In Tuesday’s city commission meeting, the Lindsey Management Company read ordinances on annexing and rezoning 37.6 acres of land north of Marlatt Avenue. The company named this project Public Urban Development, and it is designed to be a safe, efficient and friendly apartment complex.
One problem that came up during the meeting was how susceptible the area around the PUD site would be to flooding, due to raising all the buildings 2 feet to protect against water damage. The water comes from the northwest and goes southeast into the Marlatt ditch.
Commissioner Richard Jankovich said that, “by increasing the height of the (PUD site) on the east side of the water flow, you’re pushing the water towards the west, where the neighborhoods are located.”
Buckley Blew, civil engineer from Blew and Associates working on the project, suggested a pipe system that drains all the water into a retention pond inside of the PUD site, then slowly drains into the Marlatt ditch. Commissioner Karen McCulloh asked Blew about the severity of water buildup in the Marlatt ditch after the project was completed.
“We’re not increasing the risk (to flooding the Marlatt ditch), but we are actually reducing flood risk,” Blew said.
Another issue discussed was how much traffic the 40-apartment complex would create. McCulloh talked about increasing Marlatt Avenue to a five-lane street, due to the rapid growth of Manhattan. A member of the company said, “much of the street is not owned by the city and therefore it is not possible to make the street wider.”
“I have driven past Highland (another PUD site), and they seem to be handling (traffic) very well,” Jankovich said.
When concerned with parking, staff architect and representative of the company Kim Fugitt said that they have done testing and set a parking ratio for the PUD site on data collected and projected 20 years into the future, when the site is to be completed. Commissioner John Matta appeared concerned about the ratio and the test Blew and Associates did to come up with that data.
“If the ratio was too low then the company would suffer the most,” Fugitt said.
The commissioners otherwise appeared to be in agreement with the PUD plan. It comes with 722 units, two-bedroom or one-bedroom options. There is a clubhouse that has a manager living on the second floor so they can be available at all times, 365 days a year, for assistance. They perform background checks on all perspective renters. Throughout the site will be parking places, bike trails and assistant managers. The starting prices will go from $550-$1000 a month, depending on how many bedrooms and size.
All five commissioners voted to pass the PUD plan.