Council debates land usage on city-owned property

An eight acre parcel of city-owned property was the subject of nearly an hour's worth of debate at Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

The property, which is owned by the city, is located near the Summer Sports Complex. It is currently the site of the city's brush pile and the Community Garden

City Planner Joel Hansen told the council that during a Planning Commission meeting on May 6, considerable discussion was held in regard to lot size and the need to put in a street off Fourth Street and possibly connect to the lagoon property.

Hansen told the council that the Planning Commission had voted 5-1 to approve the preliminary plat for the area which would allow for the eight acre parcel to be divided into four large lots with a street running north/south through the middle of the property. The street would begin at Fourth Street and go south.

Hansen also noted that the city has a definite shortage of area for large apartment complexes and these lots would be large enough to allow for this type of use.

"Right now, this area does not have a legal description and can't be sold. This entire process includes creating a preliminary plat, a final plat, conducting a future land use study and having the area re-zoned," Hansen said.

Council member Jill Brodersen said she felt creating the preliminary plat was "a little pre-mature. We should have a plan for the entire area before we move forward."

Chele Meisenbach, a member of the Planning Commission, was at the meeting and voiced her concerns with the plan.

"I am not against housing (in this area), just not now. I don't feel a street in this area would be safe with all the activities that take place there and parking is an issue. If apartments are put in this area, it can't be used for recreation," Meisenbach said.

Council member Terri Buck asked if the current lagoon committee could decide what is going to happen in the lagoon area before making a decision on developing the lots.

Council member Matt Eischied told those who were not in favor of the preliminary plat "if you don't like the plan, come up with a better plan. Until the lagoon is gone, we can't decide what is going to go there. We need to start somewhere and make a decision on where the street is going to go."

Following considerable discussion, including a comment from Council member Jon Haase on postponing any decision, the council voted 5-3 in favor of approving the preliminary plat. Voting against were Chris Woehler, Jill Brodersen and Jon Haase.

Council members approved a resolution approving JEO Consulting Group, Inc. as the special engineer for the Transmission Water Main from North Well Field to City Limits Project. The cost of the services is $121,000.

It is anticipated that the project could be bid out this fall with work to begin in the spring of 2020.

Two ordinances regarding parking on South Sherman Street received first reading approval. These will involve the area that has recently been developed south of Grainland Road which currently does not have parking regulations.

The placement of a retaining wall in the city's right-of-way was discussed.

BJ Woehler, representing Robert Woehler & Sons, said the business is remodeling the building on Fairgrounds Avenue and would like to put in a small retaining wall to assist with the grade of the property. He showed pictures of where the construction would take place and how it would affect the sidewalk in the area.

Following discussion, council approved the request.

The final item on Tuesday's agenda was discussion regarding the Standard Specifications for Construction of Water, Sewer, Storm Sewer and Paving.

This item involved a second section of the manual which is being reviewed by council members.

Mayor Cale Giese read a proclamation in regard to National Public Works' Week, which is May 19-25 and noted the importance of the work done by public works employees.

The next regular meeting of the Wayne City Council will be Tuesday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

The Wayne Herald

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