O'Fallon Progress

Developer changes plans for O'Fallon property from office park to subdivision

Developer Rich Gorazd had planned an office park at East Wesley Drive and Executive Court in O'Fallon, but it never materialized. Now, he wants to build houses.

The 20.9-acre property has sat vacant for years. Citing current market conditions, he now has proposed a 54-home residential subdivision called The Patio Homes at Seven Hills, which will follow a popular area model — single-family homes, but outside the "footprint" of the home, all the land will be held in common by the homeowners' association.

This allows residents to have the benefit of a yard, without having to do all the work to maintain it themselves. These types of subdivisions have become particularly attractive to retirees, but this development will not be age restricted.

A small, private road and several private cul-de-sacs have been added to the required roads, already in place.

To allow this, an update to the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map, and a zoning amendment to change to single-family residential must take place.

At it's meeting Monday, the O'Fallon City Council advanced both ordinances on first reading, to be acted upon at the March 19 meeting.

The council also approved the first reading of a development amendment, and final approval will be acted on at the March 19 council meeting. Marriot TownePlace Suites, a five-story hotel at 445 Regency Park, is currently under construction. However, the developer is seeking a change to its signage plan approved August 2016. Initially, a small off-site directional sign was planned, but after re-evaluation, wants to amend a planned use approval to allow a full-size monument sign instead. The amendment would also include one additional wall sign on the building, bringing the total to four.

Sewer project

The council also approved funds for sewer projects and advanced two requests from a hotel and subdivision for final votes March 19.

To replace a south sanitary sewer trunk main that was constructed in the late 1960s, the council approved $2.05 million bid from Haier Plumbing and Heating for the Woodstream sewer bypass phase 1 project. The project will replace 1,800 linear feet of the existing 21-inch concrete sewer with a 30-inch PVC sewer, and include three bores under Quarry Road, Rock Springs Branch, and the CSX railroad.

The council approved applying for a community development block grant for the East State Street sewer improvement project. The city wants to design and build a sewer system to serve the 17 homes and the O’Fallon Township building, which are located along the south side of East State Street, between Lee Drive and Seven Hills Road.

The St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department required a resolution of support to be considered for grant funding.

Other Action

In a formality, the city approved the transfer of the volume cap in connection with private activity bond issuance. Alderman Rich Meile explained that the Southwestern Illinois Development Authority has requested the city transfer its unused Illinois Private Activity Bond allocation, which is $2,969,505. Home Rule municipalities could use it for a limited area of industrial economic authority, but the city will not use it by the May 1 deadline, and without this transfer, the funds would revert back to the state. Staff recommended it be transferred to SWIDA for area use and would have no effect on the city's financial status. The city has processed 10 transfers, and should the city have a use of this authority in the future, the city would be in a better position to request assistance from SWIDA.

An IDOT construction engineering services agreement with SCI Engineering Inc., not to exceed $62,555.45, was authorized for intersection improvements to North Green Mount Road and Central Park Drive.

The council approved a special event permit for Hemingway’s for a second annual St. Patrick's Day party from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17. A tent will be erected at the rear of the building, 123 E. State St. The council stipulated the music must not be amplified outdoors. If it is to be amplified, then it must be located inside. The permit was necessary because of alcohol, but the city said no alcohol is permitted outside the tent. The tent must meet building codes and will be inspected.

Mayor Herb Roach announced three more additional sponsors for the City Fest: Bernardi Securities, GCS Credit Union, and Green Mount Family Dentistry.

The mayor will have evening office hours from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at City Hall.

Police Chief Eric Van Hook announced that two police academies — one for seniors and ones for youths — are being planned. The Senior Police Academy is March 20 while the Youth Police Academy is June 18-22.