NOLANVILLE — After a lengthy discussion about city ordinance requirements and street widths, the City Council on Thursday approved the amended preliminary plat of the 370.20-acre subdivision for 908 homes and 39.29-acres of park and green spaces in the Bella Charca subdivision, along with approving a special exception for street width.
Following recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission, the council approved the request under the condition that street names be added to the preliminary plat per the city’s subdivision ordinance.
The discussion between council members and John Blankenship of Casa Frente Development Inc. got heated when Blankenship asked the council to approve a special exception to Subdivision Ordinance 7055-08, Section 4 A (11) (a), authorizing a 50-foot dedicated right of way for streets and 28-foot paved streets for Heritage Estates, located within Bella Charca.
The current ordinance requires streets to be 36 feet wide with a minimum of a 60-foot right of way.
Council members Dave Brackmann and Sherese Karlsson voiced legal concerns regarding the smaller widths.
“God forbid a kid steps into the street and gets hurt. Will the narrower street prevent the ambulance from getting there quicker?” Brackmann asked.
Blankenship was quick to point out that Nolanville’s street widths are “all over the map” and the street widths will only be slightly narrower in the Heritage Estates section, which will be home to larger and more rural lots with longer and setback driveways.
Unsure of which direction to take, the council asked Police Chief Gary Kent and Central Bell County Fire and Rescue Chief Jason Worsdale, from an emergency services position, if the 28-foot-wide streets would pose a problem. Kent and Worsdale said they navigate tighter roads throughout the city and they didn’t foresee having an issue with the width.
Karlsson also voiced concerns about constantly making exceptions to the rules the city has in place.
“The exceptions don’t seem to end,” she said. “We need to stick with what’s in our books.”
Regaining control, Mayor Christina Rosenthal said not everything is going to be “cookie cutter” going forward.
“We are still small, still growing and still learning,” she said. “Exceptions are part of the process because what’s written in our books isn’t set in stone and doesn’t always fit with what’s needed.”
In other business, the council unanimously voted to appoint Ernesto Servan to the seat vacated by Duane G. Hampton until the next election in 2014. City Secretary Crystal Briggs also swore in the council’s newly elected members: Sherri Morales, Brackmann and Servan.