FREMONT – Concerns involving a zoning change in relation to the proposed SunRidge Place housing development was the main focus of the Fremont City Council’s first meeting of 2018.
During the council’s regular agenda they were tasked with considering holding the second reading for a request for a zoning change from RR Rural Residential to R-4 High-Density Residential for 8.6 acres of land, located along Jack Sutton Drive. The request comes from Dodd Engineering & Surveying, LCC on behalf of Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate Co., Connie & Paul Barron, and Luanne & Gary Ehmcke.
Jennifer Bixby with Don Peterson and Associates attended the meeting and revealed to the council and those in attendance that part of the acreage they are requesting to be rezoned is now committed to a potential project.
“4.26 acres of the 8.6 acres have been committed for a project contingent on them getting a NIFA grant they have applied for,” said Bixby. “So there is a chance that they won’t get the grant, but we have high hopes that will go through. If the grant is thrown our way, it is a project with 39 townhomes, a clubhouse, and a playground. It’s a beautiful design. We’ll have more information come out as we get more information from NIFA and what their plans are.”
Many citizens who spoke at the meeting raised concerns involving traffic congestion, student safety, drainage, property values, and having high-density apartment complexes in an area that is not suited for it. Bixby says there is currently no project committed to the rest of the acres they want rezoned. She adds with a R-4 High-Density Residential zoning, almost any type of housing could be built there, but any apartment complex design would be have to be small in order to fit within the area.
“The rest of that eight acres will be high-density housing. That means it could be a potential apartment complex. It would be a small complex for four acres, of course,” said Bixby. “It could be townhomes, which is what I’m thinking it will be. But the market will dictate what is built there. It could even be duplexes or single-family. Anything could fit into that zoning that that point.”
Marlin Brabec with Don Peterson and Associates also spoke at the meeting. He says they are not looking to put in a high number of apartment units, and there will not be subsidized housing.
Many council members discussed potentially holding the second reading but delaying the third so citizens could have more time to look at the proposal. A motion was eventually made to hold the second reading and consider the third and final reading at the first regular meeting in February. The motion passed with a 6-2 vote.
The council also held second readings for three requests for voluntary annexation. The petitions come from the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Nebraska Irrigated Seeds, LLC, and Connie & Paul Barron and Luanne & Gary Ehmcke. They also held the second reading for a requested zoning change for the Fremont Memorial Complex from R-1 Single-Family Residential to PD Planned Development. Each item passed with a unanimous vote.
The Fremont City Council also passed a motion to authorize Mayor Scott Getzschman to execute an inter-local agreement with Fremont Public Schools on a jointly owned parcel of land located on the southwest corner of Military Avenue and Johnson Road.