Archive for Thursday, August 25, 2005

City tells pipeline it can’t use right-of-way

August 25, 2005

A natural gas transmission company will have to reach an agreement on its own with private property owners on McIntyre Road, rather than the city, to complete a natural gas pipeline.

The Lansing City Council, at its Thursday meeting, learned the decision to grant right of way to COG Transmission Corp. was not the city's to make, but that of the two property owners of the land in question.

"We don't have the legal authority to give something we don't have," said Greg Robinson, city attorney.

Jeff Ogden, a field supervisor for COG, represented the Castle Rock, Colo., company at the meeting. He had estimated earlier that COG had invested $65,000 to $75,000 in the 3.5-mile pipeline that would collect natural gas from wells in the county. COG lacks easements from two property owners to complete the pipeline and had turned to the city to see if it could locate the remaining pipeline in the street right of way.

Ogden reacted calmly to the news Thursday night.

"I'm just glad that they could look at the question," he said.

Ogden said his next move would be to go back to the property owners.

The council also dealt with another property issue in what is becoming a familiar request: a variance to city code to allow a fence closer than the minimum setback from a public road.

Council member Harland Russell expressed concern that allowing the variance, at 691 Creekside Place - the third one in two months for a fence built by Leavenworth Fence Co. - would set a precedent.

"Are we just opening the door wide?" Russell asked.

"We already opened the door," Council member Andi Pawlowski said, alluding to the two previous variances approved by the council.

The variance was passed with Russell and Council member Dee Hininger opposed.

The council also:

¢ Voted unanimously to apply for a $400,000 state Community Development Block Grant. If funding is approved, it would be used for repairs and restoration of houses in the northwest part of Lansing. The city has already received $310,000 for work on houses in northeast Lansing.

¢ Approved a resolution to notify PDD, a subsidiary of Kessinger-Hunter, that it was in breach of its contract with the city to develop Towne Center. Mike Smith, city administrator, later said the council acted because the company had not met timetables specified in the contract. The timetables in question included compensation to the city for the cost of condemning and buying the site. The site's owner, David Christie, has refused to sell. Smith said that PDD has 30 days to respond, and that if the company doesn't respond, the contract will automatically void.

¢ Approved a resolution to contract with Carriage Hill Plaza to build a 12,500-square-foot building near Holiday Inn Express in the 400 block of North Main Street.

¢ Approved a request for a temporary sign's location at the Old Town development at 210 N. Main St.

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