October 24, 2020

Mallory Herrmann
Staff Reporter

The city council voted to approve a preliminary development plan for Stag’s Field, a residential development at the southeast corner of Interstate 470 and Bowlin Road/Lakewood Boulevard.

The project is slated to include a 356-unit apartment complex and 16 single-family homes on about 35 acres. It will also include community amenities such as a dog park, a multisport hard court, outdoor entertainment and dining areas, a community garden, a fitness center, and a heated saltwater pool.

The development is designed to offer high-end finishes and quality amenities and to attract young professionals and empty nesters. Rents for the apartments are expected to range between $1,200 and $2,500 per month.

Several area residents voiced concerns about the impact the development could have on traffic. Kevin Tubbesing, representing the developer, said their traffic study – which was accepted by both city staff and the Missouri Department of Transportation, who reviewed it due to proposed improvements to the Interstate 470 interchange – indicates that the developer will need to make improvements to Bowlin Road but not to Lakewood Way.

But some of the councilmembers agreed with the residents, saying that the traffic impact study did not align with their experience of actually driving on roads in the area. Citing high traffic during peak hours and a lack of shoulders, residents wondered how adding 900 or so more cars out of the development would help.

Mayor Bill Baird expressed frustration that councilmembers would be willing to pass on the project just because of the issues with Lakewood Way, which is on the city’s radar for improvements but does not currently have funding allocated to move forward and would not be the developer’s responsibility to improve. He said that surely the city can find a way to make the necessary safety improvements.

Councilmember Trish Carlyle echoed his comments, saying that the city won’t have the money it needs for such repairs if they stop development.

The planning commission voted unanimously to recommend city council approval after their own public hearing on Sept. 24.

The council voted 5–4 to give initial approval for the preliminary development plan. Mayor Baird and Councilmembers Carlyle, Diane Forte, Bob Johnson and Hillary Shields voted in favor.

All councilmembers were present, either in person or via teleconference, for the Oct. 20 session.