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Farmington Council hears development plans

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Farmington City Council

During the Farmington City Council meeting Thursday, Jessie Williams introduces Monday Club President Karen Kleinberg, who spoke about applying for the National Register of Historic Places designation for the Long House.

A large contingent of Butterfield Gardens residents turned out Thursday night for the Farmington City Council meeting at Long Memorial Hall with concerns about a new proposed development creating traffic issues on Route D.

The council held a public hearing on the matter and held a first reading during the presentation of legislation.

Development Services Director Tim Porter explained the application for annexing the property.

“At our regular Planning and Zoning meeting in December, the applicant petitioned for recommendation for annexation for the property located at 1716 N. Washington Street,” he said. “This is across from the south part of Butterfield Gardens and Jefferson School.”

An issue that came up with the annexation was the property owner wanted to only have part of the property annexed. 

“The requested zoning is R-4: General Residential,” he said. “In the comprehensive plan, a goal that was established in 2011 was to try and prevent annexations that prevent regular property boundaries with the goal to prevent ‘islands’ from developing, which we have several throughout town.”

Aaron McDowell represented the potential developers of the property. He clarified the issue about the property entrance.

“We have met with MoDOT, they pushed our entrance back towards town, we were originally looking at two entrances, but they won’t allow us that,” he said. “They pushed us towards town where the speed zone is lower and away from Butterfield Gardens’ entrance. We’re not sure, we have to work it out with our engineering firm, but MoDOT may require a right-hand turn lane as well.”

A resident of Butterfield Gardens spoke her concerns about the increased traffic flow expected and a resident of Kenwood Street, a dead-end street ending at the proposed development, voiced a concern about the connection of the street and increased traffic flow in front of his home.

Another public hearing was held and a first reading on amending section 405.240 about accessing major streets in the city. Porter described the amendment. “In our comprehensive plan, we have several streets that are designated as a major street. That means that they are designated as a collector or arterial street. We don’t allow for folks generally to have access to their property as a street cut or driveway.

“We have some major streets that have a lot of access already. The intent of this ordinance that Planning and zoning sent to you with a favorable recommendation was to allow discretion of the Public Works director in certain instances where the safety of the motoring public wasn’t impacted or it wouldn’t disrupt the normal traffic flow to allow for a street cut and driveway entrance to what is designated a major street.”

During the visitors comments, a resident on Doubet Road brought up the serious flooding issues that residents endure along the road.

Public Works Director Larry Lacy addressed the issue by noting that the owners of a nearby undeveloped property agreed to allow excavation work and culverts to divert floodwaters.

“It’s not a complicated project, but it will likely be a budget year before we can get to it because we have the budget year full. So far, everything looks like it’s a go project,” he said.

During committee reports, Public Safety Committee Chair Adam Parks reported that the police department is in the process of hiring three officers currently with plans to hire three more in the near future.

“The fire department is also in the hiring process, they are hiring four right now and five later in the year,” he said.

Parks also said that about 20 units of blood were donated during the “Battle of the Badges” blood drive. He also noted that the city of Fredericktown has offered to buy a fire truck from the city for $50,000 and the possibility of making it available about Feb. 1.

At a question about the ladder truck being sold, City Administrator Greg Beavers stated that Fredericktown agreed to buy it, but Farmington's council had not yet approved it. The council did vote in favor of accepting the bid during the city administrator’s report.

Counselor Chris Morrison gave the Public Works committee report, stating that they accepted the maintenance and structure of Mountain View Phase III.

“There was police chase last night that took out a utility pole, and our crews got that repaired pretty quick,” he said.

In new business, the council approved resolution R01-2022 supporting and encouraging a historic designation on the National Register of Historic Places of Long House.

Jessie Williams introduced Monday Club President Karen Kleinberg who spoke to the council about the application process.

“I have a preliminary National Register of Historic Places Eligibility Assessment that has to be sent in to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources first to see if this will make it to be on the National Register,” Kleinberg said. “It’s a lot of paperwork, they need floor plans and pictures. Back in the 1960s, the ladies of The Monday Club started to work on this.

"A gentleman named Albert Karsch did a lot of paperwork and hand drawings. When we started cleaning the Long House last summer, I was fortunate enough to have found these two notebooks. To get this done is a bonus for the city of Farmington. It’s a bonus for the Long House because we can tap into grants to get things done to help preserve the house. It was built in 1833, it’s the oldest house in the city.”

Also during the meeting, the council approved Bill #56122021, the amendment of an ordinance regarding the rates of monthly charges impose on sewer use and Bill #57122021, an amendment to an ordinance on rates prescribed on water meters.

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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