Northeast subdivision a no-go
The Rock Prairie subdivision was to be developed by Preferred Homes. The 365 acres were annexed into the city in spring 2007 and rezoned from agricultural to residential.
Duane Cherek, of the city’s planning department, said owner Bill Bohn has indicated to staff that he’s no longer pursuing the development.
Bohn declined to comment.
In the first phase of development, Bohn was to create 97 single-family lots on 46 acres. Access to that segment came off of Harmony Town Hall Road, near where Highway 14 bends, Cherek said.
In total, Bohn had planned to build about 900 residential dwelling units, some of which would have been multiple-residential development, Cherek said.
The Department of Transportation presented at least one obstacle to the development when it ruled that improvements were needed at the curve of Highway 14 near the intersection with Harmony Town Hall Road.
The DOT said it had the right to review the plat because the property adjoined Highway 14, even though access off the highway wasn’t being proposed.
The state, however, would not pay for the improvements.
The DOT would likely pay for the changes to Highway 14 sometime in the future when the state makes overall improvements to the highway, Cherek said.
“Apparently, if development on that piece occurs, they (the DOT has) certain expectations that have been identified. They’ve determined those are necessary without direct access to 14 because traffic impacts it,” he said.
City staff had worked extensively with Bohn to plan the development, including drainage patterns, greenbelts, streets, an elementary school site and a neighborhood park.
The land, rezoned to residential land from agricultural, will remain in the city. It is now being farmed.
“We did what we could do to facilitate that process,” Cherek said.
“The next individual … that might have development interest may want to modify the zoning configuration, and we’ll have to review that based on the merit of the proposal at hand,” he added.