City approves payment plan for Clear Creek Parkway in western Shawnee residential development
The City Council approved financial details on an improvement district for a 300-unit single-family residential development in western Shawnee and the construction of an extended Clear Creek Parkway to Kansas Highway 7.
The details approved Monday night for the improvement district, which is being used an incentive for the developers, include about $1.6 million in special assessments that will be payed by property owners in their property taxes over 10 years. The payments will go toward the construction of the new Clear Creak parkway through the established benefit district. It will also bring an area that has been waiting to be developed back to life after almost a decade.
The developers, Bank of Blue Valley and Prieb Homes, approached the city about building 300 residential units between Clare Road and Gleason Road in western Shawnee south of 57th Street in 2015. In 2007, the area was zoned and platted for the development of Farmington Hills. But due to the recession, the development fell through and over the past several years, the property became bank-owned.
The new development would include single-family homes with the potential for some “twin-villas,” according to Prieb Homes, aimed at attracted the “baby-boomer market.”
The project plan includes constructing Clear Creek Parkway between Clare Road and its current dead end just west of K-7 Highway. The improvement district will partially fund the western section of road from Clare Road to Gleason Road that will go through the proposed development. In order to complete the entire road at one time, the City also will need to improve Clear Creek Parkway from Gleason to Hedge Lane Terrace. The new road will include a ten-foot wide recreation trail next to it, as well. The city said the project would take about six months to construct.
Part of the project that drew speculation from a couple council members is a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Clear Creek Parkway and Gleason Road. Council Members Eric Jenkins and Mike Kemmling said they do not like roundabouts in general and would prefer a traditional stop light. Paul Lindstrom, the city engineer, said the traffic volume in the area does not require a stop light and roundabouts cost the same amount to build and less to maintain than stop lights.
The estimated total cost for developing the area within the improvement district is $3,171,000. The project is not currently on the city’s Capital Improvement Project list. The cost to the city for the proposed project would include the excise tax on the nine parcels in the proposed district, estimated at about $1.5 million. The city is waiving that $1.5 excise tax in the benefit district so the developer can use that money to help build Clear Creek Parkway, which the city feels will benefit the overall good of the community.
For the city's part, the project would be debt funded for 10 years with general obligation bonds, with the debt payments funded from the Economic Development Fund. The estimated cost to the city for of the entire road from K-7 to Clare Road would be approximately $3.7 million, with estimated annual debt payments of $435,000 per year for 10 years to follow.
The council approved the improvement district unanimously.
Residents had expressed concern about traffic volume in the area, especially around Belmont Elementary School. Jenkins asked Lindstrom if there was anything the city could do to alleviate that, and Lindstrom said the city could not predict how the neighborhood roads to the north would be affected.
Residents had suggested that access to K-7, instead of the current bridge over the highway, could alleviate traffic concerns in the area. Lindstrom said that the state is in charge of that decision and has established a K-7 corridor program that does not identify the need for highway access at that intersection.
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