Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Roads!

Tonight there was a public meeting regarding some changes that the developer is trying to push through to the third phase of development in our neighborhood. Specifically, to go along with the lower priced houses, they rezoned a bunch of the lots and managed to squeeze three more in (34 instead of 31). That represents a nice chunk of change for the developer, so they are certainly interested in pushing this through.

The Lakeville planning commission on the other hand most likely doesn't care since the lots still meet the minimum size requirements for this density of housing and so just asked that they hold a public meeting to make sure the neighborhood was OK with it. Linzy and I assumed the meeting would be people from the neighborhood upset with the smaller lots.

Instead, there was no one from our neighborhood there, other then us. However there were about 15 people from the next street over who were pissed about plans to connect a stub road to their street.

When we first got the notice I didn't think much of the comment that they would be connecting to the next road over, thinking "well of course you would, why leave a road going nowhere when there is a street to connect to". What I didn't realize at the time was that the next street over is unpaved. And the people from that neighborhood are super concerned with just about everything happening and whether it will mean sewer, water and paved road assessments for them.

The interesting thing was that the road connection has been planned forever because the plan is to some day convert the main arterial road into a four-lane divided road at which point you won't be able to turn one direction off their street. So without the road connection to our neighborhood they would have to go the wrong way and do a U-turn if they wanted to make a left turn. So it was inevitable that this would have to happen eventually.

The good deal for them is that more-or-less the city is making the developer pay for the road stub. Oh, they are charging back a nominal fee but I assume it is minuscule in the hopes of sweetening the deal. But the residents can decline the offer of a road and instead gamble on when they will be forced to connect that road. At which point, of course, they will be assessed for it.

Explaining this at the meeting took much, much longer then you might image. One lady, as far as I could tell, pretty much insisted in yelling "We don't need a road! I don't want a four-lane divided highway!" regardless of how many times the city engineer patiently explained that pretty much was as far from what was being proposed as possible.

I asked my question in the first three minutes (the average size of lots in the new plan versus the old plan), was completely unsurprised to hear they were unprepared to actually discuss facts, and then we spent the rest of the time listening in amusement to the vehemence over not wanting their road connected to the rest of city in any way shape or form. So while it was exactly what I was expecting in terms of irrationally angry citizens, the topic of their wrath was not at all what I was expecting.


Reuben said...

The lady is right, though. They ARE planning a four-lane highway that she doesn't want, right? She's just started the fight a little early.

Steve Eck said...

Good point. :)