Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2001

Planners review earlier plan before giving final approval

November 29, 2001


The planning commission's approval Wednesday of Home Depot's final development plan wasn't accomplished without revisiting October's battle about the preliminary plan.

The development, as originally approved in October, will be at 1900 W. 31st St. and face that "collector" street. That's despite provisions in Horizon 2020, the city-county long-range planning guide, that say such big commercial developments should face wider arterial avenues like Iowa Street.

Developers had resisted requests that they buy adjoining land or at least an easement across it to provide access from Iowa Street, saying they couldn't guarantee the landowners would sell. As a result, the city commission approved Home Depot's preliminary development plan without those conditions.

After the approval, however, it was revealed that the developers had a contract to purchase that land. Peter Dellaportas, president of First National Development, said his representatives had not known about the contract, and that it was in dispute in any case.

City commissioners revisited the issue earlier this month, ordering that the easement be included in the plan. Wednesday, Commissioner Myles Schachter asked if the commission could also review its recommendation to approve preliminary plan.

"The city commission relies heavily on the wisdom of the planning commission," he said. "This commission made a decision based on incorrect information. But it might have been a different decision with different information."

Other commissioners disagreed, noting the city commission's reconsideration.

"They could've sent this back to us if they were concerned about it," Commissioner Roger Schenewerk said. "Why didn't they ask for our wisdom if they wanted it?"

Schachter moved, seconded by David Burress, to table the final development plan and ask the city commission for a chance to review the preliminary plan. John Haase joined them in the vote, but they were defeated by commissioners Schenewerk, Andy Ramirez, Jane Bateman, Ron Durflinger, Jacob Plants and Sue Pine, with Tom Jennings abstaining because he owns adjacent property.

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