An end to the Western sprawl?

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects within St. Charles County, including St. Charles, O'Fallon, St. Peters, Wentzville and more.
Looks like developers are admitting they can't keep going west. Maybe we won't see the Shoppes of Montgomery City.



http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/s ... enDocument

"Most young couples have two cars going out daily," [Sandy Stokes, the Foristell city administrator] said. "Fuel prices affect a lot of things, but you just adjust. Face it: We're not going to stop driving."



Ah, I love it. It's like the person who says "Damn the consequences. I'm just not going to quit smoking."

steve wrote:
"Most young couples have two cars going out daily," [Sandy Stokes, the Foristell city administrator] said. "Fuel prices affect a lot of things, but you just adjust. Face it: We're not going to stop driving."



Ah, I love it. It's like the person who says "Damn the consequences. I'm just not going to quit smoking."




I love Sandy Stokes's mentality. If more people were like Sandy, my dream of Jefferson City and Columbia offically being part of the St. Louis MSA/St. Louis suburbs may become reality!





(By the way, I was just kidding!)

why do people freak out over sprawl?

stl1991 wrote:
why do people freak out over sprawl?




^ Yes this should be fun... Consider the can of worms open!

stl1991 wrote:
why do people freak out over sprawl?




Why do people freak out if you set foot east of Skinker?

I wish people would just stop freaking out about where other people live altogether. :wink:



That said, I do believe there should be some reasonable limits. I don't believe in telling people where they should or shouldn't live, but I don't see the benefit in sprawl continuing westward toward Columbia and Jefferson City. Since growth boundaries are probably out of the question in Missouri, I have to believe natural limits (like the price of gas) will reign in sprawl to the point where it doesn't expand far beyond its current reach.

ThreeOneFour wrote:
I wish people would just stop freaking out about where other people live altogether. :wink:





Our housing patterns are more segregated now than before as are our schools. I think we should care a little more.

im all for density and a bigger downtown but i live in the counties and i can see myself moving back out to the county to raise my children

I don't think it's a matter of a "bigger" downtown.



It's the fact that people left cities due in no small part to white flight. Granted, the big waves were decades ago, but I believe that prevailing thought remains.



But, so as not to turn this into yet another discussion about racism and classism, I also believe that true sprawl contributes to the homogenization of our state and our country in general. A typical, very general example is this: A sprawl-driven "community" might feature homes sitting on 3+ acres (often with fences, hedges, stones or other barriers to say "this is mine, that is yours"); strip malls or shopping centers of Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Applebee's; and recreation that revolves around a high school football game once a week and parking in the woods behind a local farm. And you have to drive -- not walk or take transit -- between all of these things.



That's a little harsh and very, very, very generalized, I know. The point I'm trying to make is this: Sprawl encourages sameness and diverts resources away from cities and towns that want to make true community filled with cultural, artistic, and people-driven endeavors. Sprawl notices the richness of a city or community -- one like St. Louis City, for example -- and tries to replicate it 30 miles away in a very diluted, half-assed way. I mean, really, if you've been to one Best Buy in the suburbs/exurbs, you've been to them all. Everything is the same, and nothing is special, and there's no real interest in making them special. It's like that story "Harrison Bergeron!"



I hope that didn't end up sounding douche-ish. Believe me, I know what it's like to think that a new Wal-Mart is the best thing in the world and nothing EVER be as exciting as three hours at a football game -- I was raised in Bellaire, Ohio, where you had to drive 25 minutes just to go to a mall. My hometown has so many residents leaving the boring area that the town was demoted to a village a few years ago.



But now I live in St. Louis City, and I wouldn't live anywhere else (except for eventually downtown Pittsburgh. :) )

I would like to see the St. Louis area take a very progressive approach and enact some kind of greenbelt or UGB, but then we might have a bunch of people complaining about their liberties :roll: and right as an American.....meanwhile we are killing the environment with these low character sprawl hell holes.

Doug wrote:
I think we should care a little more.




So do I. We agree on that point. But those of us that believe in more responsible development need to find a way to convey that message responsibly without villifying those that choose to live in suburban settings. And we need to find practical solutions to the real problems we are facing (increasing infrastructure costs as suburbia ages, along with exponentially rising energy costs) within the framework of communities we've already built.



