Trying to come up with a win-win situation isn't always easy for city officials, and Tuesday night's public hearing to amend the local area street plan was no different.
After testimony by a number of residents in the river-bottoms neighborhood, the City Council voted to amend the local street plan to include possible access from the neighborhood to 37th North in about the Fourth to Seventh West area.The city's Planning Commission had recommended the council approve a plan that would include a "dogleg" road extending off a cul-de-sac at 250 West, but council members denied that recommendation and approved the alternative plan.
The alternative plan recommends that the Planning Commission consider the dogleg as the last alternative in providing access to 37th North from 3540 North.
Instead, the council decided that access should go from the west corner of the property owned by the LDS Church (at about Fourth West) directly south to the river.
The council will ask the city attorney to review the legalities that would require a road to be built in the area before property to the south of the area is developed.
A building permit for the LDS Church was also approved by the council as part of the local area street plan motion.
The city's main concern is in providing access into the large undeveloped river-bottom area, but the plan gives the city enough flexibility to make it work, said Leland Gammette, director of community development.
"No one wants a road on their property, but everyone feels a road is necessary," he said.
Most property owners asked the council to have the proposed road go in as far west as possible.
None of the road options met with overwhelming approval by city officials and residents, but Mayor Joe Jenkins said the approved plan was the best alternative.
Gammette said, "I don't think anyone is in love with option A (the dogleg). We'll have to see if the attorney feels we can exact out the developers" to build the road.
One resident, Robert Hammond, said his main concern was increased traffic on 50 West and the possibility of a road going through his subdivision. He was concerned that access to 37th North would only become a shortcut for people trying to beat the light at University Avenue.
Jeff Brady said, "If I knew the cul-de-sac would be made a through street, I wouldn't have bought there."
Tom Rogers agreed. "The people in the cul-de-sac will be placed under hardship if that is violated."
But on the other hand, Ed Wright said, "We can't stop development. We need a church in the area and a recreation area for the youth. I would like to support the planning commission recommendation."
The mayor pointed out to residents that another road is necessary in order to provide access to homes that may someday need an ambulance or fire engine.
"Our primary issue is to get traffic out on 37th North, not University Avenue," Jenkins said.