Schneider Not Pleased With Council Opposing Rowles Subdivision Re-design Plans

He Wanted to Wait For Pagano’s Vote

 

By Carol Arnett

The Florissant City Council got into a sometimes heated debate over a proposed bill that would allow the Rowles Company to change the plan for the residential design development at 2315, 2355, and 2375 Charbonier Road, across from Koch Park. The development, Park Side Estates, was originally approved as a Residential Design Development.

Rowles has asked the city to allow smaller homes than those originally approved. The plan for the development was originally a subdivision of single family homes with approximately 1600 square feet, retailing for approximately $170,000. The changes requested called for homes as small as 1200 square feet, selling for $140,000.

At a previous meeting, Rowles representative Scott Paul said that the request was made because there are currently only four homes in the subdivision and Rowles still owns two of them.

Mayor Tom Schneider addressed the council on the issue. He noted that some on the council never wanted the project. “With all due respect to those who never wanted it,” he said, “it should move forward.” He said that the square footage still exceeded the average in the community. “They are reducing the size, not the quality.”

Councilman John Grib disagreed. “I am opposed to this,” he said. “The Planning and Zoning Commision (P and Z) has denied this twice.” Grib also added that he did not think the changes were minor. “A 25 percent or more reduction, to me, is not a minor change.”

Councilman Mark Schmidt pointed out that the worst case scenario if the change was approved was a subdivision of 1200 square foot houses. “If we do nothing, the area stays vacant.”

“We should not get in the habit of overriding P and Z,” Grib countered.

After a motion to postpone the bill failed in a 4-4 tie, Schneider had harsh words for the council. Councilwoman Jackie Pagano was absent due to a family illness, and Schneider said the council should have waited for her to vote on the bill.

“I’m very alarmed that four members of the council are highjacking this,” he said. “You are taking advantage of a member being gone by not postponing this,” he said.

After the move to postpone the bill failed, the council voted against the bill, with only Schmidt and Keith Schildroth voting for the bill.



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