Planning Commission listens to residents concerns, postpones approval vote

housing development

The Stillwater Planning Commission unanimously decided to defer the approval vote for a new residential single-family subdivision until its next meeting on March 27.

After Stillwater residents expressed concern about a plan for a new residential single-family subdivision on Tuesday, the Stillwater Planning Commission unanimously decided to defer the approval vote until its next meeting on March 27.

The subdivision would be named Park Valley Addition and located at 1823 W. 25 Ave. The property the developer purchased is 79.55 acres. The applicant, IH Development, requested to defer the item until the next meeting. They need time to work out issues with water and sewer capacity and access.

Jeff Huffman lives near the property and said the size of the project would raise traffic in the area. He spoke in opposition to the plan in front of the commission.

“The street infrastructure just is not there to handle it,” Huffman said.

Pamela Oakes, another resident who lives in the area, said she is concerned about the drainage and water pressure issues that haven’t been fixed.

Rian Harkins, a staff member of the Community Development Department, explained the plans for the development and the concerns it has raised. He said the development would bring additional single-family homes, raise property tax, bring more residents, which would raise sales tax, and provide more residents for the next census.

The plan contains 329 residential lots and seven out lots, which are plots of undeveloped land. Two access points sit on the property. One goes to 26 Street and one to Western Road. The out lots would be used for drainage, and there is a detention pond. Harkins said the plan complies with the bulk standards in the district and complies with the minimum points of access.

Mike Shanahan, a member of the Stillwater Planning Commission, said he is familiar with the area the developer wants to build at.

“I was in the area Sunday checking it,” Shanahan said. “I think they have legitimate concerns, but it’s up to the neighbors to elaborate on that.”

Lanc Gross, the Stillwater Development review manager, said the applicant is working on improving the identified issues.

Sewer capacity is one of the main issues, and the developer has to make sure sewer lines are big enough to sustain the new housing. The commission made a conditional approval based on the developer resolving the issues. They have to go back to the commission and explain how they have resolved the issues to get full approval.

Huffman said the street size is the biggest issue. He said it’s running at capacity. Oakes nodded her head and chuckled in response.