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Revision requests for Downtown Chesterfield meet with concern from residents

Aerial for Wildhorse Village development site [Source: City of Chesterfield]

At the virtual Planning Commission meeting on April 27, members asked to see more visuals of proposed changes to a property planned for nearly 100 acres in Downtown Chesterfield.

The proposed Wildhorse Village development consists of 99.6 acres located west and southwest of the intersection of Interstate 64 and Chesterfield Parkway West. Nearly 11 acres of the site include the mixed-use Wildhorse development already underway and the adjacent 128-room AC Hotel.

Currently under construction are The Pearl [above, orange], which will abut an AC Hotel by Marriott. [Source: TR,i Architects]

Property owner Jeff Tegethoff, president of Pearl Capital Management, is seeking amendments for the remaining 78-acre Planned Commercial and Residence District [PC&R] that surrounds an existing lake on the site.

At the April 27 meeting, George Stock, of Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, laid out the vision for the residential and commercial mixed-use development. It includes a landscape of boardwalks, trails and gathering places planned around the lake’s edge.

The urban lakefront would serve as a “front door” for residential, office and retail buildings, Stock said. An urban Main Street would run from Burkhardt Place around the lake to Veterans Parkway. Tree-lined streets would have perpendicular or parallel parking on them, but the primary parking will be parking structures.

A rendering of the proposed lake front at Wildhorse Village [Source: City of Chesterfield]
A rendering of proposed pedestrian walkways at Wildhorse Village [Source: City of Chesterfield]

The northwest lake edge would have multi-family residential buildings and commercial spaces. On the southeast lake edge, plans include a town center inspired retail environment with living above small-scale shops and community needs like a grocery.

“It will truly be a downtown environment where people can live, work, eat, shop and enjoy amenities,” Stock said.

The residential hills would be populated by townhomes and live-work units in a diverse set of sizes and configurations. A mixed-use hub would include boardwalks, parks, the existing Chesterfield Amphitheater and a boathouse.

Mike Knight, assistant city planner, said there are 12 amendments proposed to the development requirements of the existing ordinance allowing the development. One amendment includes removing the distance requirement between buildings.

“Buildings close in proximity to each other is a common element along a traditional urban Main Street,” Knight said.

The second and third amendments would increase the first floor and upper story height restrictions. The sole impact to this request would be the possibility of taller first and upper story floors within proposed buildings, Knight said.

Another amendment, in relation to the building’s street façade requirement, is intended to have buildings closer to the roadway as is often seen on a traditional downtown Main Street. The developer is requesting to remove perimeter roads Wild Horse Creek, Burkhardt Place and Chesterfield Parkway West from the street façade requirement.

The remaining amendments would remove the requirement of retail on the first floor, permit office and residential on all floors, and delete the requirement for ground floor retail in order to have parking structures along a street frontage.

However, residents involved in Citizens for Developing Downtown Chesterfield have reservations. They want to preserve the vision created in the Envision Chesterfield Comprehensive Plan.

Kelli Herries Unnerstall said the group does not support some of the revisions, particularly on Lake Front Road. They want to limit the number of buildings and not allow a parking structure there, so it doesn’t resemble West Port Plaza, she said.

“Lake Front Road is the most beautiful part of the development,” Unnerstall said. “You need to tighten the standards there.”

She also requested that the amenities mentioned — trails, boardwalks and community gathering places be included in the ordinance.

Chesterfield resident Ray Bosenbecker wants to add even more restrictions by decreasing housing density, increasing owner-occupied units, putting a cap on the number of rental units and preserving a higher percentage of green space. Otherwise, they could build nothing but Watermark, he said, referring to the recently opened apartment complex on Lydia Hill Drive.

Tegethoff said he plans to “carry the mantle for [Louis] Sachs,” whose vision for Downtown Chesterfield helped to shape many early decisions for the city.

The late Louis Sachs with a model of his original vision for Downtown Chesterfield. [Source: Sachs Properties]
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