Archive for Thursday, March 17, 2005

Population may treble when homes are built

March 17, 2005

Take a drive through all corners of the city and one thing should become abundantly clear: new homes are "popping up like weeds," Basehor Planning Commission member George Smith said.

Numbers don't lie, and according to figures provided by Basehor city officials, Smith isn't lying.

Basehor city planner Angela Solberg said the Planning Commission, either through preliminary or final plats, has approved approximately 1,424 single-family homes. Just as staggering is the number of multi-family dwellings approved: 165 duplexes (330 units), 59 four-plexes (236 units), 10 three-plexes (30 units) and 248 apartment units.

Using the city's standard of 3.5 people per home, with the approved single-family residences alone, Basehor's population could rise by 5,019 people when those developments are completed. According to the latest Census information available, Basehor's current population is 2,715.

And, when adding the number of residents stemming from the multi-family side of developments, it's easy to believe "we're talking about our population tripling," as Solberg said.

There are currently nine residential subdivisions in some form of development in Basehor. Next month, the Planning Commission will review early plans for the 10th.

A proposed subdivision north of the city could add 440 single-family homes to Basehor.

On Tuesday, April 5, Planning Commission members will host a public hearing to consider the preliminary plat for Highpoint Downs, a 204-acre subdivision located at the southeast corner of 155th Street and Donahoo Road. The Planning Commission will also vote whether to rezone 191 acres of the development from rural to single-family residential.

The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. inside the meeting room at Basehor City Hall.

Solberg said that approximately 10 acres of Highpoint Downs land was originally within city limits. The remaining acres were annexed during Monday's Council meeting.

At the core of the development's preliminary plat is approximately 6 acres of land slated for a public park.

Solberg said developers have indicated they would donate the land to the city for park use, but before moving forward, the city's park advisory board must approve the land's acquisition.

Basehor mayor Joseph Scherer, himself a developer and Realtor, recently said during a council work session that growth began taking root in Basehor in the late 1990s. The implementation of the city's wastewater treatment facility also opened the door for the city's expansion.

"We were a nice, quiet bedroom community until about 1998," Scherer said. "That's when the growth started."

Admittedly, the city has dealt well with handling growth, Scherer said, but a proactive approach to growth is being taken and future elected officials should have an easier time managing the commercial and residential boom the city is seeing now and in the future.

"Now we're growing and we've taken a big boot you know where," he said. "We've struggled just to keep our heads above water.

"The next council should get us where we're playing on an even playing field," Scherer said. He added, "We're almost over the hump. We just happened to be the council who's taking the lumps."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.