Florissant City Council members on Monday approved an ordinance authorizing a land swap that would turn nearly 30 acres of Koch Park into a new subdivision.
The council unanimously approved Bill 9918 after more than an hour of public comment during Monday night’s city council meeting. The ordinance authorizes Mayor Timothy Lowery to transfer ownership of nearly 32 acres of park property to Koch Park Development LLC, in exchange for 43 acres adjacent to Sunset Park to be used as parkland.
The issue has residents divided.
Tom Stretch is a resident who’s passionate about the future of Koch Park. Stretch often plays golf in the open area of the park, which is closest to the area of land city leaders want to turn into hundreds of new, large homes.
“I like the park as it is, I’d like to see the park stay as it is right now,” Stretch said.
Terrance Mitchell is another resident in Florissant who’s also passionate about the future of the park.
“I think it’s more than enough space for homes and other people to still have the park for their own personal enjoyment,” Mitchell said.
The plan calls for turning nearly 30 acres of Koch Park into a new subdivision. In return, an area adjacent to Sunset Park totaling nearly 40 acres would be an improved greenway trail that connects the two parks and one other in the city.
“There’s a great number of people who are in favor of this and think it’s a wonderful idea. Then there’s a small group that’s definitely against it. The positive outweighs the negative” Lowery said.
The mayor said the plan came about through a comprehensive plan where residents voiced concern about outdated homes. He said it revealed that 91% of homes in Florissant were built pre-1970 and with small square footage.
McBride Homes Development will oversee the project of 108 new single-family homes and 12 additional acres of green space.
The homes would cost between $250,000 and $500,000. They would be 1,200 to 2,500 square feet.
“We are still a growing community and we have a lot of growing families here. Things are going well in the city of Florissant and we want to keep our residents here,” Lowery said.
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