Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2001

Council awaits public discussion on townhouses

November 29, 2001

A multi-family housing development could be one step closer to finding out if it has a home in Eudora Dec. 10 when the Eudora City Council plans to vote on the Eudora Planning Commission's recommendations for the development.

Lance Johnson of the Peridian Group spoke on behalf of the developers, saying they had been able to integrate the planning commission's recommended changes into the design.

"I think we came up with a pretty good compromise," Johnson said.

Developer James Hoover, Jr., said Eudora doesn't have a lot of opportunities for first-time homebuyers because of the high prices of starter homes, but a townhome might be more affordable.

"We're trying that price range to get first-time homebuyers to Eudora," Hoover said.

The changes made included reducing the number of lots by one, thus slightly increasing lot size, and reducing the number of townhomes, which increased the number of single family homes in the development.

Some residents in surrounding neighborhoods expressed concern about the project, specifically traffic-related issues, like excessive numbers of cars parked on the street rather than in driveways or garages. About 50 to 50 residents signed a petition asking the city to deny zoning. With the changes, the townhomes are now contained to two cul-de-sacs, and none of them will face single family homes.

The council decided Nov. 26 to postpone voting on the zoning change and development plan until the next meeting in part because although the discussion was scheduled in the meeting, the item didn't appear on the written agenda.

"It's been such a controversial thing, I think it's only fair we give proper notice and get it on the agenda," said council member Rex Burkhardt.

Council member Willene Blackburn said she hoped to see the community continue to stay involved in the issue by attending planning and council meetings.

Although the issue won't go to vote for several weeks, council member Tom Pyle told those at the meeting how he felt about the development. He said if the majority of Eudorans had been against growth when the town's population numbered in the hundreds, Eudora would still be that way.

"We're talking slow, managed growth," Pyle said. "You go forward, or you go backward."

In other council news:

The council revisited the discussion of designs for a new pool. Mayor Ron Conner said the presentations the council listened to last meeting were vastly different in that CAS showed how great of a pool it could build while Larkin told the city how it could preserve the current pool until it was able to upgrade.

"I don't have a problem with getting more input," Conner said.

The council decided to seek input from the designer of the current Eudora pool, and possibly in the future have a study session where it could look at more than the two presented options.

"When we look at a dump truck, we get three bids," Pyle said.

Council member Dan Gregg resumed discussion of hiring a city administrator, suggesting the council get in touch with the Kansas League of Municipalities to assist in the search.

"This is something we need to spend money on," Gregg said. Furthermore, he said, hiring someone for the position would take more time, energy and experience than anyone on the council had to offer.

Others on the council were more cautious about jumping into the hiring process, like Pyle, who mentioned other cities that have had large turnovers of city administrators. Conner said he'd like to see the council have a job description pinned down before looking at hiring someone.

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