Lynne Hermansen
Two development designs were unanimously approved Monday night by Gardner planning commission.
The first development for the rezoning and preliminary design of Breckenwood Creek required a public hearing. No one came forward.
Bob Case, city planner, presented the deviation changes for the 30.8 acre single family home area .4 miles north of 175th Street next to Kill Creek Road and adjacent to the St. John Highlands subdivision.
Case said it was a development the commissioners had seen before and approved in 2020 but they had found discrepancies since then.
“There were issues with the compact structures,” he said.
Case said there were now deviation requests to meet the low density requirements that would allow the 50 foot wide lots to have a garage, move the four foot wide sidewalk between the front door and sidewalk to between the driveway and sidewalk, a 45 percent proposed facade versus the original 25 percent front loaded facade because of concerns of being too narrow on the northern side and five foot wide sidewalks on 170th and Cody street and sidewalk extensions to the existing 10 foot wide Kill Creek Trail for ample connectivity because all utilities are in the front yard.
Dave Knopick, community development director, said the design details had become tighter.
“It doesn’t give wiggle room because they are smaller lots,” he said. “The driveway parameters are pretty harsh. It is a 7.5 foot wide drive and garage if lucky.”
Steve McNeer, commissioner, said they had spent a fair amount of time in 2020 with considerable discussions on facades.
Case said they had gone over the design plans quite a bit and had considered joint drive access at the time.
“Maybe duplexes but not single homes,” he said. “This is a typical subdivision just with with tighter lots.”
McNeer said it was what he remembered in separating joint driveways and unfortunately the price of land is going up so high.
“We are going to see more of this,” he said.
Case said it was a unique development and the northern end was extremely narrow.
“It is a way of working with the developer to infill housing,” he said.
Knopick said smaller housing lots were a trend they were going to see more of in communities.
“It is nice to allow shared driveways but not a desirable aspect as we are still suburban community,” he said. “There will probably be adjustments in the code in the future.”
Adrianna Meder, commissioner, said it was a challenging piece of land.
“It is good to see a solution,” she said.
The second final design approval was for Prairiebrook Villas north of 174th Street along the East of Kill Creek Road.
Case said the they had seen this Plat in the past too and it was an unusual situation.
The 14.02 acre 17 lot subdivision had originally been approved in 2020 for 20 lots, he said, but it had been brought back in March because it had been discovered the developers federal permit to move the stream had expired.
Case said the original 20 lot plan had a cul-de-sac at 173rd court with duplexes and the cul-de-sac had now been changed to a hammerhead street with buildings reoriented to allow a 60 foot wide stream buffer corridor to keep development away from and a 30 foot easement to accommodate the public trail.
“The buffer area will be labeled about not disturbing the land,” he said.