Public hearing for proposed development delayed one month
Voting for preliminary and final plans for the development now known as Wakarusa Ridge Estates was deferred for one month at the Planning and Zoning Commission's April 5 public hearing. The deferment was because a mistake in the legal description of the property annexed into the city earlier this year left a 20 feet by 200 feet gap in the land unannexed. The mistake, said Matt Taylor, city engineer, left about 90 percent of the property annexed into the city, with the remaining to be voted on at the Wednesday, April 11 City Council meeting.
"There was a typo on their annexation," Taylor said. "Rather than trying to fix it by pencil, they're going to go ahead and redo the ordinance. I didn't want to have any risk of people claiming we were doing favors."
Taking precautions over that risk may have been a smart move, considering the new development's upset neighbors. Charles Shawbaker, Rose Acres resident, said he believes the sudden change to the commission hearing was from more than a typo.
"We suspect that they knew we were all hopped up here," Shawbaker said.
His wife agrees.
"If we had not fought this that thing would have went through," Pat Shawbaker said.
Member of the Rose Acres community is separate from the city, but are worried that the new development will shift water drainage to an adjacent pond, filling it with mud and possibly destroying land around the houses.
On Wednesday, March 29 approximately 20 Rose Acres citizens representing 20 houses gathered to discuss plans to voice their opposition. The end result was a letter signed by various residents stating their concerns of the development to be submitted to the commission. For Pat Shawbaker the letter and action displays the attitude of the Rose Acres community they are going to fight the development tooth and nail.
"That was so they could know what our ideas were," Pat Shawbaker said. "We wanted to get everybody together on the same page."
Despite the setback of the zoning hearing, Genevieve Tedrow, property owner, said she is staying focused on seeing the property developed as soon as possible.
"I'm trying my best not to get excited or upset about this because things happen," Tedrow said. "It does set us back. People that buy lots want to buy before winter."
As the wait continues for the May meeting, Pat Shawbaker assures Rose Acres residents will attend to defend their community from the prospective new development near their homes.
"We're not going to stop because all of these people will stick together," she said.