O'Fallon Progress

Savannah developer will get paid back for constructing sewer line

Ernesto R. Segura, real estate development attorney from Husch Blackwell in St. Louis, Mo. representing The Savannah multi-family housing developer, presents information about the proposed sanitary sewer agreement to the village Board of trustees Monday, Feb. 26 during its monthly committee at large meeting.
Ernesto R. Segura, real estate development attorney from Husch Blackwell in St. Louis, Mo. representing The Savannah multi-family housing developer, presents information about the proposed sanitary sewer agreement to the village Board of trustees Monday, Feb. 26 during its monthly committee at large meeting. rkirsch@bnd.com

The developer of a new luxury apartments in Shiloh would pay the up-front cost for construction of a sanitary sewer main, but money would swirl back into the builder's account when others tap onto the line, according to an agreement given preliminary approval Monday by village trustees.

"This will be the public sewer line that will eventually be dedicated to the public, so the village can own it," said Ernesto R. Segura, an attorney with the firm Husch Blackwell, which is representing the developer, Edwardsville-based private equity firm Crevo Capital, which is led by Corey Wenzel.

The Savannah, a 343-unit complex, is being built off of Cross Street, just south of Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, across the street from Tamarack Lane. The plan also calls for amenities like a lake, boathouse, fitness trail, pool and clubhouse. Rent is expected to range from about $1,200 per month for a one-bedroom to a maximum of $2,000 for a three-bedroom, depending on amenities and unit selection.

Trustees, on a 4-1 vote, approved the agreement during their committee meeting Monday night. Trustee Bob Weilmuenster was the lone opposing vote. Trustee Kurt Burrelsman was absent. Trustee Colleen Powers was present electronically over conference call.

The agreement between Savannah Land Holding Fund LLC and the village will allow the developer to recoup costs of implementing a 12-inch sanitary sewer line from the northern property line to a connection with the village's 12-inch line parallel to Interstate 64. The estimated cost is $336,100.

"State law allows for that money to be reimbursed to the private party developing the public sewer over time," Segura said. "This is nothing that comes out of pocket from the village. This is something that, as future development occurs, fees are paid to the village, and that money is then reimbursed to the developer. "This does not impact taxes in school districts, or anybody like that. This is as development occurs money would come back."

Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen's principal engineer Marsha Maller said the 12-inch line will be able to accommodate the entire project site, as well as another large, multi-family development of similar size, or multiple retail, commercial sites. Whenever some new builder wishes to hook onto the line in the future, the tap-on fees the village charges would go back to The Savannah. Maller said sewer size capacity was analyzed when Memorial Hospital East construction was underway in 2013.

While village officials continue to green light the project, a lawsuit over the development is still pending in St. Clair County Circuit Court. Shiloh resident Charlotte Cox, of 1705 Cross St., filed a suit over a series of confusing votes and re-votes last fall that gave approval to the project. On some of the votes, Mayor Jim Vernier was the tie-breaker. The next court hearing in the case is slated for 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 22.

Resident asks for building variance

Following a public hearing and a Planning Commission, village officials unanimously approved building code variances so Derek Strunk can build a pole barn and a house on six acres at 417 Three Springs Trail.

Shiloh Planning Commission members approved Strunk's variance request, though did so with the caveat of a time limitation.

The property is is currently zoned non-urban (NU). Village code allows for pole barns to be built in NU districts, but only as an secondary building, and not before a primary structure, like a home, is built.

"Our plan, is, and always has been to build a house on this land, but unfortunately timing is not ideal," Strunk said.

Strunk said he plans to "begin construction as soon as possible, with our long-term goal of moving onto Three Springs Trail by 2019."

After questions from commission members, Strunk agreed to a time limitation being implemented, which stipulates that he has until Jan. 1, 2020 to have the home built on the property.

"I don't have a place to live right now. I'm bouncing around between staying with my girlfriend and my son's, so I want to have it done before that," Strunk said.

Strunk plans to use the 4,800-square-foot pole barn to store materials, equipment and vehicles while he is building his new log house on the site.

"Due to the long lead time for log home kits about eight to 12 months, and the sale of (my) current residence, we are currently dislocated with storage options," Strunk said.

There is no sewer system currently available on the property, but Strunk said he has plans to implement one.

"I had the St. Clair County Health Department out there already," Strunk said.

Denise Carroll, a neighboring property owner, asked questions about the visibility of future parked vehicles or potential eyesores on Strunk's adjoining property.

"In the last four years I've planted 1, 550 trees here, so you're not going to be able to see (anything on my property), purposefully," Strunk said.

In other business

Other actions taken by the board Monday included:

  • Hartman Lakes residential development preliminary plat was unanimously approved. Excavation for 63-acre multi-family project at the northwest corner of Hartman and Thouvenot lanes has already begun.

  • An agreement was approved to have the city of O'Fallon's emergency call center handle calls from Shiloh. The contract will begin May 1, 2018 and will have an annual cost of $140,000. Shiloh Police Chief Rich Wittenauer told trustees that O'Fallon's call center service is exceptional, it has superior technology, and comes at a cheaper rate than what Swansea pays Belleville for the same services.
  • Jean Frierdich, long-time metro-east fireworks vendor, announced plans to host a free fireworks display for local residents for her fourth year in Shiloh in honor of the Fourth of July holiday.

All items approved during the committee at-large meeting held Monday will go before the board of trustees for a final vote Monday, March 5.