GRHA Testimony to the Maryland Heights Zoning and Planning Commission Meeting
January 11, 2022 City of Maryland Heights Planning and Zoning Commission
Good evening. I would like to thank the commission for the opportunity to speak tonight. My name is Mike Checkett. I am the Executive Director of the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance.
Great Rivers Habitat Alliance represents a group of landowners and citizens concerned about the current floodplain development trends within the Confluence. Our MISSION: Protecting the 100-year Confluence floodplain for the benefit of wildlife, historic waterfowling, agriculture, clean water and people.
GRHA addresses issues affecting wetland habitat and promotes sensible use of floodplains in the confluence region of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers through policy, protection, conservation, public awareness and education.
We fundamentally disagree with any development within the 100-year floodplain but find the Creve Coeur Lake Apartment Complex proposal particularly concerning.
The location is too close to sensitive natural areas of Creve Coeur Park and associated wetlands and would threaten the health and beauty of that area. Creve Coeur Lake and associated wetlands are an urban oasis for wildlife and people alike. The development would forever alter the aesthetic beauty of Creve Coeur Park and likely impact water quality of the lake and surrounding wetlands. This area should be protected for the health and wellbeing of all in Maryland Heights.
The proposed development and zoning amendment is not in accordance with the general development pattern and character of the Maryland Park Lake District. Which is characterized by recreation, agriculture, and other open space uses. Those zoning designations are more appropriate in a flood-prone area.
The proposed development is in the 100-year floodplain and will decrease the natural floodwater storage capacity of the floodplain, resulting in increased risk of flooding of neighboring properties and downstream.
Most importantly bringing people to live in a floodplain and keeping people, in particular families, in flood-prone areas is irresponsible and dangerous. Why assume the risk of life and property? There are certainly more suitable areas to develop for multi-family.
In closing I would pose the questions: How deep were these properties during flooding in 1993, 1995, 2019 and as recent as 2020. When will it flood again? Sooner than later? You know the answer.
Again, we fundamentally oppose any development in the 100-year floodplain. However, with all due respect, this project is especially reckless and represents the definition of insanity.
You should have written comments submitted to the commission addressing additional issues.
For the reasons set forth above and written, we respectfully request the Planning and Zoning Commission should recommend denial of the Preliminary Development Plan and the proposed Zoning Map Amendment.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak against rezoning this property, your time and leadership.