Special to The Gardner News
A busy agenda was worked through at the June 20 Gardner city council meeting. Some items adopted by council had been discussed for several months and were postponed when the June 6 meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.
The I-35 SubArea Plan features a map that designates land zoning for the areas the city plans to annex.
In the first draft sent to council, several property owners had issues with how properties were zoned. When council learned of these issues, they sent the plan back to the planning commission for reconsideration.
The planning commission changed the designation for one of the three properties during reconsideration. The other two stayed as they were, and the plan was sent back to council.
A representative for one of the property owners indicated during public comments he wants his property to be zoned commercial. The map shows it as low density residential.
“So you’re telling me that’s going to be single family… across the road from the intermodal and a half mile from I-35… they’re going to show that as single family? That’s BS,” Lynn Baker, Spring Hill, said as he left the podium.
Larry Powell, business and economic development director, said that once the city officially annexes, the property owner could request to have it rezoned the way he wants then.
Rich Melton, council member, questioned why the property owner should wait. Melton said, “I don’t understand why we, from our perspective, we just can’t do it like he likes, if he’s going to ask for it anyway.”
Todd Winters, council vice president said, “If you’re in agreement that would be an acceptable use at some time in the future, then why don’t we just do this now?”
There was discussion that if the change were made, would it have to go back to the planning commission. The answer was that council did not need to send it back, they could make amendments and adopt.
Council changed the zoning of the property in question to commercial as the owner wanted and then adopted the SubArea Plan.
Since they were taking action different than the planning commission recommendation, it required a full vote of the governing body – council plus mayor. It passed with a 6-0 vote.
Land Development Code
Council adopted the Land Development Code as recommended by the planning commission. It takes effect Aug. 1, 2016.
The new code replaces the existing Title 17 Subdivision Regulations and Title 18 Zoning Ordinance. It is 185 page document which represent months of work by the planning commission, city staff and consultants.
Lee Moore, council member said, “I’d like to acknowledge the amount of work this represents. A tremendous accomplishment. Lots of activity over the last several months, meeting after meeting, committee after committee, putting all this together. I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all who participated in this, especially the planning commission.”
GMA property acquisition
Acquisition of properties in the Gardner Municipal Airport flight path continues. A price of $155,000 for the tract has been negotiated. All buildings on the property will be demolished to establish a runway protection zone.
Staff recommendation was for council to approve the property purchase. Motion passed 5-0.
GMA hangar rates rise
The Gardner Municipal Airport Advisory Board sent their recommendations for hangar rates to council. Most hangar space will see a rate increase of $5 to $15 per month. Council approved the new rates with a 5-0 vote.
City moves to buy real estate
Council authorized the city administrator to execute a real estate contract in the amount of $664,290 to acquire 15.25 acres in the northwest corner of 167th and Moonlight Road. This will be the location of a new facility for the Gardner Police Department and a new building to house municipal court. Chris Morrow, mayor, described it’s future as a “full service justice center.”
New city prosecutor
Council considered appointment of a new city prosecutor. Following a formal interview process, Corey Kennedy won the recommendation for appointment. He was approved by unanimous council vote. Appointment is effective on June 21. Gardner now has two city prosecutors.
The developer has recently completed stormwater and wastewater infrastructure construction per the city’s specifications. It has been inspected by the city engineer and recommended by staff to be allowed connection into the city system. Council approved 5-0
City adopts land development code