Advisory Plan Commission at its meeting Thursday night approved the primary
plat for a duplex development at South Fifth Street and 1100N.
Babcock, representing Kathryn Cochran, told planners that eight duplexes
would be built on 10 acres of vacant land zoned medium density residential
at the northeast corner of South Fifth Street and 1100N,
Carney and his contracted engineer, Charlie Ray of The Duneland Group, have
been working on the plat, which allows for four two-family units on nine
lots. Lots 1 through 8 will each have a two-unit townhouse of 1,800 square
feet each. There are no current plans to develop the five acres on Lot 9,
given the fact that it’s bisected by the Pope O’Connor Ditch.
Babcock said that
the new development will contribute to housing diversity in the neighborhood
and provide a smoother transition between different types of housing. The
property is neighbored by multi-family property--apartments-- on the
northwest corner of the intersection and other medium density residential
buildings. Further north on South Fifth Street are single-family homes.
Babcock noted that
utilities and emergency services are already in place for the location, so
no extra effort needs to be made by the town. He also said the property
generated $3,100 in property taxes last year, and he estimates it will
increase to $3,500 per building with the new development.
Patty Shumate and
Keith Gladdis, who live near the site, spoke in opposition to the plans.
Shumate expressed concern that the new development would worsen drainage
problems along 1100N. “I’ve lived in this area my whole life,” she said. “It
floods. No one does anything about it.” Shumate also said Pope O’Connor
ditch needs to be cleared of fallen trees and debris and dredged.
Gladdis, for his
part, worried about drainage near his home on South Fifth Street. “In 41
years, I never had flooding in my backyard until the apartments over there
were allowed to expand their parking lot,” he said. Gladdis also asked if
the plans for development included any fixes for drainage issues.
According to Carney
and Ray, the natural flow of stormwater is west to east with about a
six-foot drop from the road to the ditch. The plat includes plans for a
swale to help direct water. The plan also includes a detention area with a
pipe that will direct water straight to Pope O’Connor ditch. Ray said this,
along with more grass on the property, will slow down the flow of water.
“That will stop the sudden rise of water in the ditch itself,” he added.
Town Engineer Mark
O’Dell also addressed concerns. He asked that Gladdis notify the Street
Department about his yard because the town wasn’t aware of drainage problems
in that area. O’Dell also said that the apartment expansion wouldn’t have
affected it and the flooding could be due to a backed-up drain.
In addition, O’Dell
noted that Shumate was correct about Pope O’Connor ditch needing to be
dredged, but the town has no authority to do so. “It’s a county regulated
drain,” he said, and remarked that that the County has cleared the south end
of the ditch recently and hasn’t yet returned to do the north end.
O’Dell said the
Town has put in calls but hasn’t heard back about when the north end will be
done. He noted that there are problems with the overall watershed in town,
but also said that the features in the new development won’t improve or
worsen drainage on a larger scale.
voted unanimously to approve the plat.