City Council Approves Changes to Fork Landing Farm

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Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.19.03 PMBy Terry Rogers

After a public hearing regarding changes to the approved plot plan for Fork Landing Farm, a subdivision located off Route 36 in Milford, Milford City Council approved a request from developer Dave Kenton to change lots originally planned for duplexes into 12 residential lots that would be consistent with the remaining lots on November 23, 2015.

“This was approved by Planning and Zoning,” Mr. Kenton said. “Ryan Homes, who will be constructing the buildings on the lots, felt that duplexes would not be beneficial for the subdivision and requested that we apply for a change to allow them to build single family homes on the lots instead. This will reduce the density of the subdivision and should improve property values for surrounding properties.” Councilwoman Katrina Wilson asked what the price range would be for the new homes and Mr. Kenton said he estimated between $195,000 to $220,000. Mr. Kenton explained that existing homes were listed at $230,000 to $250,000 currently.

In addition to the change from duplexes to single-family homes, Mr. Kenton was also requesting setback variances that would match those approved for other properties. Councilman Jamie Burk commented that the backyard setback of only ten feet could make it difficult for property owners to add a deck to the back of their property. Mr. Kenton said that he did not think that had been an issue for current owners who had added decks. There was no public comment during the hearing. The request for both the setbacks and single-family house lots were approved by council unanimously.

A public hearing was also held regarding to the sewer impact fee assessment in city code. Randy Duplechain, Project Manager for the city, said that the code was for sewer impacts only and not for water.

“There are several developments in the Southeast Milford area where the new hospital is located,” Mr. Duplechain said. “The code change would affect areas that currently do not have sewer service. We require those developers to undergo a feasibility study and pay for any improvements necessary to supply services to the new development. Unfortunately, not all developers in the area are ready to participate with either the feasibility study or the addition of services that are necessary to supply sewer service to the property. There are currently four property owners or developers who are on board with paying for the new plant the city has planned in the Southeast area. However, owners of the Hall property located across from the location where the new hospital is proposed are not willing to participate as they are not sure yet what the future holds for that property.”

The proposal was to change the code to better explain how developers would be required to pay for the sewer service. In addition, it would add an option for the city to participate in the additional services as a representative of developers who were not ready to participate or to expand services to meet what could be future need should land be developed in the future.

“The Southeast Milford plant is an example of how this could benefit the city,” Mr. Duplechain explained. “The sewer plant could be built to accommodate possible future use of all lands in the area, including the Hall property. The additional cost to the city would be approximately $149,000. However, because Shawnee Acres would also benefit from the additional sewer plant, there would be approximately $153,000 coming back to the city from that development, so the actual cost to the city would be nothing.”

Council members said that this would allow the city to create a sewer plant that would accommodate future growth, saving the city money in the future. There were no public comments during the hearing and council approved the changes unanimously.