COTTLEVILLE, Mo. – There’s controversy in historic Cottleville following repeated cancellations of public meetings. Residents and business owners are concerned about possible secrecy.

Cottleville is an area of St. Charles County known for its history. Plank Road Pizza is named after the plank road that once reportedly led from Cottleville to St. Charles Main Street.

1798 Barbecue is named for the year the town was founded. The co-owner of both businesses, Wade Brewer, said it was important for him to preserve history, which took plenty of planning.

“To be able to restore it to what it was, but also have it be a commercial venue that people can enjoy a meal with their family and sit on their patio and kind of look at the small town around them, is something that we really look forward to,” he said.

It’s a town that’s about doubled in population in the last decade—to now about 6,000 residents. New attractions, like Frankie Martin’s Garden, have also brought more visitors.

“We definitely want the projects that do get approved to succeed; we just want there to be more of a plan involved throughout the process,” Brewer said.

Brewer is concerned that Cottleville recently canceled a fourth public hearing regarding new projects. So is resident Darlene Hollister, who told FOX 2, “We just need to get answers as to what’s happening and how are we going to deal with the growth?”

Possible projects include a subdivision’s proposal for town homes instead of previously approved apartments and storage, as well as a soccer field proposal in an area that’s currently zoned residential.

“It’s really hard to get answers when meetings aren’t happening,” Hollister said.

Cottleville City Administrator Michael Padella commented, “It’s a good problem to have that lots of folks are coming down to Old Town and wanting to spend time here.”

Padella says public hearings have been cancelled because initial developer plans were incomplete.

“So we’ve been waiting for a revised submittal, which we have now received, and we do anticipate having public hearings at the next August 5 planning and zoning,” he said. “Even the elected officials and our planning and zoning commission haven’t seen the full set of plans, and they haven’t had a formal presentation from the developer.”

He says the city is considering both traffic flow and parking, which are crucial elements of future projects. Parking concerns were exacerbated in March when a pedestrian was struck walking on the shoulder of Route N. Padella says the city’s looking into more street lighting, as well as crosswalks, like a section where he says people are crossing the road anyway to get to Frankie Martin’s.

The city administrator says they’re also looking at using shuttle services, potentially with golf carts, to utilize parking spots off the beaten path.

Residents and businesses are hopeful they will be included when public hearings return. They’re also planning their own town hall, which will be their second one, scheduled for July 15.