New traffic signals at Arconic gate entrance should be operational by January 8th.

New traffic signals at Arconic gate entrance should be operational by January 8th.

Woods Estates of Riverdale developer, Seth Woods, informed the city that he’s finally received confirmation of a plan to have the new traffic control lights at the Arconic main entrance operational by the close of business on Tuesday, January 7th.

“Davenport Electric is done. MobioTrex is contracted by them (DECCO) and the City of Bettendorf to do the hook up in the control box and that is scheduled for January 7th – which is the soonest they were available to come.” Mr. Woods then continued, “If nothing goes wrong, the lights will be working by the end of the day.”

Concerns about the way traffic was being handled at the intersection of State Street/Hwy 67 and the new Madison Drive (leading into Woods Estates) have been raised by citizens, Arconic, the City and the Developer. The mayor and Mr. Woods have been busy contacting contractors and Bettendorf and DOT officials to try and accelerate bringing the new lights at the intersection on line.

The result has been a reduction in the time usually required to bring new lights and cameras online. “It usually takes as long as a year to get everything done,” explained Mr. Woods. The light poles (with lights and cameras) were installed at the intersection less than 90 days ago.

In the interim, the Developer erected a temporary stop sign to remind motorists leaving the Woods Estates subdivision they had to stop and yield to traffic on State Street.

But what about the lights at Bellingham?

For residents wanting to know the status of the lights and cameras at the Bellingham/State Street intersection (near the entrance to Brenny’s), work on that intersection is not currently scheduled. The City and Arconic will be meeting in 2020 to discuss the future of Bellingham Road which has not been significantly improved since its construction nearly 60 years ago. The cost of bringing Bellingham Road up to SUDAS standards is estimated to be $1.5 – $2 million and will require support from sources other than the City of Riverdale.

The lights at the intersection are in need of new cameras, timing and integration into the traffic control system managed by the City of Bettendorf. The estimated cost for that is $25 – $30,000 and would, ideally, be included in the re-build of Bellingham Road, if that project can get funded.

So, for now, no modifications are planned for that intersection.

Riverdale P&Z recommends approval of Woods Estates Phase 1 final plat

Riverdale P&Z recommends approval of Woods Estates Phase 1 final plat

Riverdale’s Planning & Zoning Commission met for the first time in 2019 on Wednesday, December 18th, to hold a public hearing and eventually pass along their recommendation to the City Council to approve the final plat for the first phase of the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision. The nearly 2-1/2 hour meeting included a lengthy

Developer Seth Woods reviewing differences in the final plat of Phase 1 versus the approved, preliminary plat (approved in July of 2018).

discussion of the project in general with developer Seth Woods present to answer questions from the public and commissioners.

All commissioners were present either in person or telephonically with the exception of Jim Behrens. With P&Z Chair Bill Briesch out of town (but present via speakerphone), Vice Chair Wendy Syverud ran the meeting and gaveled the public hearing into order a little after 7pm.

Vice Chair Syverud explained to the nearly 20 people present that letters had been sent to all property owners owning land within 1,000 feet of the boundaries of Phase 1 informing them of the hearing and pending action before the Commission. She also reviewed the facts that letters asking for comment had also been sent to MSA Professional Services (the City of Riverdale’s engineering consultant) and various Scott County departments as required by law. While a response has been received from MSA, no residents or county officials had responded with questions or concerns as of the time of the meeting.

MSA Professional Services letter provides review of entire project to-date

The final review/recommendation letter from Engineer Chris Cooper (of MSA Professional Services) provided a comprehensive review of the steps taken to review and document progress on the Woods Estates project. Together with attachments showing correspondence and notes where necessary, the document provides a clear summary as to where the project currently stands and what final items still need to be completed even after the approval of the final plat.

Several pages of engineering drawings for the phase (prepared by the Developer’s engineering firm, J+M) were marked up by Mr. Cooper and sent along to the City to help explain/illustrate some of the items discussed in his correspondence.

Concerns about Woods Estates from Deerbrook residents

Also in attendance at the public hearing were several residents from the Deerbrook neighborhood in Bettendorf whose property either abuts or looks into the back-end of the Woods Estates subdivision. Comments ranged from surprise to concern about wildlife, erosion problems and the increased possibilities for home invasions and property crimes in the neighborhood.

