City Commission Approves Development Agreement

City Commission Approves Development Agreement

During Monday's City Commission meeting, city officials deliberated the approval of a Development Agreement with Beck's Superior Hybrid Seeds Inc., focusing on enhancements to North Ohio Street adjacent to the proposed Beck's Addition.

In a background context, on October 28, 2022, Beck's Hybrid Seeds submitted an application for the final plat approval of Beck's Addition, a one-lot plat spanning 23.92 acres of land situated on the west side of North Ohio Street, south of I-70. Beck's Hybrid Seeds plans to acquire land from the Ward Family Trust and DK Farm and Ranch, comprising a total of 35.23 acres along North Ohio Street. Their proposal involves merging portions of these tracts to create a corporate campus housing Beck's Hybrid Seeds' sales office and warehouse, alongside agricultural test plots. No internal public streets are proposed, but a private driveway connecting to Ohio Street is planned. Presently, North Ohio Street does not meet the full City street standards along its 155 ft. of frontage.

The Planning Commission granted approval for Beck's Addition on August 15, 2023. However, recording of the plat awaits resolution of North Ohio Street's improvement, specifically whether it should meet the interim street standard or the full City street standard with curb and gutter and public sidewalks on both sides.

On September 11, 2023, the City Commission voted 4-0 in favor of preparing a Development Agreement between Beck's Superior Hybrid Seeds and the City. This agreement will address the timing, costs, and triggers for future improvements to North Ohio Street, ultimately ensuring it conforms to the applicable public street standard. The decision was influenced by Section 36-74 of the City of Salina Subdivision Regulations, which allows for an alternate standard, specifically the interim street standard, under a development agreement.

Although Beck's Hybrid Seeds has not formally requested this deferral, ongoing discussions with Planning staff have indicated their preference not to upgrade North Ohio Street as part of their development.

North Ohio Street, constructed by KDOT in 2003, currently meets the interim street standard in terms of pavement width and thickness but lacks public sidewalks on the west side. To reach the full City street standard, 153 ft. of curb and gutter on both sides and a public sidewalk along the subdivision frontage are needed.

Beck's Hybrid Seeds is seeking to defer the full City street standard improvements through a Development Agreement or No Protest Agreement. Currently, the Subdivision Regulations do not grant the Planning Commission or the City Commission authority to waive street improvement requirements but do allow for deferral until specific triggers are met, as established in such agreements.

The proposed Development Agreement outlines two key street improvements for North Ohio Street: immediate enhancements, including a 5-foot public sidewalk on the west side, to meet the interim street standard, and deferred improvements, such as curb and gutter and storm drainage along the entire frontage, to meet full City Street Standards. The trigger for the latter is a traffic count of 10,000 vehicles per day, currently at 5,150 vehicles per day.

The Development Agreement received a 4-0 approval, with Mayor Hoppock recusing himself.

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