Shiloh leaders recently decided that less is more, approving a $35 million luxury apartment development and denying a $49 million luxurious-er apartment development.
In a confusing mess of a meeting, they rushed through a development agreement for a $35 million, 311-unit luxury apartment development called The Savannah. The apartment complex will be on Cross Street, not far from the new Memorial Hospital East.
Trustee Bob Weilmuenster said the process was wrong Sept. 5, with the development being voted down and then brought to two other tie votes that Mayor Jim Vernier broke in favor of the development. Weilmuenster is planning and development chair in the village and didn’t see changes to the plans until the meeting.
He also plans to sue because the development was voted down, 4-2, and a village ordinance states you can’t bring a proposal back for a year after it is rejected.
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Vernier said changes were minor and the vote came because it was “on the agenda.” As far as the year wait after a rejection, Vernier said the village attorney was right there and advised them to proceed with the votes.
OK. But what was the hurry? There were concerned residents there and at multiple meetings before it. Trustees had little time to thoughtfully assess the final plans that cut 24 units and lowered the height of some buildings.
Haste leaves the public worried about whether their voices were heard or concerns considered. It makes them wonder whose interests are taking priority.
Further muddying the plans and intentions was what trustees rejected at the same meeting. The Retreat at Shiloh would have been a $49 million, 276-apartment development across Frank Scott from Three Springs Park. They rejected it 6-0.
A development that would have been worth an extra $14 million for 35 fewer apartments was deemed unworthy, why? It is right next to the property where the Auffenberg car dealerships are planning to move from O’Fallon. It also was really close to the Three Springs development Dierberg’s is pursuing, also known as that prominent patch of dirt across from the shopping area and behind the bank.
This game of development chess deserves slow consideration. Time reveals more, especially when making permanent changes to your community.