Archive for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Developer shares Primrose concerns with city

September 14, 2006

Believing they can work through the concerns expressed by a local developer, De Soto city staffers last Thursday outlined a timeline that could start work next summer to complete a road serving one of the city's newest subdivisions.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle reported to the city council the results of his meeting with JoAnn Thompson, one of two developers the city wants to participate in a benefit district to complete Primrose Drive.

The other developer, Nate Harding, asked last month for the city's assistance in arranging a benefit district to complete the street. Construction of the 690-foot stretch of Primrose would complete the street from its current dead ends in the Cedar Ridge West and Timber Lakes subdivisions.

Construction of the link, which would provide a traffic loop for the west-side neighborhood that includes the Timber Trails, Timber Lake and Cedar Ridge subdivisions, is a stipulation of Harding's proposed 34-home Brook West subdivision and Thompson's planned 62-home Cherokee Woods subdivision.

Last month, the council agreed to offer to include the side streets in the subdivision in a benefit district as a way of moving the Primrose extension forward, instructing Guilfoyle to meet with the developer.

Including the interior streets in the benefit district was indeed one of three concerns Thompson brought to the meeting, Guilfoyle said. But he said she wanted to maintain the option of financing the improvements if that was cheaper than a benefit district arrangement with its bonding and administrative costs.

Guilfoyle said Thompson was also concerned that a second curb cut wasn't included in the 2004 improvements to 87th Street to serve the second phase of her Cherokee West subdivision.

That curb cut couldn't be made, City Attorney Patrick Reavey and city engineer Mike Brungardt said, because there wasn't an approved plat for that development at the time of the street improvement or specifications for the work.

Guilfoyle reported that Thompson also objected to paying excise tax on drainage easement lots lost to development. Reavey and Brungardt said the city had a provision for just such cases that allowed the city to forgive the excise tax by taking title of the unused lots. In such cases, the responsibility for the lots' maintenance remains with the developer or a homeowners' association, they said.

Guilfoyle said Thompson and her son Bill Thompson appear anxious to move forward. He suggested the city establish a timeline to keep the project on track. Last month, Reavey told the council state law gave cities more leeway in creating benefit districts to complete a section of street between two improved sections, he said. In such cases, the threshold of protesting the benefit districts is increased from 51 percent of the participating property owners to 75 percent, he said.

Brungardt said the road could be constructed next summer with a schedule that started with the approval in 60 to 90 days of Cherokee Woods' preliminary plat.

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