By Norma Mendoza
Mayor Larry Gulledge cast the tie-breaking vote for approval of the final plat of The Villas at Remington in Maryville at the village board meeting Wednesday night.
The vote was tied 3-3 with Trustees Randy Limberg, Todd Bell, and Ed Kostyshock voting yes and Rod Schmidt, Jack Callahan, and Linda Garcia voting no.
The Villas at Remington are to be developed by Osborn Company, on Frey Lane just off Lakeview Acres Road. There will be 31 buildings of two units each on the road that runs behind the First Baptist Church of Maryville.
The preliminary plat for the multi-family subdivision was submitted to the Planning Commission in 2004, but because of confusion about whether Frey Lane is a private or public road, it was tied up in litigation until recently.
"There was a stipulation that Frey Lane was a private road, but it really wasn't," Limberg said last week.
Schmidt questioned the way the lot lines are laid out and asked if the layout was necessary to meet the village green space requirement.
"The lot lines don't go all the way to the street," he said.
"It seems a way to get the green space on what should be building lots."
"You mean as a way of getting around the ordinance?" Callahan said.
Schmidt said it goes beyond getting around the ordinance. He said the Planning Commission also questioned the amount of green space and approved the plat with the condition that the total green space acreage be noted on the final plat.
Schmidt said the Planning Commission also considered giving Osborn an extension of the deadline in order to meet the requirements.
"I would be in favor of that," he said.
Garcia suggested tabling the approval, but Gulledge ruled that the motion to approve was on the floor and the board had to vote on it. His tie-breaking vote gave a narrow approval to the final plat.
Charles Jenkins, who lives in the Bauer Lane subdivision, spoke to the Board about delay in implementing the installation of sanitary sewers that was approved more than two years ago.
"Why is eminent domain not being used to implement the plan that was adopted in February 2005?" Jenkins said. "How many easements are lacking to implement the plan? Again, why isn't eminent domain being used?"
Gulledge said it is within the power of the board to use eminent domain, but he brought the issue back to a caucus of the board because of problems getting the easements necessary to install the sewer line.
"There has been no decision to abandon this project," Gulledge said. "If the board chooses to go forward with it, I can tell you there will be some easements we are not going to get."
Gulledge said the village has the option of adopting a system that would make use of the existing septic tanks by installing pumps to pump the wastewater to the sewer main. The disadvantage to this system is that it still uses the septic systems, which would still have to be cleaned out on a regular basis.
He said it would not be his first choice, but would be an improvement over the septic tanks alone. He said sewers for the Bauer Lane area were an issue 25 years ago when he was first elected as a board trustee.
"These people who are against having sewers are going to wish they had," the mayor said. "As time goes by sewers are getting more and more expensive and
I can tell you that sometime down the road our state government is going to make everybody get on sewers."
Jenkins asked if village attorney Steve Wigginton could tell people whether eminent domain could be used.
"Yes, it's for the public use and it's an infrastructure improvement," Wigginton said. "Eminent domain is an appropriate option."
Jenkins said, "My father is an engineer and he is very familiar with all types of sewers and we are against anything other than the gravity system."
Gulledge assured Jenkins and his father that the village is working on the problem and seeking resolution. Jenkins promised to support the village board.
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