Railing against St. Charles County sprawl does little good when the horse is already out of the proverbial barn. However, I believe all the communities in our area should strive for smarter and more responsible development. Natural forces may reign in the sprawl that has spread to outlying counties, but I agree with those that are in favor of growth boundaries even though I think they are a tough sell in Jefferson City.



And while we're talking about making our region more sustainable and embracing smart growth, I'd also like to see the City of St. Louis adopt citywide architectural review and stop building unsustainable suburban schlock that clashes with the city's uniquely beautiful built environment. It's kind of hard for me to get worked up about the supposed ills of suburbia anymore, especially when the city I love looks more and more like a faceless suburb all the time. :(

stl1991 wrote:
im all for density and a bigger downtown but i live in the counties and i can see myself moving back out to the county to raise my children
Why? Because it's a St. Louis tradition?

brody wrote:
stl1991 wrote:
im all for density and a bigger downtown but i live in the counties and i can see myself moving back out to the county to raise my children
Why? Because it's a St. Louis tradition?




Maybe because public schools are better, no matter what the arguments it is counties are somewhat safer, LESS taxes to pay meaning MORE money for the kids...



Any other reasons or is that enough? People have very legitimate reasons for moving out once they have kids, and there is absolutely no reason to criticize them. Instead, try improving the city so they do not have that reason.

drunkrusski wrote:
brody wrote:
stl1991 wrote:
im all for density and a bigger downtown but i live in the counties and i can see myself moving back out to the county to raise my children
Why? Because it's a St. Louis tradition?




Maybe because public schools are better, no matter what the arguments it is counties are somewhat safer, LESS taxes to pay meaning MORE money for the kids...



Any other reasons or is that enough? People have very legitimate reasons for moving out once they have kids, and there is absolutely no reason to criticize them. Instead, try improving the city so they do not have that reason.




Right, because we should remove kids from urban environments. It works well for people in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. It can work in St. Louis. But, people are a little too short-sighted to see that.

I have grown tired of the argument that it is cheaper to live out in the 'burbs. I want to see real evidence of this. After paying more for a house, taxes about the same or more, actually paying for trash service, more gas for your car, etc., etc., etc. I do not believe for a minute that it is "cheaper" to live elsewhere. You have all been brainwashed by the home builders of america.

One additional expense that applies to faith minded people is the amount of tithes that goes towards building new facilities as opposed to using a fully paid off building in the inner burbs. How much of that money would be better spent on missions, outreaches or the poor. You have to ask yourself WWJD?

Goldman Sachs released a study last week, positing that the price of a barrel of crude oil will reach $150-200 next year. Compound that on the price of gas, which still has to be refined from the oil, and the cost of a commute will jump dramatically. Five years out, we'll only see more costs to driving.



From this, we will see a few things:

1. Sharp decrease in the number of people moving further from work, especially the far-reaching suburbs (Wentzville, etc.)

2. Less new buildup further west, and more infill construction. Not just City, but also StL County where land exists.

3. More office building construction along highways, to ease the commute, including new office construction in The Chuck.

4. Increased fighting for dominance between cities for businesses, i.e.: Clayton vs. Creve Coeur vs. Chesterfield.

5. Increased Metro commuting, especially Metrolink, and ancillary construction of residential.

6. More lobbying by politicians for Metrolink expansion funds, both sides of the political aisles.

7. Telecommuting and virtual offices will increase sharply.

8. Satellite offices, such as those set up for the 40 Rebuild, may be retained rather than dumped when the highway is fixed up.

9. Sharply increased residential near where the offices are, especially by single professionals. This includes especially the City and Mid County.

10. If gas really does jump at pace to the price of oil, a sharp increase in shoe sales.

TG wrote:
I have grown tired of the argument that it is cheaper to live out in the 'burbs. I want to see real evidence of this. After paying more for a house, taxes about the same or more, actually paying for trash service, more gas for your car, etc., etc., etc. I do not believe for a minute that it is "cheaper" to live elsewhere. You have all been brainwashed by the home builders of america.




Exactly. Oh, but remember, it's SAFER to live in the county. We can RAISE OUR CHILDREN THERE because we don't want them to experience diversity and culture. Big box retail and generic chain restaurants, ahoy!



Oh, and don't forget, we can't have our children EVER EXPERIENCING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION* because you're bound to meet people who are either poor or black and many times both, and that is just plain-out unacceptable for county folks.











