City Council approves dividing property at 5100 Chestnut into eight lots; developer’s plan must be approved before aldermen vote to extend utilities

Cathy Tate

Cathy Tate, a resident of the Lake Ridge Subdivision, speaks to the Quincy City Council during Monday night's meeting. | David Adam

QUINCY — The Quincy City Council voted Monday night to approve a recommendation from the Plan Commission to subdivide (dividing one lot into eight) a property at 5100 Chestnut under the “small tracts” provision of the Subdivision Ordinance.

The eight-lot subdivision is on a 10-acre tract of land east of the Lake Ridge Subdivision on Chestnut’s east end. Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said the land has been zoned R1 (single-family district) for 10 years.

“The developer (Jeff Wilson) will be preparing a preliminary site plan that he’ll present to the city,” Bevelheimer said after the meeting. “The way the code is written, the department heads — police, fire, engineering and planning — will review that (plan) and make sure it’s in compliance with our subdivision ordinance. I suspect if it gets approved, that (Wilson will) be seeking a petition to annex the property to the city and so they can extend water and sewer as part of the project.”

Wilson’s plan is to build 106 rental units to the east and north of Lake Ridge.

Three people who live in the Lake Ridge Subdivision — Cathy Tate, Naomi Austin and Steven Parker — told aldermen about their concerns of increased traffic, lack of water pressure and draining concerns. Both Tate and Austin referred to the subdivision, which has 175 units, as a “senior community” and a “retirement community.”

Aldermen John Mast, R-5, asked Bevelheimer, “At any point in time, was there any evidence or thought that this was going to be senior-only housing or a senior-only community?” 

“This was never sold as a senior housing complex,” said Bevelheimer, who was with the planning department when Lake Ridge was developed.

“Was anybody ever given the notion that there would never be any future development?” Mast asked.

“Not the way it was presented to staff,” Bevelheimer said. “There was no cul de sac put on the end of Chestnut. If the concept was that it would never be expanded or extended, we would have demanded a cul de sac be put at the (east) end (of Chestnut) as a turnaround.”

Mike Farha, R-4, was the only person to vote against the resolution. He questioned if the city would ask for Wilson to assure he would meet all the subdivision ordinance standards.

“If we’re going to approve this project, (Wilson) should agree to some kind of document … that he’ll meet city standards and state standards on the streets,” Farha said. 

“This council passed the subdivision ordinance, which established the standards for new development,” Bevelheimer replied. “You’ve done that. You’ve established the standards, Mike.”

“We don’t enforce it. We never have,” Farha replied.

Bevelheimer and Kelly Mays, R-3, told Farha the city council wouldn’t annex the property into the city until the site plan is developed and approved by department heads. Farha, however, still wasn’t convinced.

“You want me to get more vivid? I’ll get more vivid for you,” Farha said to Bevelheimer. “I’m trying to be nice, but I won’t be nice now. You don’t enforce the ordinances. You never have. Your department doesn’t enforce the ordinances. You willy wolly woller around. I’m sorry. That’s how I feel.”

After the meeting, Bevelheimer said, “That’s the alderman’s opinion. We have an engineering department that reviews. They have engineering techs who review subdivisions as they’re being built and verify they are being built to city code.”

Mast said he understand the concerns of the people in Lake Ridge.

“But it’s commendable we have a developer willing to look at a housing crisis the city has,” he said. “It’s important we keep that in mind. We’ve been begging people, begging developers … to build more quality housing. We have a developer trying to bring a project to the city. I’m concerned we’re going to make it too difficult for them or any other developers right now.”

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