Archive for Thursday, January 29, 2009

Garage condo rezoning gets council approval

January 29, 2009

The partners of Carriage Houses of Johnson County came to last Thursday’s De Soto City Council meeting prepared to sell their garage condo complex, but found it an easy sell.

The council approved the planned development rezoning for the 362-unit garage condo complex to be built on a 10.3-acre site on the northwest corner of Gardner Road and 83rd Street. Unlike other city re-zonings, planned development rezoning, which is available for unique or problematic rezoning request, requires developers to submit more details of the final development plan than regular rezonings.

With the council’s approval of the rezoning, the development team will next submit a final plat to the De Soto Planning Commission.

Four members of the development team were at the meeting and ready to share with the council an easel full of drawings and charts about the complex that will sell rather than lease the units. But the council only had a few questions after city engineer Mike Brungardt and city planning director Linda Bohnsack presented their report on the rezoning.

“See, I told you it wouldn’t be that difficult,” Brungardt told the four members of the development team last Thursday as they left the council room.

The developers’ relative ease in front of the council was in contrast to a lengthy discussion of the application at the De Soto Planning Commission’s December meeting. And the question asked at that meeting and the stipulations added also answered the council’s questions last week.

The questions that concerned the council were traffic consequences on 83rd Street, water flow for fire control and what uses would be allowed in the condos.

The planning commission proposed stipulations last month that would address the first two questions. The developers will pay for a traffic study with the construction of the 100th unit to find what street improvements, if any, they will be required to make before adding more units.

Another stipulation the planning commission required was the installation of 2,000 feet of water line along 83rd, with a smaller line south along Gardner Road, to provide improved fire control water flow.

As for uses, Brungardt said they would be those associated with a garage or accessory building in a residential neighborhood. They include auto and hobbyist workshops and vehicle, boat and RV storage, he said.

But there was also a possibility the units could be used for contractor storage, Brungardt said.

What Brungardt and Carriage Houses of Johnson County CEO Greg Earlenbaugh said was to be avoided was the use of the units for living space or retail activity.

Residential uses would be avoided through the absence of running water in the units (running water will be available in two club houses), Brungardt said. And because all the individually purchased units would need to obtain a building permit to fit it with electricity or make other improvements, the city will be able to track what buyers intend to do with the units, he said.

Earlenbaugh added the buyers will be subject to a covenant that bans residential and retail uses. Furthermore, he said the complex will be equipped with a card-swipe gate that would also discourage retail traffic.

Earlenbaugh said the plan was to start with a clubhouse and a 60-foot by 150-foot “carriage house double” with 11 12-foot by 30-foot units and an equal number of 15-foot by 30-foot units.

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