The proposal calls for a zoning change for the subdivision

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen voted 6-0 with one abstention on March 8 to rezone 10.41 acres from R-1 single-family residential to R-2 single-family residential at the former Paraclet property in the Tapawingo Subdivision.

Ward 1 Alderman Ann McMunn and Joe Stewart, whose ward is in the development, as well as Ward 3 Alderman Randy Epperson, Ward 4 Alderman Fred Daues and Ward 2 Alderman Casey Wong and Christine Lieber voted in favor of the preliminary development plan. Alderman for Ward 3 Cathy Friedmann abstained while Alderman for Ward 4 Thompson Price was absent.

Whalen Custom Homes is requesting a zoning change from R-1, with a minimum lot size of 1 acre, to R-2, with a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet for 10.41 acres at 13270 Maple Drive. The board held a first reading on the proposal at its February meeting; a second reading was scheduled for 8 March but according to the agenda for the meeting the petitioner had asked for a second reading to be postponed as Price was going to be absent. However, at the March meeting, the petitioner still asked to go ahead with the second reading.

“The plan before you tonight is, to my knowledge, the plan that has been published. I think it would be a disservice to all of us to push this off for a month or two when we have a great proposal ahead of us,” said Mike Whalen, President of Whalen Custom Homes. “It won’t become a development until you approve the final development plan. … I would respectfully request that we go ahead with this tonight. … I feel like we’ve come a long, long way and I’d like to continue working towards final approval of this project, which is your approval of the final development plan that will work out all of these … details that belong to the final development plan, not this preliminary plan.

Over 30% of nearby property owners and residents had submitted a petition to the city opposing the development when it was first proposed, leading to several meetings between the developer and neighbors to address their concerns. Tapawingo resident John Stephens, who helped facilitate some of the discussions between the developer and Tapawingo residents, said he was concerned about the continuation of the second reading as the agenda posted on the site The city’s web still indicated that the petitioner was requesting a postponement.

“I’m afraid other residents who may have been on this call weren’t because we were told it wasn’t going to happen. … I got an email at 7 a.m. saying it would be rescheduled. … We got a call at 4 p.m. suddenly saying that was going to be on the agenda,” Stephens said in a public comment. “I am surprised that the city wants to continue this second reading this evening. … To me, public notification is an integral part of what the city does and what the law requires the city to do. In my opinion, this is insufficient. »

Acting City Attorney Jim Hetlag said aldermen were free to review bills relating to the development because the city did not defer it, the plaintiff only requested a deferral. Delaying the second reading of the bills until the last meeting in March would require a motion and a vote of the aldermen.

“I just feel like we have to abide by the notification provisions we have and posted on the website at the moment is a request for a postponement. I feel like we are skimping on residents if we proceed to the public notice that makes it look like it’s been postponed,” Friedmann said.

Wong asked how long it would take before a final development plan was submitted to the city after the preliminary plan was approved. Whalen said it would take about three to six months before a final plan was submitted to the city.

“The preliminary plan is that we approve a concept, but now we have to do a topographic survey, we have to get approval from MSD (Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District), we have to get approval from Missouri American Water, we have to getting Approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources… The bulk of the work starts with the approval of the preliminary plan.It will be months before I’m able to come back,” Whalen said.

The final development plan must be heard by the town planning and urban planning commission before being transmitted to the college of aldermen.

“We are looking at potentially having a second reading (on the final plan) by Christmas. I think we have some time on this one. It’s a preliminary development plan and… I think we’re treating it as the final product,” Wong said. “That’s something we’re going to have a lot of time to work the sausage on. … We’re spending a lot of time on that particular issue.

Whalen echoed Wong’s sentiments, emphasizing that this was just the preliminary plan and that it was up to him as the developer to make sure the final product met the expectations of aldermen and residents.

“It’s my job to make sure this will all actually work and fit together and if there are any ancillary issues in the meantime, there’s plenty of time for this to be resolved by the time I submit it for approval. final, so I respectfully request that this be voted on,” Whalen said.