It looks like the Fenton-area couple’s plans to move their lawn care business won’t take root.
Terry and Kelly Obermiller are asking the county to rezone half of the 10-acre land near Diehl and Old Sugar Creek Roads in the Jefferson County portion of Fenton from residential to planned commercial development. They plan to move the Genuine Lawn Care business from 38 E. Lakewood, also in the Fenton area.
“We’ve been in business for 20 years,” says Terry Obermiller. “We were always looking for a place to expand. This place is on the other side of the mountain where we live. This would be perfect for us.”
Jefferson County Council, which has sole authority to redistrict property in unincorporated areas, voted unanimously on October 10. 24 Approved a resolution denying Obermiller’s application.
The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission, which advises the county council on rezoning matters, voted 5-0 on Oct. 5. 13 It is recommended that Obermillers’ request be denied.
in October. Meeting in front of the P and Z boards on Dec. 13, Terry Obermiller said he and his wife had a contingency contract to buy the 10-acre, undeveloped, largely flat land. However, it is surrounded by houses on the larger lot, a point made by Ashley Nagel, who lives on Old Sugar Creek Road, and is the only one to object to the claim.
“I worry about privacy,” she said. “I’m worried about safety and people going in and out of this business that I don’t even know about. I’d rather have a house there than do business with workers and customers. High Ridge has a lot of businesses for people to go to.”
Traffic generated by the business is also an issue, Nagle said.
“You don’t know how busy it is, how many people are at stop signs (at Diehl and Old Sugar Creek). Then you join a business and people come and go,” she said. “You’re adding noise.”
Dave Vonarx of Hillsboro VonArx Engineering, which represents Obermillers, said Genuine Lawn Care is a small company that does most of its business off-site.
“It could generate 10 to 15 trips a day, about 20 percent of what the lot could have generated if it had been fully developed under current residential zoning,” he said. “Businesses don’t cause school buses to be added to the Combining.”
Vonarx also noted that the county has more control over planned commercial development than current residential zoning.
“In terms of noise, it’s not a high-intensity use,” he said. “It’s a lawn care business. They’ll leave the product and equipment on-site, but most of the work is done in the customer’s home.”
Terry Obermiller said he plans to increase the number of employees from five to 10 if the company is allowed to move to the new location.
“Do we leave it as it is, or do you allow us to put something good in there?” he said.