Media reports Tuesday that a longtime pumpkin patch farm in Valley will be gouged with an open drainage ditch in order to develop a 50-acre outlet mall had city officials in motion late Tuesday.
"We are not forcing them to do that. I haven't seen anything," said Chesterfield city Planning and Development Services Director Aimee Nassif. She is typically the key city staffer dealing with this.
However, a post Sunday on Rombach's Facebook page by Marcia Rombach said there are plans for a 100-foot wide drainage ditch across the farm. There are 66 comments from others, calling for a halt to anything that would destroy the popular farm. Rombach's post indicated the city was behind it.
("Developers) have to address stormwater, yes," Nassif told Chesterfield Patch Tuesday. But they are required to draw up a plan, and submit it to the City for a decision up or down. Nassif emphasized the city has not approved anything at this time, or even seen anything.
Developers Simon-Woodmont and Blue Valley LLC are working through a second amended site plan with the City of Chesterfield and other regulatory agencies—utilities, Levee district and others, in order to build St. Louis Premium Outlets along Highway 40/64 at the Boone Bridge.
The 50-acre outlet mall parcel is part of Blue Valley, LLC property within a flood plain that was under 12-18 feet of water 20 years ago when the Missouri River broke its banks. Since that time, the Levee District has worked to prevent a reoccurrance of that magnitude.
The popular Rombach family pumpkin farm is adjacent to parts of the Premium Outlets property. Last fall, Rombach family members indicated they were familiar with Blue Valley LLC, and would at least listen to any offers to sell that may come their way.
However, Blue Valley, LLC already owns 190 acres at the outlet mall site.
Rombach's Facebook page shared a conciliatory remark Tuesday, encouraging developers and thanking Facebook fans for their concerns.
"It was never our intent to create any confusion over the proposed drainage ditch. We hope Blue Valley Development succeeds and can find an alternative drainage layout for their new development."
Select members of the City Council will be reviewing plans for a proposed St. Louis Premium Outlets Thursday evening, plans that deal with landscape, lighting, proximity to the levee, and other site features. The public meeting is 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.