Southwest St. Charles County is a jewel for the entire region. It is home to the oldest wine district in the country and is one of the largest with 67 wineries from St. Charles to Hermann, perched on the Missouri River bluff. With the wineries, unique shops, bed and breakfasts, parks, boating, and camping, it is a popular destination.
With this popularity comes more commercial and residential development. And while development of all kinds can be good, we need to keep a close watch to make certain the beauty of this rural area isn’t lost.
Large corporations have purchased many of the well-established local wineries with the hopes of drawing more people to enjoy the beauty of the countryside. But often, drawing more people to an area can jeopardize the very thing that makes it so attractive.
In rural, agricultural areas, the majority of new housing development is on 3-5 acres. With the influx of people wanting to move to more rural areas, developers often want to build subdivisions on ¼-acre lots. The County’s requirement for five-acre minimum lots is what makes this area so attractive and beautiful and helps preserve the countryside, rural roads, trees and hillsides. While further development of the wineries and tourist options provides positives for St. Charles County, we also want to be sure to counter the growing demand for higher density residential development and stay true to the future land use goals of larger lot development in this area as outlined within our Master Plan.
Even in fast-growing counties, the rural way of life must be preserved so tourists, and most importantly, the people who live there can still enjoy what brought them there in the first place. St. Charles County must remain small town strong!