Jason Camis, president of the Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce reviews the 2017 chamber work plan with the Edgerton city council at their Jan. 26 meeting. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
At the Jan. 26 meeting, Edgerton city council made decisions on partnering with Gardner and Johnson county in a Waverly Road improvement project, and rezoning land bordering Gardner residential neighborhoods. Council also passed an ordinance regulating monument signs and reviewed a work plan from GE Chamber of Commerce.
Waverly Road partner project
At the last meeting, council discussed an offer to participate in asphalting Waverly Road from US 56 to south to the new bridge.
The inquiry came from the city of Gardner.
The letter stated that the county intends to pave that section of road, regardless of if the cities participate or not – however if the cities would contribute $175,000 between them, the county would apply an additional six inches of asphalt.
Council questioned why the inquiry came from Gardner instead of Johnson County. Staff was instructed to contact the county and request more information.
Beth Linn, city administrator, updated the council.
A major concern expressed at both meetings is the intersection at US 56 and Waverly.
Don Roberts, mayor, said the intersection needs to be realigned or a roundabout constructed to make it safe.
Concern about the safety of that intersection is elevated because many Gardner Edgerton High School students pass through it on the way to school every day. That is a primary reason Edgerton has marked it as a no truck route, and some members of the council would prefer the road not be paved at all, at least not until the intersection is improved.
Other council members thought the city should partner in the project.
Linn reminded the council of their past focus to designate this a ‘no trucks’ road.
“That was a very conscious decision that this governing body made, and staff supported, because really we want truck traffic… to be literally uncomfortable for them to get off on that route”, Linn said.
Charlie Troutner, council member, said he didn’t think truck traffic would be increased or decreased by the paving of the road.
Roberts said he had been working with the newly-elected Sheriff Calvin Hayden and expected to see enforcement on that road increase. He said he was certain that would help decrease truck traffic.
A motion was made to NOT partner in the project.
Cindy Crooks and Clay Longanecker voted in favor (of not participating). Troutner and Crist cast nay votes. Jody Brown was absent. Don Roberts, mayor, voted in favor to break the tie vote.
Edgerton declined to participate in the plan as presented with a 3-2 vote.
Rezoning on the border
The Edgerton Planning Commission recommended the council approve Ordinance No. 1045 to rezone 82 acres of land east of Waverly Road and north of 183rd, from A-G (Agricultural) to L-P (Logistics Park) district.
The east side of this lot borders Gardner city limits. On the Gardner side are established residential subdivisions. The commission held a public hearing on Jan. 14 regarding this zoning.
With an 8-0 vote, commission recommended council approve the rezoning ordinance.
That commission meeting was attended by several Gardner residents who own homes in that area and voiced opposition to the rezoning. They were concerned with how the rezoning might impact property values, noise and traffic.
According to staff analysis, site plan review and approvals will be required before building permits are issued. Staff says the site plan review process “will help mitigate impact that might occur to adjacent properties.”
Attention to buffering, setbacks and storm water management are to be a part of site plan reviews. The analysis states: “Mitigation of pollution in the form of water, air, noise, light, etc., will be addressed as part of the process.”
Staff finds the rezoning to consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map.
Council approved Ordinance No. 1045 with a 4-0 vote.
The planning commission recommended council approval of Ordinance No. 1044. The ordinance would amend Edgerton’s Unified Development Code (UDC) to include regulation of monument signs in industrial zoning districts.
Kenneth Cook, community development director, explained that some minor changes to wording, recommended by the city attorney, had been made to the regulation since it was approved by the commission.
Cook said the changes were not substantial changes but just minor wording changes. By approving the modified version, council would officially be overriding the Planning Commission recommendation.
Roberts asked Patrick Reavey, city attorney, if it was his recommendation that council override the planning commission rather than sending it back for re-consideration.
Reavey agreed that sending it back used to be the norm, but a court decision a few years back had established that council could tweak the language as long as they had a two thirds majority.
“If it was something that warranted more discussion, more analysis by the Planning Commission, I think it would be advisable to send it back, but the changes that were made really are not anything I would think deserve to go back”, Reavey said.
Council approved Ordinance No. 1044 with a 4-0 vote.
Jason Camis, president of Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce, presented council with the chamber work plan for 2017. The plan outlines actions the chamber will pursue to assist the city in areas of advocacy, collaboration and exposure.
Two ordinances on the agenda, that proposed amendments to city code were tabled to a future meeting.
Council recessed into two Executive Sessions in the last part of the meeting. The first was for discussion related to acquisition of property. The second was for consultation with attorney.