Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Developers eye east Eudora

November 23, 2005

The developers of a proposed subdivision near Intech Business Park have a vision.

Wilson and Hoover, LLC want to create a new attractive eastern entrance to Eudora.

"I think its important to have a nice entry point -- a good entry point with services, a shopping center, a restaurant and gas station to keep customers coming and going," said Mike Keeney of the Peridian Group.

Keeney spoke to the Eudora Planning Commission Oct. 5 and again Nov. 2 on behalf of Stan Wilson and Jim Hoover. Wilson and Hoover have been working with the city and planning commission to annex and rezone 72 acres near the business park.

Plans for the subdivision, called Deer Valley, occupy an area along Douglas County Road 442.

The preliminary plans call for a business corridor along with 90 single-family plats, 40 for townhomes and 30 for commercial use.

Expanding upon the homes, the vision for Deer Valley includes restaurants, medical offices, a daycare and a shopping center. The plans also offer glimpses of a detention pond, playground and trail.

Hoover told the planning commission there would be a homeowners' association to help assure the subdivision's upkeep.

The preliminary work has gone through two different planning sessions and approaches a third Dec. 7.

From the beginning, Hoover, Wilson and Keeney focused on two main issues: land use and infrastructure.

Zoning

The exact nature of the group's zoning requests changed over the past month.

"The long-range plans called for this area to be a future business. We've asked for a change from that for us to do a commercial corridor," Keeney said.

City officials zoned the property in 1986 with the expectation it would be home to Intech's growth.

Because the park has five buildings, two of which are currently for sale, the developers saw an opportunity for change.

At the Oct. 5 planning commission meeting, the developers asked to change the zoning to a neighborhood commercial corner surrounded by resiential. The group also requested some light industrial zoning because of interest expressed by businesses.

Eventually, the developers realized their first requests would prohibit the possibility of a drive-through restaurant. The prohibition spurred Hoover and Wilson to ask for an amendment. The group tried to rezone the land as highway commercial and general business.

During the Nov. 2 meeting, according to the unofficial minutes, as Keeney laid out a rough development schedule while reiterating the group's plans.

If the annexation and re-zoning passes, Keeney sees the residential sections developing first.

After three years, the commercial develop would start.

Infrastructure

If the Deer Valley subdivision is built, developers will have to overcome several infrastructure issues. Foremost on that list is sewers.

City Engineer Brian Kingsley said Eudora's east sewer line interceptor would be able to serve the first phase of the subdivision's construction.

If the subdivision grows much beyond that point, there might be an issue.

"So they're limited on their sanitary sewer capacity," Kingsley said. "They're also going to have to extend access to their subdivision, and they're working with the city to decide if they're going to build it or if they are going to build it with the city."

During the Nov. 2 commission meeting, Keeney said his clients plan to immediately install a 2,000 foot 15-inch sewer line that could be tapped to support growth.

If others tap into it, Keeney said the developers' cost could be covered by a benefit district.

When asked if the developers will pay the cost of the sewer line, Keeney said his clients planned to pay for the city's required eight-inch pipe if the city pays for the remaining seven inches.

When the commercial corridor comes online in 2008, Keeney said the group plans to build a small pump station to handle the excess load.

Another issue involves Seventh Street.

"Right now we're wanting to get both sides annexed so the city will be willing to maintain it," Keeney said.

Next step

According to the unofficial minutes during the public comment portion of the Nov. 2 planning commission meeting, citizens asked Keeney about the storm water prevention.

Keeney assured the citizens the development had a strong storm water plan, which has been checked by the city staff.

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle said city officials weren't interested in a land grab, but realized the annexation was needed.

The city has no objections to Wilson and Hoover wanting to get started as soon as possible, Pyle said.

Among those against the project was city planning consultant Randall Graves.

He said if they allowed Deer Valley in, the city might lose its entire east side to residential. With continued development, there will be greater demand for industrial and business park land, Graves said.

The commission decided to table the annexation and zoning until its next meeting, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St.

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