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Chesterfield City Council approves rezoning for new sports complex

Rendering of an ice arena proposed for the Chesterfield Valley

At the Oct. 2 meeting, Chesterfield’s city council approved an amended ordinance to rezone a 17.95-acre tract of land located at 18385 Chesterfield Airport Road from an industrial district to a planned commercial [PC] district. The petitioned development is the $22.65 million Chesterfield Sportscomplex to be located on the Chesterfield Valley site. The legislation received its first reading and was unanimously approved by the Chesterfield City Council on Sept. 18.

The Chesterfield Hockey Association [CHA] petitioned the rezoning. The CHA will fund, construct and operate the Sportscomplex, which will feature a two-sheet ice rink and serve as a multi-use facility.

After some discussion at the last session about the ordinance’s language regarding access and access management, the council unanimously passed a blue sheet amendment at its Oct. 2 meeting. The amendment states that the interim access road connecting to the development from the south through the current Valley Village development [Comfort Inn & Suites] shall be restricted by either or both of the following:

• [Option A] by removing the access point entirely at the northern access point to the Valley Village development [south side of the new Olive Street Road extension] or

• [Option B] by limiting the movement to right-in right-out only access at the southern access point to the Valley Village development [north side of Chesterfield Airport Road].

A motion was made by Councilmember Tom DeCampi [Ward 4] to postpone the ordinance’s second reading until after Nov. 7, following the Chesterfield Valley Transportation Development District [TDD] election, where voters will decide whether to extend a 3/8-cent sales tax to fund up to $7 million of transportation-related improvements for the complex.

“I think it would be proper that we not put the cart before the horse and we see what the result of the TDD election is, which is very politically charged and controversial,” DeCampi said. “We’re talking about $7 million in tax money to be spent on a private enterprise. If TDD election fails, there’s no point in rezoning.”

DeCampi’s concerns were echoed by Councilmember Ben Keathley [Ward 2], who was concerned with the lack of certainty of the development’s financing prior to the election.

“It’s speculative zoning at this point,” Keathley said. “I think, before we start going in and rezoning land, it’s important that we know the projects proposed for that land are actually going to happen. Otherwise, you’re zoning and amending it later when plans change. It’s inefficient and leads to a waste of time in some cases. I think it would be more appropriate to wait.”

Ultimately, the motion to postpone failed 6-2 on the grounds that the property’s general rezoning was separate from any specific development.

“The zoning is non-controversial,” Councilmember Barry Flachsbart [Ward 1] said. “The zoning is for a [commercial] district and it’s appropriate, and if that development isn’t built, it might come back to the council again for another use, but in fact, they have a lot of uses there already.”

The 3/8-cent sales tax originally received voter approval in a 2005 election, and projects affected by the vote have largely seen completion.

The rezoning ordinance received its second reading on Oct. 2 as planned and was passed by the council with a 6-2 vote in favor.

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