The planning and zoning committee of the New Albany Board of Aldermen met Thursday, July 9th, and acted to restart a stalled residential subdivision development.
During that Thursday meeting the zoning committee gave final approval to the plat for the new Parkview subdivision on Bratton Road. City Attorney Regan Russell said the matter did not need to come again before the board of aldermen as it did at the board’s July 7th meeting.
Developer Terry Young, president of TRY Properties, was immediately able to purchase a performance bond and get back to work on the planned subdivision.
The quick action by the city administration and the zoning committee was in response to problems revealed at the July 7th city board meeting
Terry Young told the aldermen then that his bonding company said the 1979 city subdivision ordinance was “laughable” and that they could not sell him a subdivision bond so that he could commence construction.
At the June 17th ground-breaking ceremony for Parkview subdivision, Young told the assembled city officials and others in attendance that he expected construction to begin on the first new homes in August.
Young said at the July 7th meeting of the aldermen that his company has sold 15 of the 20 home lots in the first phase of Parkview development, but construction could not begin in August as planned. The old ordinance does not “make it clear what a developer needs to do if you want to come to New Albany and spend your money to build a new subdivision. If you are going to ask people to conform you need to tell them clearly what is required,” said Young.
Performance bonds protect both the city and the owners of homes in new subdivisions from possible defects in infrastructure such as street and sewer system problems. If the developer fails to do a good job with such items, the bonding company is responsible for financing any work needed to bring the infrastructure items up to the quality required by city building codes.
Young told the aldermen he believes his plans for Parkview already conform to what would be required by an up-to-date ordinance, but that he could not move forward without a bond.
Young said the problems he has had because of the outmoded subdivision ordinance do not reflect any general dissatisfaction with the performance of the present city administration, which first took office in 2005. He made a point of praising the accomplishments of the city government over the last ten years.
The mayor, aldermen, city attorney and other city officials present at the July 7th meeting agreed to find a remedy to get the subdivision back on schedule at the earliest possible date.
Young told NAnewsweb.com Monday evening, July 13th, that the action by the planning and zoning committee allows TRY Properties to get back to work immediately on the subdivision.
[Editor’s note: While we have recently been critical of one aspect of city government operations –specifically its poorly written and awkwardly enforced sign ordinance — we agree with Young’s overall favorable opinion of the current city administration. Some of its accomplishments since 2005 have been long-overdue improvements in the city’s Lights, Gas and Water operation, a well-executed role in recruiting the Toyota plant to Union County, and improved recreational facilities including the new tennis complex and gutsy leadership in making the Tanglefoot Trail possible.]