A home building company from St. Charles County is proposing a 200-home subdivision development on a wooded lot in Truesdale, leading to questions and a few concerns from nearby …
A home building company from St. Charles County is proposing a 200-home subdivision development on a wooded lot in Truesdale, leading to questions and a few concerns from nearby residents.
Representatives of T.R. Hughes Homes presented their project, labeled “Elkhorn Ridge,” to Truesdale aldermen and the public at two meetings in January. The development would be located on Veterans Memorial Parkway, directly east of the Heritage Hills subdivision.
Spokesperson Shawn Luesse said the planned lots would be in several different sizes to meet different needs and price points. All of the proposed development would be single-family homes. The streets in the subdivision would have one exit onto the parkway and a street connection to Heritage Hills.
Luesse said the company had recently finished building out 500 lots in St. Charles County, and saw the opportunity to begin building in this area. If things go well, he said crews would like to begin moving dirt this year.
“There’s some exciting things going on out here in Truesdale, things like the meat processing plant and so on, and we foresee there’s going to be a need for some housing,” Luesse said.
T.R. Hughes has also offered to finance an extension of the Truesdale water system to better serve the subdivision and neighboring properties, and in exchange is requesting a waiver of future water connection fees for homes.
Truesdale city residents were invited to participate in a town hall meeting Jan. 31 to express their thoughts on the proposal and ask questions. Several dozen, mostly from Heritage Hills, attended the gathering.
Most of the questions were aimed at how the development could impact existing homes with things like water runoff and traffic. Several neighbors expressed complaints about substandard work done by their own subdivision builders, and worried those problems would be replicated next door.
Luesse replied that the property would be designed so that water drains eastward, away from Heritage Hills, and that all other infrastructure would conform to the Truesdale building code.
Responding to a question about house pricing, Luesse said that has not yet been determined because the company needs to learn about the differences in the housing market between this area and St. Charles.
Alderman Mike Thomas, who lives in Heritage Hills, said it’s understandable if neighbors are nervous, saying that their own builders had done poor work and given flimsy promises.
“There was a couple builders that took advantage of us,” Thomas commented, saying that aldermen had learned from that experience and are examining a planning and zoning code to ensure quality developments in the future.
“Something sooner or later was going to develop at that property, and I’d rather it be something that fits with the property we already have,” he added.
Another challenge for the city will be public services. Mayor Chris Watson said that for Truesdale, 200 homes is a major population expansion, and the city would likely need to expand its police and public works staff to provide adequate service.
One more hurdle for the project was ensuring adequate sewer service. Truesdale sewage treatment is provided by the neighboring city of Warrenton.
Luesse said his firm has already visited with Warrenton staff and gotten approval for 200 homes.
Ironically, the Elkhorn Ridge subdivision is proposed at the exact same property where, two years ago, Warrenton rejected sewer service because of system capacity concerns.
For about the last year, leaders of both cities have been in periodic negotiations to reevaluate that decision. That’s led to a recent compromise that makes limited additional capacity available to allow more development in Truesdale, Mayor Watson said.