Leader Blues

Monday, March 16, 2009

TOP STORY >> Sherwood rejects large subdivision

Leader staff writer

Sherwood’s Planning Commission rejected a major subdivision after its developer failed to include the North Belt Loop in its plans.

Developer Steve Deere and others working on the project insisted that they didn’t have to show the North Belt on their plans. The more than 1,000-home residential development had been tabled for months as the commission awaited the city council’s action adding route to Sherwood’s master street plan.

The commission insisted that city ordinances said that all planned roads, highways and interstates needed to be shown on the plans.

After the council approved the master street plan, which relocated the North Belt to its latest proposed position, the developer still did not put it on his plans.

The commission Tuesday night then felt it had no choice but to turn down the plans.

At previous commission and council meetings, the attorney for the Oakdale North Addition called the state Highway Department the bad guy and said the city was just a pawn for the state and that it could not force a developer to give up something for the state.

Attorney Hal Kemp said the city could end up financially responsible for the acreage it wants to take for the North Belt.

He suggested that the city could be in “financial peril” if it didn’t approved the subdivision plans.

Kemp said that turning down the subdivision could mean that the city will end up in court.

Deere gave no inkling of a lawsuit Tuesday when the commission turned the project down. “I just down you to table it again,” he told the commission before they voted the project down.

The North Belt right-of-way chews up about 60 acres of his acreage and could prevent another 150 acres from being developed.

Michael Clayton, representing the Millers Crossroads Phase II project, asked for another delay. His project also does not show the North Belt on the plans and has been tabled for months. He asked for another delay because the Highway Department was negotiating with his clients to purchase the necessary right of way for the bypass.

The commission did approve the preliminary plat for Belin Addition near Overcup Drive and Woodruff Avenue.

The owner wants to split the three acres into two lots for residential development.

The Sherwood Planning Com-mission meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month in the police and court building.

The meetings are open to the public.