The St. Clair County Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday recommended a petition from Daniel and Lynette Toenjes to run a brick contracting company along Forest Hill Road north of Millstadt be denied.
The couple is asking for a special use permit to run the brick company, Toenjes Brick Contracting Inc., that already exists at 3040 Forest Hill School Road on property currently zoned “agricultural industry.”
Commissioners George Meister, Alexa Edwards, Patti Gregory, The Rev. Gene Rhoden and Scott Penny voted to recommend denial of the request.
Commissioner Charles Frederick was the lone dissenter on the board.
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The County Board is now set to review the petition.
In 2001, the Toenjes family first approached the county about using the property, which they bought in 2001 and moved into in 2002, for business purposes.
The zoning board’s vote then was a tie. The family withdrew their request, but operated the business on the property anyway after closing up its Belleville shop in 2004.
“The petitioner in 2001 knew that approval was required from the zoning board and ultimately the county board before he could operate a brick contracting company upon his property,” Edwards said. “Despite this knowledge, the petitioner decided to develop his brick contracting company upon this property without the required consent and approval by this board or the county board, all in contravention to the Zoning Code of St. Clair County.”
After Monday’s zoning meeting, Daniel Toenjes declined to comment.
The motion presented by Edwards said the county’s comprehensive plan calls for the area to be “agricultural preservation,” which is for areas traditionally used for farming and raising animals.
Edwards also referred to a letter from Scott Tade, of Tade Appraisal Company in Belleville, who said commercial use on the property would adversely affect surrounding property values.
Structures currently on the site were not built to commercial or business specifications and code, and were not inspected by the proper authorities, Edwards added.
In Edwards’ motion, she said roads in the area were not built or intended for commercial business development.
“While traffic circulation may be minimally impacted, the rural roads are not intended for commercial business traffic, and will likely lend themselves to faster deterioration,” Edwards said.
Edwards added the brick company was not compatible with adjacent uses in the vicinity.
“The zoning board does not agree with (the) petitioner that his proposed special use is similar to a farming operation,” Edwards said.