* - unless it's between Busch Stadium and a county Metrolink station that we drive to, as long as the game is over by 10.

1000washington wrote:
TG wrote:
I have grown tired of the argument that it is cheaper to live out in the 'burbs. I want to see real evidence of this. After paying more for a house, taxes about the same or more, actually paying for trash service, more gas for your car, etc., etc., etc. I do not believe for a minute that it is "cheaper" to live elsewhere. You have all been brainwashed by the home builders of america.




Exactly. Oh, but remember, it's SAFER to live in the county. We can RAISE OUR CHILDREN THERE because we don't want them to experience diversity and culture. Big box retail and generic chain restaurants, ahoy!



Oh, and don't forget, we can't have our children EVER EXPERIENCING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION* because you're bound to meet people who are either poor or black and many times both, and that is just plain-out unacceptable for county folks.











* - unless it's between Busch Stadium and a county Metrolink station that we drive to, as long as the game is over by 10.




So it is wrong for suburbanites to make generalizations about city dwellers/public transportation users, but if city dwellers make generalizations about suburbanites, it is usually an accurate and acceptable description of the 2.45 million people that live outside of the St. Louis city limits? City living and all of its rules are hard to learn, I've only lived in the city for 2 years, can I be excused for not knowing that one?
Not quite sure where to put this, but there was some interesting things in this article on a Wentzville housing development:

"Worsley said potential buyers usually weren’t too concerned about the long commute from Wentzville to jobs and entertainment in St. Louis and St. Louis County. “You do spend a little more time on the highway to get here, but you’re not spending a lot of time on the side roads,” she said.

Besides, she noted, more jobs, restaurants and entertainment venues have been moving to western St. Charles County by the year.

Wentzville has almost 30,000 residents, up from just 5,000 in the 1990 census.

“Wentzville now has the shopping and dining — really anything you need,” Worsley said.

Payne Family Homes is counting on the recent housing improvement trend to continue. The Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri, in its most recent statistics, noted that single-family housing permits were up 36 percent throughout the area in May compared to the same time period last year.

In St. Charles County, 727 single-family housing permits were issued through May this year, compared with 553 for the same period last year and 418 for the first five months of 2011."

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... cc162.html

It will be immensely interesting to see how things turn out with housing patterns once things shake out with the overall economy. These past few years, Saint Charles Co. (and I suppose in particular western St. Chas. Co.) continues to be the only one in the region that has seen decent growth, but it still has been slower than pre-recession. I suspect if the housing market significantly rebounds unfortunately we'll see a lot more movement out to our fringes, with the County particularly vulnerable to outflow.
The Sprawl Monster lives!!!!
Alex Ihnen wrote:
The Sprawl Monster lives!!!!


Image


The whole article reads like a PR/Press Release, not an actual "News" story. I'm sure which section it's in in the print edition (one of those "Advertising" fillers?) Wentzville is what O'Fallon was and St. Peters was before that. Unfortunately this westward churn seems to feed upon itself. The biggest attraction is "newness" and that wears off.
justme123 wrote:


The whole article reads like a PR/Press Release, not an actual "News" story. I'm sure which section it's in in the print edition (one of those "Advertising" fillers?) Wentzville is what O'Fallon was and St. Peters was before that. Unfortunately this westward churn seems to feed upon itself. The biggest attraction is "newness" and that wears off.



Pretty much. If only I had a flux capacitor and a DeLorean I could set the dials for July 19, 2033 and bring back a story in whatever media format they are using then claiming "____Expands into Montgomery City Subdivision" complete with glowing reviews by residents on how they don't mind the 95 minute commute because you get "a little more house for your money"

Maybe if I could I'd show these Wentzvillians in 2013 that their subdivision and chain restaurant paradise will be left behind for greener pastures too (or rather concrete and vinyl taking the place of the former green pastures). Would they care? Would anything change?

I'm not sure. I grew up in "old" St. Charles and there is a Facebook page for all those who did as well. I've noticed that a good chunk of those who post on there now live in O'Fallon, Wentzville, even Troy. As a current STL city resident I am part of a distinct minority of this group. While they are nostalgic for the old neighborhoods they grew up in I don't sense any willingness to proactively change the dynamic of westward expansion. Hell, Joe Ortwerth the former St. Charles County Executive likened it to "Manifest Destiny". Which I thought was laughable, but most just seem to accept it as inevitable.