Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
At their Nov. 28 meeting, Gardner Planning Commission considered two residential subdivision development projects and whether or not there is a need to amend Gardner code that regulates wall signs in residential districts.

Sign Standards – the Royals sign
Two items regarding text amendments to the Land Development Code were the final items on the agenda, presented late in the meeting.
The first item was a re-evaluation of Gardner Land Development Code (LDC), Section 17.10 Sign Standards regarding signs in residential neighborhoods.
The review came as direction from city council following the Aug.7 council meeting.
Residents who had been notified that the sign mounted on their deck was in violation of city code appeared at that meeting to protest.
At that meeting staff advised that the sign was a violation under both the old and current code.
Council put the cease and desist notification on pause and directed staff to review the code and present a recommendation to the Planning Commission.
Kelly Drake-Woodward, chief planner, gave the staff presentation. Drake-Woodward said the difficulty with sign standards is that it’s “really subjective.”
The review finds that Gardner code is consistent with and typical of other jurisdictions.
Staff recommended some minor language changes to the code’s definition of the word sign, but recommended no changes to the provisions in Article 17.10 pertaining to wall signs in residential districts.
A public hearing was held with no one coming forward.
Heath Freeman, commission member, stated that after review and hearing the presentations he never once heard that current code was unsound. He said he saw no need to make any amendments.
Freeman later made a motion to make no changes. More discussion occurred and the motion was withdrawn by Freeman.
Brad Austin, member, subsequently made the motion that was voted on – that “after review of the staff report dated November 20, 2017, to recommend that the governing body deny Text Amendment TA-17-03 to amend the definition of a sign, and Article 17.02.010, definitions of the Gardner Land Development Code, and with no recommended amendment to the provisions and articles in 17.10 Sign Standards pertaining to wall signs in residential districts.”
The motion was seconded by Freeman and all voted in favor.

Plum Creek Subdivision – Final Plat
The first item of business was commission consideration of final plat for Plum Creek Manor II, a 78 lot, single-family residential subdivision located north of the intersection of W. 183rd Street and S. Mulberry Street.
The plot of land is surrounded by existing residential neighborhoods on the west, east and north, with Fire District 1 Station #122 and a city water tower on the south at 183rd.
Access to the new subdivision would be via East Willow Street on the north and S. Mulberry to the south.
Michelle Leininger, principal planner, presented staff review of final plat for Plum Creek Manor II.
Commission was familiar with the project, as it had already reviewed most details on July 28 when preliminary plat was approved.
Staff recommended approval, provided five conditions are met.
The first two conditions are: that excise tax in the amount of $187,276.59 must be paid to the city, and that construction plans for utilities, infrastructure and public facilities shall be submitted and approved.
The other five conditions regard specific directions to meet the street tree plan.
After presentation, final plat was approved by commission vote with none opposed.