Even though questions continue about a company grading without following the proper procedure, aldermen waived city ordinances Jan. 2 to allow another company to begin grading prior to approval of a required development plat.
ADB Companies submitted a permit applicaion Dec. 27 asking to begin grading on a 15-acre site at 18777 U.S. Highway 66 that includes four parcels on Hill View Drive, located west of the Eureka Fire Department training center. All of the property is in St. Louis County.
ADB provides utility construction for telecom, electric, broadband, water and sewer facilities.
The requested grading is for future construction of an office and fleet maintenance facility on the Route 66 site.
The company plans to construct a 20,370-square-foot office building, a 26,400-square-foot maintenance building, parking area improvements, stormwater detention facilities, fenced outside storage and other improvements.
City ordinance stipulates that a subdivision plat be granted before a grading permit is issued.
While no subdivision plat has been approved for the development, City Administrator Steve Roth said the firm had submitted an application for a subdivision plat and PUD development plan approval. The measure is scheduled for a public hearing before the Pacific Planning and Zoning Commission Jan. 23.
City Attorney Robert Jones said the aldermen could waive the ordinance requiring prior plat approval before issuing a grading permit if certain conditions were made.
Aldermen seemed willing to accommodate the firm, which promises to bring 300 new jobs to the city.
But Alderman Carol Johnson said residents of Hill View Drive, who are neighbors of the property, have to be notified of the decision before grading begins.
Johnson, acting president of the board, chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Jeff Palmore. She said the board had made promises to Hill View Drive residents that they would be notified of all future action on the proposed development.
“The residents down there want to be notified and we assured them that they would be,” she said. “We should do that before grading is approved.”
Alderman Nick Chlebowski said residents had been made aware of grading, but City Administrator Steve Roth said the PUD public hearing would not be in the newspaper until the weekend of Jan. 6. He said signs will be posted at the site next week.
Alderman Andrew Nemeth said he believed the city should wait on approving the grading permit.
“We owe it to the property owners. I don’t see why we don’t wait. We need to hold hard lines so things don’t run amok,” Nemeth said. “It’s concerning.”
Chlebowski said ADB had gone through steps and should not be punished.
“We’re just holding them to the same standard,” Nemeth said.
“They (the developer) have been willing to come to us with everything they need,” Chlebowski said.
“We know that, but the property owners don’t know that,” Johnson said.
Chlebowski said the city could require a surety bond.
Roth said ADB had offered a $1,000 security bond for grading, which would cover the cost to seed and straw the site if grading was stopped for any reason.
A spokesman for the firm said a DNR grading permit required that if grading stopped for 14 days, the developer would have to reseed the property.
ADB wants to complete construction of the buildings in order to hold the company’s Christmas party there next year.
Following a motion and second, aldermen approved the waiver for grading to begin, but required a $1,500 surety bond that the city could collect if grading stops.