Housing Developer’s Next Step Will Be the City Council

By Carol Arnett

Update – June 20: Mark Behlmann reports that the petition to rezone the property has been withdrawn by the petitioner. Mayor Tom Schneider confirmed that the developer withdrew the petition.

The Florissant Planning and Zoning Commission (P and Z) heard from Steve Goldenberg on  Monday, June 17, on behalf of the Penny Investment Group, regarding the group’s request to rezone property located at 1415 Carla. This is at the north end of New Florissant Rd.

Mark Behlmann previously owned the property and began a development there before the economy and personal reasons caused him to stop before it was finished.

Behlmann has been speaking out against Penny Investment Group and their plans for the property. Behlmann said he is opposed because the investment group wants to build low-income housing at the site.

The company submitted an application to the Missouri Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) for tax credits last October. Behlmann said he spoke against the developer at the MHDC meeting and has worked to urge residents to write letters opposing the project. The development company withdrew its application in early November

Behlmann has also asked the city and P and Z not to approve the project. “I do not feel that our community has an unfulfilled need to encourage new low-income housing developments here in North County, let along the city of Florissant,” Behlmann said.

Behlmann said after the last council meeting that approximately 175 people have sent letters to the Florissant council members and Mayor Tom Schneider opposing the development.

At the P and Z meeting Monday night, the developer did not mention the MHDC application. Goldenberg asked P and Z for a rezoning of the property from R6 to R4 to consolidate the property for eventually one plan They would like to include a secondary entrance, a proposal suggested by the fire department and chief.

Behlmann again expressed his opposition to the development and referenced the emails and mail the city has received opposed to subsidized housing on the site.

Behlmann said the developer “is requesting a zoning change, but not indicating what their intent is” for the property.

P and Z voted 3-3 on the rezoning. The developer’s next step is to go before the city council with a detailed proposal.


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