O’FALLON – At a meeting Tuesday evening, the O’Fallon Planning Commission approved a recommendation to the City Council to move forward with three separate developments on Seven Hills Road.
The future land use and developments include: a professional office complex, a senior living facility and a patio home development.
The three developments would take up approximately 27 acres of land northeast of the intersection of Seven Hills Road and Wesley Drive.
The professional center being proposed would consist of a 25,200 square foot office complex, which would include three buildings and 109 parking spaces.
Community development assistant director Justin Randall said that in terms of traffic concerns, two points of access into the development are being proposed.
There will also be a sidewalk that is extended along Seven Hills Road and signage that will meet city regulations.
The 9.5 acre senior living facility, Vantage Pointe at O’Fallon, would be developed over three separate phases.
The first phase to be developed would be a 92-bed assisted living and memory care facility in a two story building. The second phase consists of a 30-bed independent living facility in a two story building. The final phase is ten attached independent living townhomes. One hundred and twenty two parking spaces would be required per city regulations.
The third Seven Hills Road development, Patio Homes North, consists of 14 acres and 23 lot space for attached single-family residences.
Primary access to the development would be from East Wesley Drive. Randall also noted a future extension of the street would take place and connect to adjacent properties.
“CBB along with our Public Works department looked at what will Wesley (Drive) do in the future. It makes sense for Wesley to begin to move North,” Randall said.
According to the traffic study recommendation discussed at the meeting, the existing traffic volumes on Seven Hills Road indicate that a left turn lane on Seven Hills to Wesley Drive is warranted.
“That is something that this project doesn’t have anything to do with. This is something that existing conditions are warranting,” Randall said.
The traffic study also recommends that in long term, the intersection of Seven Hills Road and Wesley Drive will need to be restructured to accommodate existing traffic and the potential connection of Wesley Drive to Scott-Troy Road.
It also recommends for a left turn lane from East Wesley Drive to southbound Seven Hills Road.
Community Development Director Ted Shekell said that the CBB traffic study did not recommend a traffic light for Scott Troy Road and Wesley Drive.
At the Jan. 8 meeting, O’Fallon residents voiced their concerns about the proposed developments for Seven Hills Road.
Homeowners off of Seven Hills Road and surrounding property owners expressed to the Planning Commission that they were not informed about the proposed projects until hours before the Tuesday meeting.
According to Larry Sewell, Chairman of the Planning Commission, only homeowners within 250 feet of the proposed developments were required to be notified.
A homeowner off of Seven Hills, Robert Dawson, said that he is concerned over the mixed usage of land being proposed near Wesley Drive.
“We’re making a decision about opening Pandora’s box right now that impacts the entire community of citizens here, not just the people who live within 200 feet of this proposed development,” Dawson said.
Patricia Lauderdale, a homeowner on the corner of Wesley Drive and Seven Hills, expressed frustration at the existing condition of traffic on her street.
“I can tell you that traffic is nuts,” Lauderdale said. “I can look out my back door in the morning and traffic is backed up from Carriel school to the roundabout and down on Vincennes Trail.”
“I am one small homeowner on the corner — I bought this house and it was an expensive house. I planned on living there forever but that’s not going to happen because we have people that want to build more office buildings,” she said.
Sewell addressed members of the community and said that the discussion on the developments is the first iteration of the proposals.
“What this commission will do is make a recommendation to the City Council and after that the council will have several iterations and discussions that would include the public and residents like yourself to weigh in on that issue,” he said.
The Planning Commission voted to recommend the proposed developments for Seven Hills Road. The next discussion on the developments will take place at the Community Development Committee meeting on Monday, Jan. 14 and then the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22.