Fontbonne University – West Campus [Bonnie Krueger photo]

At its June 7 meeting, the Manchester Board of Aldermen considered a zoning change request and site plan approval for a proposed subdivision consisting of 68 single-family homes, to be known as The Arbors at Celtic Meadows.

The property in question is at 500 Woods Mill Road, the former site of John F. Kennedy Catholic High and more recently Fontbonne University, which purchased the 22-acre property in 2018. The university’s intent was to create a satellite campus, known as Fontbonne West, for adult learning and graduate classes and as a central location for Griffin athletic programs. After spending $3 million in renovations, the university placed it for sale after changing its expansion plans.

The proposal for the new subdivision, The Arbors at Celtic Meadows, was presented by Katherine Moore, an attorney on behalf of McBride Berra Land Company, LLC. In addition to approval of the site plan, Moore is seeking rezoning from R-1 Single-Family Residential to Planned Residential Development District. The new subdivision will be adjacent to the Saxony and Pierremont subdivisions.

The plan shows approximately 2.63 acres dedicated to common ground and detention basins. Home sites will range from 8,745 square feet to 16,315 square feet. The front, side and rear yards will include no less than 50% green space, with setbacks in the front yard of 20 feet, in the side yard of 6 feet and in the rear yard of 15 feet. A landscape buffer would be created along Woods Mill Road.

The subdivision would feature McBride Homes’ Oakwood series with ranch, 1.5 and two-story elevations and standard three-car garages. Community amenities are to include a gazebo, pedestrian walkway and civic lawn (common ground) area for neighborhood gatherings. Homes prices are expected to be in the $600’s.

If approved at Manchester’s June 21 aldermen meeting, it would still take more than a year before the subdivision would be move-in ready. Demolition of existing buildings would not begin before summer 2022 and it is anticipated that construction would begin a year after McBride’s The Arbors at the Highlands, a 60-home development located east of The Highlands Shopping Center, west of Menards, south of Saxony Estates subdivision and north of Manchester Road.

Although The Arbors at Celtic Meadows will have access from Woods Mill Road and a connection to Miremont Drive, all construction traffic flow will be directed from the Woods Mill Road access. A traffic study was not required due to the site’s dual entrances and because the proposed use is not more intensive than the school previously located at the site.