Archive for Wednesday, March 13, 2002

City Council Briefs

March 13, 2002

Development worries area residents

Several property owners turned out Monday night to protest plans for 41 townhomes in east Tonganoxie.

South Park Development Company, owned by Jack and Estee Willis, is asking the city to rezone property from rural zoning to duplex zoning. The site is directly across U.S. Highway 24-40 from the Stone Creek development.

The Tonganoxie City Council was scheduled to consider the rezoning on Monday, but because area property owners filed a protest petition, the council did not have enough members present to consider it. Council member Kathy Graveman was absent, and the council has one vacant seat formerly held by Janet Angell.

The council will take up the matter on March 25.

During the open agenda of Monday night's meeting, several property owners in the county said they believe the development of 82 duplex units would be detrimental to their property values.

In addition, Barbara Hardesty, 20840 Sandusky Rd., said she was concerned council members had made up their minds to approve the rezoning despite the protest petition.

"You guys are acting like this is a done deal," she said.

Gary Ditty of Landplan Engineering, which is based in Lawrence, said the property owners hope to have all the townhomes constructed within a year.

"He hoped to have the lots sold to builders, and they built pretty aggressively in Stone Creek with quite a bit of success," Ditty said.

City planning to wait on pool improvement

City Administrator Shane Krull told city council members Monday that he would like to wait to see what the state budget picture is before deciding whether to repair the city pool.

He said he believes a fiberglass liner would solve water-leakage problems at the pool. But he's concerned that the city could lose some state funding this year because of budgetary problems.

"We should probably wait and consider it in the late summer or early fall, once we know what our funding will be from the state," he said.

City OK's permit for home business

City council members on Monday unanimously approved a special-use permit for a dog grooming business at 320 Rogers Rd.

The five-year permit that is valid during daylight hours, Monday through Saturday, was issued to Monica Gee.

"This is a suitable home occupation, and it has very little impact on the surrounding area or the neighborhood," said Linda Bohnsack, interim city planner.

City working to fill variety of vacancies

Mayor John Franiuk said the city council is planning to interview applicants for a vacancy on the council at its March 25 meeting.

The deadline to apply for Janet Angell's seat is noon March 22. Angell resigned from the council because she is moving just outside the city limits.

And city officials hope to soon fill vacant staff positions, Franiuk said.

Next week, he said, interviews will be conducted for a full-time firefighter and a fire department deputy chief/training officer. James Payne, deputy chief, recently took a job in Ford County, and the city last year established the second full-time firefighter position, so the city is interviewing for two jobs with the fire department.

Franiuk said the city hopes to fill the city planner's job within a month. That vacancy was created when Linda Bohnsack resigned to take a job with Leavenworth County.

The city also is taking applications for several seats on boards and commissions. The terms of several members of these board and commissions expire on May 1, and the city has sent letters to those people to determine whether they're interested in serving again.

Kathy Bard, assistant to the city administrator, said it's likely some board members won't be interested in serving again.

"If other people apply, they will be interviewed and considered," she said. "Just because a person has an position doesn't guarantee they'll be re-appointed."

These terms expire May 1:

Two library board seats.

Two site plan review committee seats.

Two tree board seats.

Three planning commission seats.

The deadline to apply is noon April 19, and applicants will be interviewed during the city council meeting on April 22. Applications are available at city hall, 321 Delaware.

The city also has another vacancy on the planning commission. That term expires in 2004. The deadline to apply for that seat is noon March 22, and interviews will be conducted at the March 25 council meeting.

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