Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cherokee Woods final plat OK’d

April 26, 2007

A proposed subdivision's five-year odyssey before the De Soto Planning Commission ended Tuesday with the approval of a preliminary and final plat for the 66-home Cherokee Woods.

The decision before a full room in the City Hall council chamber makes more likely the construction this year of an extension of Primrose Drive between its current dead ends in the Cedar Ridge West and Timber Lakes subdivisions.

The subdivision north of Cedar Ridge West off 85th Street won planning commission approval of its preliminary plat twice before but failed to move on because some required conditions were never met. Through it all, the most troublesome stipulation was the requirement Primrose Drive be completed.

Last summer, the De Soto City Council authorized City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle to negotiate with Cherokee Woods developer Joann Thompson. The city offered to include two side streets in a future benefit district that would finance Primrose Drive's extension. At the developer's request, the city also agreed to include the installation of needed underground utilities in the benefit district to e assessed against future homes.

Under an agreement reached in December 2006, Thompson agreed to move ahead with the subdivision with the understanding a benefit district would be formed to complete the street and further agreed to certain benchmarks, such as moving forward with the preliminary and final plat applications, that should have the extension completed by the end of the year. Should those benchmarks not be met, it was agreed the city would be ceded the necessary easement to complete the Primrose extension.

But the street was not the only condition of previous preliminary plats, and one of those past issues resurfaced Tuesday.

Archie Bedford, who owns property to the east of the proposed subdivision, related his past experience with the silting of his pond during the construction of Cedar Ridge West, of which Thompson was a developer, and of City Attorney Patrick Reavey's attempt in 2004 to broker a drainage easement for his property between him and Thompson. Although that agreement, which was a condition of a 2004 Cherokee Woods preliminary plat, was eventually negotiated, Thompson refused to sign, Bedford said.

The need for a drainage easement was eliminated in the latest plat with the inclusion of an on-site detention pond.

Bedford said he was concerned silt would again drain into his pond when construction began on the new subdivision. He was also concerned a planned detention pond would discharge water at a velocity enough to cause erosion on his property.

City code enforcement inspectors would be responsible enforcing erosion control measures during construction at the site, city engineer Mike Brungardt said. Moreover, the city would have direct responsibility for erosion control during the construction of the Primrose Drive extension because that contractor would be retained by the city not the developer, he said. Measures might have to be taken to slow the discharge from the detention pond, the city engineer said.

Should silt runoff become a problem, his recourse would be to report it to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, planning commission chairman Kevin Honomichl told a skeptical Bedford.

One of the conditions of the plat is that easements be granted to extend sewer service to homes in Guffey Estates to the east, Brungardt said. Four property owners in that small subdivision were forced to join a sewer benefit district a decade ago but never received sewer service because only a forced main ran through the property.

Honomichl and planning commissioner Roger Templin suggested those property owners let the De Soto City Council know of their desire to receive the sewer service they paid for.

Other concerns raised by residents in the Timber Trails, Timber Lakes and Cedar Ridge West subdivisions were parking along the existing southern section of Primrose Drive, which Reed Longaker said didn't appear to be the current 28-foot city collector street standard, speed of increased traffic on the street and preservation of stream ways.

Brungardt said the first two concerns would have to be monitored once the extension was completed. City planning director Kim Buttrum said the reason for required stream-way buffers was to preserve bordering green space.

The subdivision will mean the end of the woods behind his home in Timber Trails, Doug McGaughy said. But he and most in the surrounding subdivisions supported its approval because of the importance of completing Primrose Drive, he said.

Currently, the only access to Timber Trails and Timber Lakes is Timber Trails Drive.

The planning commission also considered two large-lot subdivisions on the city's east side.

A preliminary plat for the seven-home Estates of Snowy Acres at Corliss Road and 86th Street was tabled because planning commissioners found the design of its two linked cul de sacs did not meet city design regulations. However, Templin said he found the lot sizes in the subdivision compatible with what the city's comprehensive plan envisioned for that area.

Planning commissioners found that true, too, for the four-home Hilltop Estates subdivision proposed for Waverly Road south of 83rd Street and approved its preliminary plat 4-0. (Templin recused himself from consideration of the application as the attorney for developer Dustin Baker. Planning Commissioners John Krudwig and Richard Hemphill were absent.)

However, planning commissioners agreed they could not act on the final plat until a property dispute on the subdivisions northern boundary was resolved.

Leioni Seaman told planning commissioners her mother Georgina Ashlock had been caring for a strip of land along the border for 44 years and was advised by her attorney to file an adverse property claim for it.

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