Archive for Thursday, December 23, 2004

Arbor Ridge rezoning approved

December 23, 2004

After 18 months and two earlier unsuccessful attempts, Lambie-Geer Homes last Thursday secured rezoning on 90 acres of property southeast of the 83rd Street/Kill Creek Road intersection needed for its proposed Arbor Ridge subdivision.
The planned-development rezoning approved also required the De Soto City Council to OK the preliminary plat for what is now a 212-home subdivision.
Developer Jim Lambie said Lambie-Geer would submit the final plat immediately. He hoped construction could start on streets, sewers and waterlines this spring.
The application did raise a number of issues the Council referred to the Planning Commission for further discussions. Among those was an issue that earned the application its only 'no' vote.
Councilman Tim Maniez was concerned about a cul-de-sac in the southwest section of the subdivision, which appeared to exceed the city's regulation for length. The cul-de-sac crosses a draw before making a dogleg to the north.
The cul-de-sac's length was broken up by three smaller cul-de-sacs, which satisfied city requirements, City Engineer Mike Brungardt said.
The intent of the regulation was to require through streets for access in
emergencies, Maniez said. The secondary cul-de-sacs provided turnaround spaces, but there was still only one way in and out of the main cul-de-sac, which could become blocked in an emergency, the councilman said.
The cul-de-sac was made that long to preserve green space along the draw, Lambie-Geer attorney Chase Simmons said.
Although it was recommended the Planning Commission revisit the issue, other Council members were untroubled by the cul-de-sac's design. They noted the relatively limited number of homes it served and the appeal of such streets to some homebuyers.
Another issue referred to the De Soto Park and Recreation Board for further study involved developers donating parkland in lieu of paying park fees.
Lambie-Geer had originally agreed to pay the city fees, hoping the money would be used to help develop streamway trails within the subdivision. To satisfy a concern for children's play space in the subdivision, the developer also agreed to set aside two hillside lots for so-called pocket parks. The Planning Commission suggested Lambie-Geer be given the option of developing those two parks in lieu of paying park fees.
That was not acceptable to the Council.
The developer and homeowners' association should be responsible for the parks that wouldn't be used by the city at large, Councilwoman Linda Zindler said. Park fees should be used for trail ways, Miller Park and park improvements at the Community Center associated with the new swimming pool, she said.
Lambie-Geer is required to make a number of phased-in street and sidewalk improvements. Simmons said it was the developer's intention to install all the required turn lanes and sidewalks on 83rd Street before the first phase of the development.
When submitting a final plat to the Council, Lambie-Geer would request a benefit district be formed with an assessed to the subdivision's homes to pay for the improvements, Simmons said.
The Council agreed to seek de-annexation of the newly rezoned Arbor Ridge property from Johnson County Rural Fire District No. 3.

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