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A major residential development is still in the planning stages for the city of Farmington.

Development Services Director Tim Porter reviewed the history of the farm that formerly belonged to the Presbyterian Children’s Home and explained that Pine Trails Subdivision is now in the plat process with the city.

“There’s two parts to the story," Porter said. "Around February 2013, the owners of the then children’s farm petitioned the city for annexation,. As I understand it, in the strategic planning for our major street plan, there was always thought of the expansion of Pine Street — which dead ends at the children’s farm — one day that would take it all the way out eventually to at least Industrial Drive or even out to Schwartz Road.

"It’s part of the overall comprehensive plan of the city. The city during that period agreed that they would eventually expand Pine Street out through the children’s farm. Then, their long term strategy changed. They opted to subdivide the property into parcels and sell it at auction. Pine Street Properties, LLC bought the whole thing.

"At some point, the Farmington School District expressed interest in buying some of the property as part of their long-term plan to build a new school. They’re waiting on this plat which will carve out a parcel for them.”

According to Porter, the building of Pine Trails Subdivision will fulfill more than one need for development in the city.

“One of the things I heard early on folks commented that we don’t have a lot of-except for a couple of existing subdivisions that are getting built out pretty quick-plans from developers to expand and put more subdivisions in,” he said. “This one will meet that need for a while. There are still plenty of buildable lots around town and other subdivisions as well, but this is one that promises to allow for folks to have a neat place.

"In addition to the normal infrastructure that you see which are streets, sewer mains, water lines and electric, it also calls for some walking trails that intertwine in the subdivision that will connect to the south where we have an existing plot of ground dedicated to the city in another subdivision for the purpose of building a park. Part of our long term plans will involve that park. The [existing] lake will be used for stormwater retention.”

Porter explained that even when development starts the process will still be gradual and the Pine Street extension will probably not be done all at once.  

“There’s a lot of planning that has to be done,” he said. “The thing is it will start on the west part with the exception of the school and make its way east in terms of the residential part. I don’t how quickly that the [developers] are going to do this, my guess is that it will be market driven.”

Both the developers and the city council are very close to an agreement on the final plat that would show how the streets and lots are laid out. Porter noted that from a legal standpoint, the developers cannot start selling lots until the city records the plat.

“They have their civil engineering plans 99 percent approved in terms of developing their property,” he said. “They could do their grade work, it could start anytime. From the developer’s standpoint, they’re not going to do that until the city council approves their plat.

“The process calls for a lot of civil engineering work, especially with storm water, sewer layout, electric, water lines, everything. It’s a lot of design work that has to be done and it has to be vetted by our engineers to make sure that it’s correct. It’s not a quick process. With a subdivision this big, you have to come before the council and do a preliminary plat, which is how they want the lots to be laid out, how things are to be zoned.

“That process which doesn’t require much detail from the civil engineering standpoint, but has to be in accordance with state law as it regards to subdivisions. It takes a month to two months in a best case to get it through the planning and zoning commission, assuming that they make a favorable recommendation, then on to council.

“Planning and Zoning happens the second Monday of the month, I can’t get it in front of council until the second Thursday of the following month, because I have a requirement of public notice that I have to post in the newspaper. In addition to that, we post the property, we send letters out to contiguous property owners, we do everything that we think we can do.

"We use the media outlets also to make sure the public knows, especially those folks that might be impacted by the development. Once they get that done then they have to really get busy with their design. That’s what really takes time, is the back and forth with the city.”

The plat will show the availability of over 180 lots for residential homes to be built in several phases when Pine Trails Subdivision is finished.

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Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com.

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