Park Side Estates got its answer to whether it could begin building smaller homes in Florissant Monday night, but it wasn’t without a great deal of discussion and a bit of fireworks during the City Council meeting.
The council failed the bill, which would have allowed the minimum square footage of homes in the subdivision to begin at 1,200 square feet.
Initially, councilors had motioned to postpone Bill 8863, but the council split the vote, 4-4, which resulted in the postponement move failing. But Mayor Tom Schneider didn’t appreciate the split vote.
He said he was alarmed that the council wouldn’t pass a postponement and strongly asked that they reconsider the vote so the entire council could vote on the matter. Ward 7 Councilwoman Jackie Pagano was absent due to a family emergency.
Florissant residents voiced split sentiments about the development with one in support of the reduction in size and others wanting the developer to stick to their original plan.
In a previous meeting, Ward 2 Councilman John Grib, who represents the ward where the subdivision is located, explained the history of the project and his objections to the amendment.
He compared the reduction to a class where 1,600 equals an A and 1,200 equals a C and said that Paul wants to provide a C project.
“Residents deserve A quality, not C quality,” Grib said. “What you’re looking to do is reduce the costs of houses, and I don’t know we’re here to do that … I urge everyone on this council to think about this.”
Councilman Grib said following the meeting that he had spoken to a number of residents in his ward about the matter and all had supported him in his decision. He said he was happy that six of eight councilors voted with him.
In a memo to city councilors Mayor Tom Schneider indicated that a housing development at 1,200 square feet would provide quality and exciting floor plans and amenities as well as be a bit larger than most existing homes in the city. Furthermore, he said that the administration was in favor of amending the residential designed development.
In another memo from Economic Development Director Bob Russell, he made note that other developers would be watching the council and this bill and noted that the “inflexibility” of the council could make developers want to look at other locations for building. The council failed the bill 6-2.