Dardenne Prairie residents upset over proposed re-zoning for development

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DARDENNE PRAIRIE, MO (KTVI) - A proposed rezoning for a development in Dardenne Prairie has nearby residents up in arms.

The Villages at Bainbridge is just one St. Charles County community that could be heavily impacted by the project, which also borders Lake St. Louis and O’Fallon.

The plan would rezone a 175-acre property, owned by the Bopp family trust, from single-home residential to commercial. The development would consist of a 288-unit apartment complex, and 655,000 square feet of commercial space. Some surrounding roads would be widened, and neighborhood dead ends bulldozed through.

Villages at Bainbridge resident Pamela Walsh worries the proposed development would transform their quiet neighborhood.  She explains, “This is not what we bought into when we moved out here. This is my husband’s and my retirement home, this is where we want our grandchildren to come and feel safe.”

Villages at Bainbridge board member Elliott Stipes has been organizing opposition to the project, especially since a traffic study cites 30,000 additional vehicles per day. He says, “We’re concerned about traffic, we’re concerned about safety of the children in the neighborhood.”

The neighborhood has also retained attorney Stephen Davis to file formal protest petitions against the rezoning of the property.

Davis explains, “We’ve been reaching out to neighbors of this property, both in Villages of Bainbridge, and anyone within 185 feet, so we can have them sign and notarize this petition, this protest action, get it back to us and we can file it with the city.”

Many neighbors learned of the development less than two weeks ago, and with a number of key meetings coming up, they’re ready to fight to the bitter end.  “All of Dardenne Prairie will pretty much be going to these meetings. There’s not going to be one I’m gonna miss,” says Walsh.

The first upcoming meeting will be the November 6th Board of Aldermen meeting, where residents plan to voice their concerns about the project. The Planning and Zoning Commission will vote on rezoning the property on November 13th, and the Board of Aldermen will decide whether to approve that vote at their November 20th meeting.