Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

New residential development to add more than 100 homes

September 21, 2006

After several meetings, developer Albert Hoelting finally received approval from the city council Monday night for a zoning change for Silver Springs subdivision, which is at 15977 Leavenworth Road.

In June, the city council sent the item back to the planning commission to review the improvement of streets within the subdivision. After the planning commission reconsidered the item, the city council tabled the item at both of the August meetings and Sept. 7 meeting. Hoelting requested that the item be postponed at these meetings because his engineer, Ruben Nogeura, was out of the country due to a family illness.

On Monday, city planning director Dustin Smith reviewed a few of the 12 conditions recommended by the planning commission.

"The developer proposed to make street improvements within the subdivision as well as Willow Street," Smith said.

The planning commission also added Hickory Street to the list of street improvements in the ordinance. Smith said Hickory Street is shown as a collector street on the city's comprehensive plan as well.

"The only problem with Hickory as opposed to maybe Ripley, is that we don't have right of way on the south side because it is private property," Smith said.

The city would need to obtain right of way for Hickory Street from John Baker of Baker's Towing Service, to make the required improvements. If Hickory Street cannot be completed by the time phase one of the subdivision -- or about 40 houses -- is finished, the planning commission said the developer could revert back to the Willow Street improvements. The Hickory Street right of way would still need to be obtained.

However, some council members disagreed.

"To me, Willow is not going to benefit this city in any way," council member Iris Dysart said. "Hickory Street to me is vital."

Smith also called the council's attention to a second condition, regarding a proposed trail route through the subdivision behind the houses.

"Typically the trails will follow natural features, lake shores, retention ponds. ... This one does not follow a stream or natural features," Smith said.

Smith also said that the planning commission suggested that having a trail behind the homes presented a security issue. The planning commission stated that the developer should provide an 8-foot sidewalk in front of the homes as opposed to behind the houses. Nogeura asked the council to reconsider this condition.

"If you have any idea, eight feet is huge," he said. "Who wants an eight-foot sidewalk in front of their house?"

The council was divided, 2-2, with council members Dysart and Bill Hooker opposed, to approve an ordinance that would:

  • Change the zoning from R-O suburban residential to R-1 single-family residential.
  • Approve the preliminary plat.
  • Eliminate the 8-foot sidewalk.
  • Add 4-foot sidewalks to one side of the streets throughout the subdivision.
  • Make Hickory Street the primary street for improvements.
  • Eliminate Willow Street improvements.

Council president John Bonee was absent.

Mayor Chris Garcia stepped in with the deciding vote -- in opposition.

He referred to the first condition in the ordinance, which stated that the developer had to reconstruct the "jog" or curve in Hickory Street east of 156th Street. Garcia said the jog was another developer's responsibility that had not been taken care of and it was unfair to expect Hoelting to repair it.

"To take it off one developer and put it on another -- I don't agree," Garcia said. "I do not feel that he (Hoelting) should have to do that."

Later in the meeting, Smith asked the council to reconsider the vote.

"It seemed like the vote that was taken was not so much the denial of the development, but the motion that was made," Smith said. "It concerns me because it does not allow them to resubmit for a period of 120 days."

After the council agreed, 3-1, with Hooker opposed, to reconsider, Smith went over the first condition of the ordinance with council members. City Administrator Carl Slaugh showed the council recent photos of the Hickory Street jog. While the road still curved, new asphalt had been laid by the city, lessening the curvature in the road. Council members then agreed to strike the first condition of the ordinance, concluding that the jog had already been sufficiently repaired.

Smith then went over the other two conditions regarding sidewalks and street improvements. The council agreed to have the developer put in 4-foot sidewalks on one side of the streets throughout the development and on both sides of Hickory Street because it is a future collector street. They also agreed to strike all references to Willow Street improvements.

The council's final vote was a 3-1, with Hooker opposed, to approve the change of zoning, the preliminary plat and the revised conditions from the planning commission for the Silver Springs subdivision.

In other action Monday night, the council:

  • Approved, 4-0, to transfer $228,000 from the Cedar Lakes Sewer District No. 7 Fund to the Sewer Capital Improvement Fund and transfer $25,785.78 from Cedar Lakes Sewer District No. 7 Fund to the Sewer Fund.
  • Approved, 4-0, to pay $381,220 from the Sewer Fund to Falcon Lakes LLC. It was discovered that Falcon Lakes developer Rustom Ferzandi had been paying an excess of special assessments.
  • Approved, 4-0, to proclaim the week of Sept. 17 through 23 as Constitution Week.
  • Approved, 3-2, with Hooker and Dysart opposed and the mayor providing the deciding vote, to participate in the Kansas Local Government Statewide Housing Program.

The program helps first-time homebuyers through below-market mortgage loan financing. Buyers can receive 4 percent cash assistance that does not have to be paid back.

  • Approved, 3-1, with Hooker opposed, to adopt a K-7 memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum, developed by the Kansas Department of Transportation, deals with the development of Kansas Highway 7 from southern Johnson County north to Leavenworth. City staff will review development plans along K-7 and work with KDOT on those developments.

  • Approved, 4-0, to authorize funds to FundBalance for annual maintenance agreement.
  • Approved, 4-0, to consider potential sites for industrial development in partnership with Leavenworth County Port Authority.

Each city in Leavenworth County was asked to choose a few sites to recommend to the Port Authority for development by next May. The Port Authority will fund one of the sites.

  • Approved, 4-0, to appoint the city administrator as voting delegate at the League of Kansas Municipalities 98th annual conference Oct. 10.
  • Approved, 3-1, with Hooker opposed, the scope of the Hollingsworth Road construction project and give notice to proceed to Leavenworth County.
  • Met in executive session for 30 minutes regarding attorney-client privileged matters and pending litigation.

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