Company kills Maryland Heights rail project that riled Chesterfield neighbors | Local Business

MARYLAND HEIGHTS — A vehicle transportation company has withdrawn its bid to build a facility here that would house and ship thousands of GM automobiles, following months of complaints from neighbors in Chesterfield. 

Michigan-based Precision Vehicle Holding said concerns from Chesterfield officials and from residents in a nearby subdivision led the company to “discontinue the project in this location,” according to a March 2 letter from Precision executive Darrin McElroy to Maryland Heights Economic Development Manager Jim Carver.

Carver declined to comment. Precision did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maryland Heights approved the project last month at a city council meeting, where several Chesterfield council members and Mayor Bob Nation spoke. 

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Barbara McGuinness, Chesterfield council member, said Thursday that she’s delighted that Precision isn’t moving forward but is concerned “the voices of our residents were not important” to Maryland Heights. 

Precision Vehicle wanted to build the facility on 91 acres at Hog Hollow Road and River Valley Drive. The company pitched plans to assemble hundreds if not thousands of vehicles at once from the Wentzville GM plant and ship them out by rail and road.

But the site, in southwestern Maryland Heights, sits on the border with Chesterfield, where some 388 homes overlook the bottomlands.

The project drew immediate opposition from those homeowners, who were concerned that noise from more frequent train trips would be a headache — and reduce property values.

The River Bend Association, whose members live in the neighborhood on the bluffs, hired attorney John Nations, the former chief of Bi-State Development and a former mayor of Chesterfield, to represent it before the Maryland Heights council. The city of Chesterfield also passed a resolution opposing the project.

McLeod Patton, president of River Bend, said residents are happy with the decision. But he said they still have concerns that a similar project could replace Precision’s since Maryland Heights changed the zoning. 

“We’re just hoping it takes the neighborhood into account” in the future, Patton said.  

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