A contentious exchange between a city council member and the developer of Teal Lake Village ultimately resulted in the city taking over control of streets and utility easements within the development.
The council voted 3-1 for plat approval, with Chris Williams voting against. The plat is comprised of four lots created due to street right-of-ways. City staff members requested the streets be made public to simplify future development projects, but Williams said the property owner should retain responsibility for maintaining the streets.
"When you build something like this it's like an apartment complex, because they own everything on both sides,” Williams said. “They've built this, so why is the city going to be responsible for taking care of the road and all of that for their property. There is no one else there.”
It comes down to a matter of urban planning Mexico Public Works Director Kensey Russell said. Falcon Drive will connect to Fairground as a public street.
"Any future development could be public,” he said. “It just doesn't make sense to have a public street connect to a private street connect to a public street.”
Two ordinances were unanimously approved by the council accepting the sanitary sewer and stormwater improvements into city responsibility, as well as placing a stop sign at the intersection of Amelia Drive and Teal Lake Road. The city will maintain Amelia Drive — 866 feet long by 31 feet wide, Falcon Drive — 210 feet by 31 feet, storm inlets and pipes within the street right-of-ways and 2,232 lineal feet of an 8-inch sanitary sewer.
Teal Lake Village Mexico L.P. sought approval of Teal Lake Village Plat 1, located north of Teal Lake Road between Fairground and South Clark. It will dedicate Amelia and Falcon drives and those streets' utility easements to the city. Since it is a planned unit development, no further subdivision of the land is required, said Rita Jackson, Mexico Community Development director.
"It meets all the requirements of a final plat,” she said. “An ordinance will follow accepting the improvements for public maintenance and establishing a stop sign at Amelia Drive and Teal Lake Road.”
Properties within the district are zoned R-2, or two-family dwellings. It has 10 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom duplexes, a shared community building and playground area. The city's planning and zoning commission granted a preliminary and final approval recommendation of the plat Aug. 6.
Pete Ramsel, a development consultant, first presented information on the workforce housing development July 2016 to the council. The council approved the development the next month. The properties were rezoned from R-1 to R-2 residential March 2017, and the final approval of the planned unit development was completed April 2017.
Teal Lake Village is still classified as under construction with regard to city stormwater requirements.
"I thought [Teal Lake Village] was going to have a place to store all the cars, trucks, boats and trailers? Was that something we talked about Chris?" Council member Chris Miller asked Williams.
Ramsel said that was the first time he'd heard such a suggestion. Williams said that was discussed as something to be constructed at the end of housing units, because there is limited street space in that area.
Mayor Ayanna Shivers noted that other streets in Mexico have similar close quarters. Russell said there is a larger area near the end of the development, but that is used for trash trucks and other large vehicles to turn around. "This is so they're not trying to turn in one of the driveways," he said.
Ramsel said the street plan and plat were done per city requirements and streets were built to city specifications.
"Don't take this the wrong way, but we were told a lot of things that were going to happen out there, that didn't happen either," Williams said, adding that at a previous meeting Ramsel had appeared to walk out.
Ramsel countered that he had never walked out of a meeting with the council, nor that he was angry with the council.
"But you agree that what you gave us is not exactly what you promised us," Williams said.
Ramsel asked for specifics on where Williams thinks Teal Lake Village did not develop what was promised. The development was for workforce housing. Williams said he thought this would amount to at least 50 percent being used as such.
"When it came down to it, I think you said it was 20% would have to be [workforce housing]," Williams said.
Ramsel confirmed that 20% of the units are dedicated to workforce housing, which means those occupants are at a higher income level than the residents of the other units, who could use assistance vouchers for rent payments.
"The people that are there are simply there because the housing authority sent them over with a voucher,” Ramsel said. “They could go anywhere in town, and there is not a landlord in town that could deny them.”
Williams said he reviewed meeting minutes and nowhere in those documents did it say that only 20% would be workforce housing. "That doesn't really qualify as workforce housing," Williams said, adding at least half of the project should be workforce housing.
Shivers interjected, saying she appreciates that there are new affordable units available.
In other business:
• The council approved a request from the Mexico Area Community Foundation to distribute funds from the Clarence Rothwell Last Will and Testament for the Mexico Community Sustainability Project. The Foundation also requested it be allowed to approve future funding for approved projects, which was approved. The city council became the deciding entity after Audrain Medical Center was sold to SSM Health. Disbursements from the Rothwell Will have to be approved via public entities.
• The council approved a resolution to sell real estate property owned by the city at 1938 Providence St. for $28,000 to Mario and Donna Garcia. An offer was presented to the city Aug. 8.
• The council heard comments from Joshua Price about what the city may be able to do to support Audrain County Crisis Intervention Services. Since ACCIS is a private entity, Mayor Ayanna Shivers, a previous ACCIS volunteer, suggested finding ways in which Price could volunteer for the organization.
• The council heard comments from Denise McCall, Billie Mann and Jamie Blair regarding dangerous dog, dog-bite and leash law ordinance enforcement. McCall was a victim of a dog bite incident, where the dog in question was put down by the city. The main hindrances to enforcement are funding and personnel shortages. Council members agreed that loose dogs are an issue. Blair suggested finding a way to develop an obedience-training program offered through the city that could be paired with spay/neuter events. The group briefly spoke with Jackson, who is in charge of the animal shelter, after the meeting's adjournment.