City Commissioners Deliberate on Development Agreement for S 9th St Enhancements

City Commissioners Deliberate on Development Agreement for S 9th St Enhancements
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During Monday's city commission meeting, city commissioners engaged in discussions regarding the approval of a Development Agreement with the Mark Augustine Trust, which pertains to current and future enhancements to S 9th St adjacent to the Augustine Addition.

Mark Augustine, the applicant, recently acquired property at the southwest corner of S 9th St and Water Well Rd from the Miller Trust. His proposal involves subdividing the property into four lots, with one designated for a convenience store/travel plaza, another for an RV park, and a third for a mini-storage complex. The fourth lot, Lot 3, will serve as a stormwater retention pond area. These land uses align with the requested Planned Service Commercial zoning.

The Planning Commission had previously granted approval for the final plat of the Augustine Addition on August 15, 2023. However, the approval was pending resolution of the question regarding perimeter street improvements. S 9th St, which spans 1,330 feet along the Augustine Addition, currently falls short of meeting the full City street standards.

On September 11, 2023, the City Commission deliberated whether to support the Augustine Addition's approval with S 9th St being improved to the interim street standard rather than the full City street standard (which includes curb and gutter and public sidewalks on both sides of South 9th Street). The City Commission unanimously voted 5-0, instructing staff to draft a Development Agreement between Mr. Augustine and the City to address the timing, triggers, and cost allocation for future improvements to S 9th St, with the executed agreement to be recorded with the final plat.

The general street requirements for new subdivisions are detailed in Section 36-74 of the City of Salina Subdivision Regulations. This section outlines that perimeter streets must meet or exceed the applicable public street standard at the time of subdivision approval, or improvements should be made as part of the development. Alternatively, a subdivision may be approved if direct access perimeter streets are improved to an alternate standard, not less than the interim street standard, through a development agreement between the City and the developer.

Mr. Augustine did not formally request a waiver of improvements but indicated during discussions with Planning staff that he prefers to defer the upgrades to S 9th St. He sought the City Commission's involvement in this matter.

S 9th St was previously constructed by KDOT as Old US Highway 81 and currently complies with the interim street standard regarding pavement width and thickness. However, it falls short of the interim street standards for new or existing streets due to the absence of public sidewalks on the west side.

To meet the interim City street standard, 1,330 feet of public sidewalk would need to be constructed on the west side of the road. To achieve the full City street standard, 1,330 lineal feet of curb and gutter would need to be installed on both sides of S 9th St, along with a public sidewalk along the subdivision frontage.

Mr. Augustine has requested that the improvements required to meet the full City street standard, including full curb and gutter installation, be deferred through the terms of a development agreement or No Protest Agreement.

The current Subdivision Regulations do not grant the Planning Commission or the City Commission the authority to waive street improvement requirements, only to defer them until specific thresholds or triggers are met through a Development Agreement or No Protest Agreement.

The Planning Commission did not have a role in accepting the interim street standard as an "alternate standard." The authority and discretion to make this decision rests entirely with the governing body. The Planning Commission acknowledged the existing condition of S 9th St during their review of Mr. Augustine's proposed plat but did not make a recommendation regarding the accepted standard.

Terms of Proposed Development Agreement:
The proposed Development Agreement outlines the timing and responsibility for two types of street improvements along S 9th St: immediate improvements as part of the subdivision development and deferred street improvements.

Immediate improvement entails constructing a five-foot public sidewalk on the west side of S 9th St concurrent with the issuance of a building permit. This will bring S 9th St up to the interim street standard.

The deferred improvement consists of installing curb and gutter and storm drainage improvements along the entire S 9th St frontage of the subdivision. The installation of these deferred street improvements will be triggered when the traffic count on S 9th St reaches 7,500 vehicles per day, aligning with the Institute of Transportation Engineer guidelines for a 2-lane roadway, classified as Level of Service (LOS) C. This approach mirrors the one taken with the Markley Rd benefit district. Currently, the traffic count on this segment of S 9th St stands at 2,655 vehicles per day. Implementing sidewalks and curb and gutter will bring this section of the roadway up to full City Street Standards.

The motion to approve the proposed Development Agreement with the Mark Augustine Trust and authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement was unanimously approved by a 5-0 vote.

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