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Council approves housing redevelopment, addresses property covenant

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 9:47 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, June 2, 2014 10:09 a.m. CDT
Caption
OST photo by AMY HANSEN This is an apartment sign in the area on the west side of Osceola known at "The Meadows."

A covenant agreement could have brought housing redevelopment tumbling to the ground in The Meadows on the west side of Osceola. But, that didn’t happen during a June 17 Osceola City Council meeting.

Alan Adams, who lives in The Meadows, spoke out against the construction of multi-family duplexes during the meeting’s public comment.

“When I moved into The Meadows, we were given a covenant,” Adams said. “The covenant states that the city will only build single-family houses. ... The covenant also says that if any one resident objects, then they cannot go ahead and build it. So, I’m officially objecting.”

Ty Wheeler, Osceola’s city administrator/clerk, said the covenant, or agreement with the city, only applies to Plat 1 of The Meadows.

“There aren’t any two-family units going in on the section of the development that the covenant would apply to,” Wheeler said.

Housing issues

There’s a long, sordid history of housing development in The Meadows.

At previous council meetings, Wheeler has stated the housing redevelopment project is really a resalvaging project because of a bad development deal in that area with Midwest Homes Incorporated in 2003.

Recently, city officials were approached by Kading Properties with development proposals to fix the housing problem made many years ago.

The city has already approved going into a development agreement with Kading Properties.

The Meadows has been divided into plats 1 and 2.

Plat 1 comprises Truman Road and the north half of Primrose Lane. Plat 2 is undeveloped so far, and it’s a portion on the south end of The Meadows.

The proposed development agreement for The Meadows, Plat 2, called for no fewer than 42 single-family property lots and the construction of no fewer than 22 two-family dwellings, also known as duplexes.

Kading Properties shall be responsible for the design and construction of all infrastructure associated with the project. Kading will sell the lots for the single-family dwellings, but won’t build the homes. However, they will build the duplexes, including the infrastructure and grading.

Resident frustrations

Many residents of The Meadows have attended council meetings to voice frustrations about cheaper housing with duplexes and the potential for it to turn into drug dens.

Councilman Chris Dorsey asked Adams how long he has lived in The Meadows. Adams said he’s been there since September 2013 and the covenants came out with purchase of the property.

“That’s one of the reasons why we bought out there, because there was a covenant that it would remain single family,” Adams said.

Final approval

The council’s agenda called for final approval for three ordinances that apply to housing development.

First, the council approved the third reading of an “R-60” single-family residential district of the Osceola Zoning Ordinance. Single family means only one family can live in the dwelling.

The zoning ordinance will apply to The Meadows, but it can be used throughout the city.

There was confusion amongst the council about whether The Meadows, Plat 1, had been zoned single or multifamily more than a decade ago. Officially, it was multifamily.

“My understanding of the original project would be that there would be portions of that property, including the property between Primrose and the railroad, that would be multiplex buildings. That was was the original proposal,” said Councilman Dr. George Fotiadis. “My understanding is that there would be part ... single family. There would also be a significant part of the development that would not. It would have been multiple family, which is why it was zoned that way. And, that’s my understanding of it. That’s more than a decade ago.”

After the meeting, Wheeler said the city doesn’t generally get involved in covenants and there seemed to be a lot of miscommunication from development with Midwest Homes in 2003.

“Midwest wasn’t a developer with the city’s best interests in mind,” he said.

The council voted for final approval for an ordinance rezoning all of The Meadows, Plat 1, to an “R-60” single family residential district.

Wheeler said changing the area officially from multifamily to single family was actually fixing a correction from a decade ago and going in line with the covenant.

The final vote was for an ordinance rezoning The Meadows, Plat 2, with “PUD.” PUD stands for planned unit development.

Covenant clarification

Before the council went to vote they addressed Marc Elcock, the city attorney, for legal counsel on the covenant.

Dan Novelli with Kading Properties provided Elcock with a copy of the covenant.

“It looks to me like it does only apply to the 6.63 acres, most of which has been developed already anyway,” Elcock said. “ … So, anything in that covenant only goes with that parcel of land they’ve already developed.”

The council voted in favor for the ordinance for housing development with The Meadows, Plat 2.

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