City officials on Oct. 6 debated where a future north-south road linking Waverly Road to 183rd Street may one day be located.
Mark Hannah, an attorney representing a family trust that owns the land where the KC Pumpkin Patch used to sit, said approving a development agreement and final plat for a planned development, Nottingham Village, would cast the die for a likely future relocation of 191st Street.
“I think everyone understands what the white elephant is,” Hannah told the council during the meeting. “Right now, 191st Street sits just too close to the interchange.”
Council accepted right of way from the Nottingham Village owners, where a street connecting 188th Street and 191st Street, may be constructed. Under the terms of a development agreement, the Nottingham Village developers will construct portions of a private road to access parcels as they develop. However, the city also has the option to fund and construct the complete road.
Hannah said it was a bad idea for the council to approve the development.
“It’s premature,” Hannah said.
He recommended council slow down a little bit. The right of way footprint on the Nottingham Village development is a road that will likely serve more than one development in the future.
“This road is the front porch of Gardner,” Hannah said.
City staff and the developers reached an impasse in negotiations on the Nottingham Village property earlier this summer. At the time, property owners balked at dedicating 60-feet of right away to the city and paying to fully construct the road. City staff suggested that the developers must fully build out the road as part of the development agreement.
Council stepped in and agreed that the developers could simply build access to parcels on the land as they developed. However, Hannah said owners of the family estate nearby worry the development plan will force a decision on where a future road will be located.
Hannah reminded council that the city’s recently-approved master plan includes a suggestion that the realignment of 191st Street should not occur without a very thorough study.
“At some point, 191st Street is going to have to be relocated somewhere north,” Hannah said. “That needs to be determined by a very thorough traffic study and report.”
Chase Simmons, an attorney for the Nottingham Village, said the purpose of the final plat and development agreement is simply to establish right-of way.
“It’s not etched in stone,” Simmons told the council.
The goal of the plan and plat is to maintain maximum flexibility for future development.
He said without the development agreement, which includes right-of-way easements, his property continues to be privately held.
“We don’t have to let anyone drive across it,” Simmons said.
Council members agreed to approve the development agreement.
“The proposal we have this evening, that doesn’t lock us into anything,” council member Heath Freeman said.
Under the terms of the agreement, the developers will dedicate 60-feet of right-of-way. The property owner can develop the road to access its development, or council can develop the road to its specifications at some point in the future. If the road isn’t developed by Sept. 26, 2024, the right-of-way will be dedicated back to the development owner.
Council accepts right-of-way for future road on town’s ‘front porch’