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Archive for Sunday, June 7, 1998

A PUBLIC DRAINAGE PIPE BENEATH A VACANT LOT TARGETED FOR A NEW HOME HAS COLLECTED PLENTY OF CONTROVERSY IN THE OLD WEST LAWRENCE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND NOW COMMISSIONERS WILL TRY TO SORT IT ALL OUT.

June 7, 1998

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Commissioners are scheduled to review a report concerning a construction project at 641 Ill.

The issue: City officials already have granted a building permit for the new home, which would be built atop a buried storm sewer pipe that is not protected by a public easement.

Neighbors are concerned the new construction could harm the drainage pipe, and even worsen the current drainage problems in the area. They want the permit overturned.

City staffers already have reviewed the records in the case and have come to a conclusion.

``The staff believes that the building permit is legitimate,'' City Manager Mike Wildgen said.

Staffers previously discussed the possibility of buying the vacant lot, to be preserved for drainage purposes, but ``we did not pursue because of a wide disparity in possible purchase terms and the fact that this is not a priority project'' included in the city's Stormwater Master Plan, said David Corliss, the city's director of legal services.

The entire issue is to be discussed by the full commission, at the request of Commissioner John Nalbandian.

Corliss noted that ``the situation does point out the need to establish a program of identifying the location of public infrastructure without an adequate easement. Appropriate easements could be obtained from willing property owners by donation/dedication and in appropriate situations purchased.''

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