Jefferson County, MO Residents Against the Winding Valley Development
We the undersigned respectfully oppose the Request for Zone Change and corresponding Development Plan filed by McBride Berra Land Company LLC to change R-40 and R-20 (Single Family Residential) to PR-1 (Planned Single-Family Residential) within the proposed Development Plan/Plat for Winding Valley, a high density development planned on a site consisting of 85.08 acres off Saline Road (Jefferson County Planning Division, reference number: PR118022 for the zoning and Jefferson County Department of County Services and Code Enforcement reference number: PP18023 for the plat).
The current R-40 and R-20 zoning of the acreage to be developed allows for one residential unit per 2 acres and one residential unit per 1 acre respectively. The current class usage for the land is agricultural, residential (1 house per the entire acreage) and vacant land.
The PR-1 zoning being sought would allow for 6 residential units per acre creating a high density subdivision. Additionally, the proposed plat plan includes developing only approximately half of the acreage (~40 of the ~80 total acres in the parcel). This allows for the possibility that the ~40 acres to be developed could be as dense as ~12 units per acre. The plan is pictured below and is to be made available on the Jefferson County, MO website.
The parcel adjoins lots within the Hermitage Hills subdivision (zoned R-7 with single family detached homes on lots from .2 - nearly 3 acres) and two private residences on approximately 2-3 acres each on the north side, undeveloped agricultural land zoned R-40 on the west side, and undeveloped and large residential lots zoned R-40 on the south and east sides.
We believe this dramatic 500+% (10 fold) increase in residential density on such a large scale will impact our area’s roadways, services, property values, character, and environment negatively.
We believe any development on this site should be in keeping with current and other recent residential developments that have been approved/built in the immediate area along Saline, Konert, New Sugar Creek, and Romaine Creek roads which include R-10 and R-7 zoning/rezoning and are of much lower densities. These developments have largely been a net positive to the area and we expect them to continue to add to the stability and character of our community. We believe the development proposed would negatively impact the stability and character of the area, increase traffic beyond Saline Road’s capacity, cause environmental damage to the land on which it will be built and properties downstream, and overburden the public services and schools assigned to serve the development.
Specifically, this proposed change is not in alignment with the Jefferson County Master Plan and includes plans that are at odds with zoning rules with the Jefferson County Code of Ordinances. We ask the Council to examine the criteria for consideration of applications based on the following information:
- The proposed zoning does not meet the criteria stated in the Jefferson County Code of Ordinances in that 1) it does not fall in an area fully “served by centralized utilities”, 2) it exceeds the maximum density of R-7 zoning (which is an even less dense zoning requirement than PR-1) of “100 lots per property” as this proposal contains 182 lots, and 3) the public road system serving the site does not have “the capacity to handle the additional traffic” (Jefferson County Code of Ordinances, Title IV. Article V. Div.2 Description of Zoning Districts § 400.1520-1530).
- The dramatic change from low density zoning (R-40 and R-20), the current zoning for the property in question and all of the immediately surrounding properties, to the high density zoning (PR-1) proposed will “negatively affect the character of the property and neighboring property” (Jefferson County Code of Ordinances, Title IV. Article IV. § 400.1140, Criteria for Consideration [Rezoning] Applications).
- The proposed zoning and subsequent development has the potential to significantly increase erosion and water run-off into Sugar Creek which runs through the proposed plat and continues adjacent to the development and then onto its eventual ingress into the Meramec River. This has the potential to exacerbate flooding issues downstream that have plagued residents along Romaine Creek Road, Schneider Road, Old Highway 141, and the many off-shoot subdivisions/roads along these main roads.
- The PR-1 zoning and its consequent housing density will place a significant burden and negative impact on the increasingly strained traffic volume on Saline Road. (Jefferson County Master Plan, Criteria for Implementation, p. 59: “Traffic impact is a major determinant of development, as vehicle miles traveled and congestion increase with this pattern.”)
- The PR-1 zoning and its consequent housing density will place significant additional burden on local services, especially the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Saline Valley Fire Protection District, the Rock Township Ambulance District, and the Fox School District. (Jefferson County Master Plan, Community Infrastructure, p. 59: “Fire, police, schools, parks and other community infrastructure can be supplied by existing, but remote facilities, if sufficient capacity exists.”)
We ask the Council to consider if the proposed zoning and use is truly compatible with adjacent zoning and uses and take into consideration the extent to which the proposed zoning and use will injure the appropriate use of, or detrimentally affect, neighboring properties.
We ask the Council to closely consider and adhere to the provisions within the Jefferson County Code of Ordinances, Title IV. Chapter 405 Flood Damage Prevention § 405.070 and examine the extent to which the proposed use will address and conserve the natural resources of the site, effectively manage storm water runoff and prevent air, water, and noise pollution and conserve habitat in general.
We ask the Council to examine the extent to which the proposed use will adversely affect the capacity or safety of the portions of the street network impacted by the use or present parking problems in the vicinity of the property, specifically, the impact on the volume of traffic, safety, and subdivision entries/exits off on Saline Road.
We ask the Council to consider the extent to which the proposed use facilitates the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements of if these current services are adequate to absorb the increased burden of 182 housing units in such a dense arrangement and if the aforementioned services have the capacity to serve the proposed plan.
We ask the Council to consider each of these and potential other discrepancies between the proposed zoning change and the definitions, descriptions and criteria of zoning districts within the Code of Ordinances and the recommendations within the Jefferson County Master Plan prior to making a ruling to grant this zone change and development.
Thank you for your consideration,