the past almost two years extremely challenging for the entire world. We are facing never-before seen issues from this global pandemic. The effect on individuals and our society is yet to be fully understood while the role of government in our daily lives is being questioned.

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