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Concerns grow over potential Hwy. 109 congestion in Eureka

By: Jessica Meszaros

The intersection of highways 109 and W, just south of Eureka, is the proposed site of a high-density subdivision that opponents say could result in traffic woes. [Google Earth photo]

On June 24, an ordinance was introduced to the Jefferson County Council that, if passed, would approve the rezoning of about 172.63 acres off of Hwy. 109, just south of Eureka, for the development of a subdivision consisting of about 549 lots.

Named Windswept Farms and championed by Chesterfield-based McBride & Son Homes, the high-density subdivision will have frontage and entrances on highways 109, W and FF and also will include homes constructed by Fischer & Frichtel and Consort Homes.

At the April 27 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, the zoning failed to gain a positive recommendation to the county council. However, the council still has the issue before it and residents in nearby Eureka have expressed concern.

A petition on Change.org titled “Eureka Neighbors Against High-Density Zoning at Hwy 109/W/FF” had over 600 signatures in early August. The same petition also has a page on iPetitions.com and, in early August, had about 463 signatures and more than 130 comments from Eureka residents.

According to Judy Wagner, area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, MoDOT has received calls from concerned residents in Eureka and Jefferson County in regard to possible traffic congestion on Hwy. 109 should the development win approval. Due to the fact that all three roads [highways 109, W and FF] are under MoDOT’s jurisdiction, McBride & Son Homes will have to submit a traffic study, gauging the possible impact on local roads, in order to receive a permit to begin construction.

“We do have kind of a leg up to reassure the developer looks at those things, otherwise we wouldn’t issue the permit,” Wagner said. “Right now, we’re just in the waiting phase. Once we get that study back, then they can begin to evaluate the possible road impacts.”

If the rezoning is approved, the developer’s next step would be to officially submit its plans and traffic study to MoDOT, which would be evaluated by MoDOT, Jefferson County council members and officials from the Eureka community.

“We would all sit down with that traffic study and come to a consensus there,” Wagner said. “We all have to be partners.”

The development also would be zoned within the Rockwood School District [RSD], and residents have expressed concerns about the development overflowing already crowded schools in the community. According to RSD Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost, the rezoning of the Windswept Farms development was considered alongside the Arbors of Rockwood subdivision, located off of Workman Road in Eureka, while crafting Proposition T, which was passed in April 2017 to expand Rockwood’s facilities to cope with the influx of new neighborhoods in the Eureka area.

“That’s exactly why we’re proposing the new Eureka elementary school, which is a bigger school,” Knost said. “We’re also converting a portion of the older Eureka Elementary for early childhood classes, which means we won’t have the need to house any of those classes at Geggie or Blevins elementary. We developed the plan we did including an add-on to Geggie Elementary, and we think we’re going to be in good shape.”

The ordinance will be placed on the agenda for a possible final passage vote at the Jefferson County Council meeting on Aug. 14. The site’s development plan must still be evaluated with criteria from the Department of County Services and Code Enforcement and MoDOT.

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