Council OK’s Cookson plan for 7 duplexes, 7 homes
by Rick DeClue · News · August 30, 2013

Despite concerns from neighboring residents about increased traffic, the city approved on Aug. 19 a subdivider’s agreement and preliminary plat for the proposed Cookson subdivision.

The developer, Lynch Excavating, Inc., plans to build 14 units — seven duplexes on seven lots — in accordance with the property’s R-2 zoning. R-2 zoning allows multi-family or zero-lot-line homes of up to two units, like duplexes. The total site is slightly less than three acres.

Council Member Colton Miller said his recollection was that the city had previously agreed not to change the zoning when the city negotiated a developer agreement with Lynch in November 2012.

Mayor Mark Worrell agreed with Miller’s statement.

However, that agreement actually reads, “the Developer acknowledges that the Property is currently zoned R-2 and the Developer will not submit application to rezone the Property, other than to an R-1 designation.”

In other words, Lynch could rezone the property to the lesser housing density.

Two speakers asked the city to consider existing families with children in a neighborhood with limited streets in and out.

Amanda Tisinger and Abby Montgomery said 14 additional families would significantly increase traffic in a neighborhood that also deals with truck traffic in and out of the city’s public works maintenance facility.

Worrell thanked the two residents for their comments.

Larry Lynch told the city council that he would accommodate a home buyer looking to build a single-family residence on a single lot, but that he really requires the R-2 zoning/density to make the subdivision project feasible.

Second Street will be extended into the new subdivision, with further extension south left open as a possibility if property even further south becomes available for future development.

The council decided that Cookson Drive will not be extended, nor will an easement be required for a possible extension of this street in the future. Extending that street would have required shrinking one lot. Instead, Lynch will relocate an existing water main in order to maximize the room for building on that lot, called Lot 5.

The development will also require extensive grading, to smooth out the hills, of part of the site by Lynch, as well as some work by the city, to make it easier for driving, especially in the winter.

Finally, Lynch will dig a half-acre retention pond to minimize storm water drainage problems.

Lynch will provide escrow funds equal to 110 percent of the estimated costs for all municipal improvements required, including sidewalks, which the city will hold until those improvements are completed.

Any other future street improvements, such connecting Maple Avenue to Parkside Drive, would require agreements with other property owners, said Worrell.

The Cookson subdivider’s agreement and the preliminary plat were approved by a 5-0 vote.

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