Tuesday, February 16, 2016

City Council Tackles Rezoning Again

Mayor Marilyn Pearse called to February 15, 2016 meeting to order and after asking for a motion to move the Executive Session up in the agenda, immediately approved the consent agenda before adjourning for a 20 minute executive session.
Baldwin City Council - February 15, 2016
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
After returning the council dove into old business, hearing from Greg Neis about ordinance 1335, which aims at cleaning up language and eliminating breed specific language. The council unanimously moved it to second reading.
The council then moved to ordinance 1338, which seeks to rezone a parcel of land at 700 Ridge Lane.
A packed room of Baldwin City citizens was in attendance. Many of whom were wanting to speak, or show support to those that did speak on one side or the other of this hot button issue, that seven spoke in opposition to two weeks ago. 
This time, eight speakers approached the podium. Two in favor of the rezoning, five in opposition and one who tried to remain neutral.   Richard Austin said the homes whether they are dual or single family residences will be nice homes in keeping with the Fire Tree aesthetics.  Pointing out that the creek would make the new cul-de-sac a community of it's own.
Hank Booth attempted to take the middle ground, saying the city needs this kind of development if not here, then somewhere. Encouraging the council if they don't pass it, to be prepared to approve the next property.
Many of those opposed were concerned about their property values, should this property be allowed to rezone. Other concerns included higher traffic along Flame Way, fear of the unknown (as one speaker alluded to), and that they were told or under the impression there would not be anything but single family dwellings built around the Fire Tree subdivision.
After public comments concluded a motion was made to decline the planning committee recommendation. The council voted 3-2 in favor of declining the recommendation.

In other business:
  • The council had first reading of ordinance 1339 the Annual Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) base cost adjustment.
  • Discussed the hiring of a Community Development Director, who can find, write and apply for grants.
  • Bill Winegar updated the council on the sewer project that the council had previously approved.
  • Chris Croucher updated the council dangerous meter service, saying the letters were ready to go out.
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