Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2001

City schedules hearings for proposed programs

October 17, 2001

The Basehor City Council came another step closer to approving two new city programs that would be implemented in 2002.

During the City Council meeting Monday, Oct. 15, the council scheduled public hearings concerning a neighborhood revitalization program and a transportation excise tax.

The revitalization program is up for public discussion at the November monthly City Council meeting, while the excise tax could be approved during a council work session Dec. 3.

Both programs are expected to gain approval, Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said.

"I think they will both be approved," he said.

The programs offer stark contrasts to the residents of Basehor.

The revitalization program offers residents that make improvements to their homes a tax abatement when paying their property taxes.

Under Kansas State law, the entire city cannot be part of the revitalization area. A loophole in the law, however, allows all residences to be entered into the area, city officials said.

To approve the program, the city must receive the consent of the Basehor-Linwood School District, Basehor Community Library and the Fairmount Township Fire Department because it would effect funding for those entities.

It is unknown whether there will be any opposition to the program, city officials said.

The transportation excise tax, which has faced public opposition at recent City Council and Basehor Planning Commission meetings, was designed by city officials to create funding for road improvements.

The excise tax calls for a nine- cent per square foot fee and, city officials said, will mostly effect developers in the city.

The tax will only effect residents that make improvements to their homes that account for more than 51 percent of their home value. To counteract residents having to pay high sums for their improvements, the council recently placed a $10,000 cap on the tax for residents. The cap does not apply to the developers, however.

While the excise tax is not expected to be popular among Basehor residents, Hooker said the program is necessary.

"Everybody agrees that we have to have something on these roads and this is probably the best way to do it," Hooker said.

Although the tax is expected to be approved, some council members have not made a decision on how they will vote as of yet.

"I haven't made up my mind yet," City Council member Julian Espinoza said. "To me, this is another increase or fee, but I don't know if this is the right solution to the problem."

During the Monday night meeting, council members also got a presentation regarding the new Prairie Gardens development, a single and multi-family development located on 158th Street.

Prairie Gardens architect Pete Opperman said the development is different than the suburban sprawl look the city currently has.

"We are trying to create a more pedestrian-oriented community," he said.

To approve the development, the council would have to agree to certain variations the developer is requesting. One variation requires changing the minimum lot size of 10,000 feet to 8,400 square feet.

"We believe you can still put a good size home on 8,400 square feet," Opperman said.

And while not all homes in the development would be that size, some council members are reluctant to grant the variance.

"I like suburban sprawl," Council member Joe Odle said. "When we built these subdivisions, we didn't want houses stacked on top of each other."

Prairie Gardens is currently working on the submission of a preliminary plat, city officials said.

In other action, the council:

approved the final plat and subdivision agreement for phase two of the Iron Creek subdivision located on 155th Street.

approved a change order to the Falcon Lakes subdivision.

approved the contractor payments for Falcon Lakes subdivision.

approved to proceed with condemnation of easements for Falcon Lakes interceptor line.

approved to ammend wastewater connection and treatment fees

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 19.

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