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Amendment of CID to bring large retailer

Last Thursday night’s Farmington City Council meeting ended on two high notes. First, the city administrator reported that sales tax collections are running roughly 2.25 percent above prior year to date. Second, it was announced that the Community Improvement District, or CID, which includes the former Gundaker commercial development at the corner of Maple Street and Maple Valley Drive, would be amended at the next meeting later this month to make way for a large retailer.

Pulaski Bank, owner of the shopping center, has confirmed that a contract has been reached to bring a large retailer to the shopping center.

Beavers said the name of the retailer could be released publicly once the council took action to amend the CID, clearing the way for Pulaski and the retailer to move forward with developing the property. That should happen at the next council meeting on Aug. 27.

As for the sale tax collections, Beavers reported that sales tax revenue is up some 2.25 percent over prior year. The city had budgeted for sales tax revenue to be “flat” with no increase over the previous year.

In other matters, a proposed development is causing some neighbors concern.

Initially a development of 50 duplexes was planned for an area off Old Fredericktown Road adjacent to Westmeyer Meadows. Now a new owner has amended that plan to, instead, include 40 single family homes.

Thursday night’s Farmington City Council meeting began with a public hearing for a proposed Ridge Haven Subdivision to be built by D & L Developers, Inc. The plan calls for the neighborhood to be built south of Westmeyer Meadows and constructed in two phases. The area backing up to Westmeyer and fronting Old Fredericktown Road would be built first. The second phase would be built starting up to five years after ground was broken on the first phase.

City Planner Tim Barnes outlined the plan for the new subdivision. He told how the initial developer who wanted to build “multi-family” housing had abandoned the project, and how a new developer had stepped in and drafted a new plan to build single family homes instead. When asked if homeowners nearby were more accepting of the new plan, Barnes said in some ways they seemed to be. But, he added, there were still some concerns.

For nearly an hour Barnes and several residents of Westmeyer Meadows discussed potential issues with utility easements, roadway frontage, traffic concerns and other topics. The major concern was how stormwater runoff would be handled. It was said repeatedly that Westmeyer Meadows was developed with some serious flaws in how stormwater was handled.

Barnes explained that the city council recently amended its stormwater ordinances to require better engineering and implementation of how runoff is handled. He assured those present that the new requirements and the new developer’s plan would divert runoff in such a way to avoid more problems, and likely correct some existing problems in Westmeyer Meadows and along Old Fredericktown Road.

After much discussion, City Administrator Greg Beavers suggested an open house meeting be held in coming days for adjacent property owners to attend and discuss their concerns in more detail. He said Public Works Director Larry Lacy would be present for the meeting, and they could “lay out maps” and have a thorough discussion to address all the concerns.

With the public hearing portion of the meeting completed, Mayor Stuart “Mit” Landrum moved down the agenda to the Public Participation time. The only person to address the council on an issue other than the proposed new subdivision was Leonard Link. He asked if the council had taken any action to rectify an ongoing nuisance problem on Ste. Genevieve Avenue.

Link explained how some residents of the mobile home park off Ste. Genevieve Avenue next door to a 24-hour convenience store are continually bothered by noise from people congregating on the gas station parking lot. The issue was raised at a council meeting earlier this year. At that time it was reported that police were responding when called and issuing citations when complainants could identify the offending party.

Landrum asked Councilman Darrel Holdman if a meeting had been held between the convenience store and mobile home park owners. He said it was his understanding that Holdman would set up the meeting and then notify Landrum to attend. The mayor said he would not be controlling the meeting, but instead would try to simply see that the concerns voiced during council meetings was discussed.

Holdman said the meeting was never held to his knowledge. He agreed to help contact the two owners and try to establish a time to meet with the mayor. Meanwhile, Link was told, the police are responding when called, and there’s no other city ordinance that is seemingly being violated by the group hanging out on the commercial lot.

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