Developer Seth Woods shows the location of green space between the entire Woods Estates subdivision and the Deerbrook neighborhood in Bettendorf.

While none of the concerns related to the approval of the Phase 1 final plat, both the members of the P&Z Commission and other city officials present (most notably, the city administrator and mayor) tried to address each issue. Concerns about preserving wildlife habitat and dealing with erosion problems in the waterway running from the end of Fieldcrest around the northwest corner of the city and between the subdivisions were discussed extensively.

City resident Steve Townsend explained how important it was that the wild areas Deerbrook residents wanted to see remain undisturbed be managed in a way to reduce the amount of invasive vegetation and to work on improving the quality of timber in the area. Mayor Mike Bawden explained that although the goal is to have the area remain a fairly undisturbed wild space, there would have to be some construction activity in the ravine in the near future to deal with the drainage issues.

The residents most concerned about the plight of the deer and other creatures living in the wilderness behind their homes were invited to participate in the City’s on-going parks planning process to they could contribute their thoughts and suggestions for consideration as Riverdale formalizes its parks and land management strategy for the future.

Developer answers questions remaining from October 2018 P&Z meeting

Following the public hearing, the P&Z Commission continued with its meeting and took up consideration of its recommendation regarding the approval of the final plat for Phase 1.

The three main issues raised by the commission at that time were:

  • The need for design covenants for the subdivision.
  • The lack of any kind of written plan for the replacement of trees/foliage resulting from the developer’s activities.
  • The failure to reimburse the City of Riverdale for out-of-pocket costs incurred on behalf of the project.

Developer Seth Woods explains how future phases will be presented to the P&Z Commission and City Council with production timelines for each phase.

Mr. Woods addressed the questions about architectural covenants for the subdivision by showing that covenants (reviewed and approved by the City’s attorney and administrator) were completed and part of the record provided for review. Mr. Woods also invited any commissioner or resident interested in viewing those covenants at work to visit the Walsh Pointe development on Utica Ridge Road (across from Crow Valley). The covenants Mr. Woods established for Woods Estates are the same.

Next, Mr. Woods reviewed the foliage plan for Woods Estates and explained that he would be replacing the trees taken out as part of the development process with more than 1,000, higher quality trees. Documents provided earlier to the Riverdale City Council and then to the P&Z Commission showed photos of how the landscaping would look (again, using Woods’ own Walsh Pointe development as an example).

Finally, with regard to the financial situation between the City of Riverdale and Woods Development, the mayor reviewed the details of the “agreement in principal” between the two parties and explained that an addendum to the current Development Agreement that spells out how expenses and reimbursement are to be handled in more precise language than what currently exists.

Plans for the future of Woods Estates of Riverdale

Mr. Woods expressed some regret as to how the first phase of this project progressed and told the commission he plans on presenting the final plat for Phase 2 earlier on in the process and won’t begin work on any of the infrastructure (roads and utilities) until he’s received approval on the plan. He also said he would provide a timeline for each phase as they are presented – both a requirement of the City’s ordinance and a helpful communications tool to make the entire process run more smoothly.

Following the open discussion, members of the Commission seemed satisfied and voted to recommend approval of the final plat of Phase 1 to the City Council.

The Council will meet to consider acceptance of the Phase 1 final plat following a public hearing on Tuesday, January 7 at 7pm.

 

 

Planning and Zoning Commission to review Woods Estates Phase 1 materials

Planning and Zoning Commission to review Woods Estates Phase 1 materials

The Planning & Zoning Commission of Riverdale will be holding a public hearing and convening a meeting to review, consider and take action regarding their recommendation to the City Council as to whether or not the final plat for Phase 1 of Woods Estates of Riverdale should be approved for sub-division. 

Below, you’ll find links to documents sent to the commissioners for their review. More documents will be added as they become available.

•  Approval of Subdivision Plat by the County Auditor 
•  Assessment Waiver 
•  Certificate of Attorney 
•  Certificate of County Treasurer 
•  Certificate of Owner – Ingleby 
•  Certificate of Owner – Woods 
•  Engineering Drawings 
•  Hold Harmless Agreement 
•  Surveyor’s Certificate

The public hearing is scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday, December 18th in the Community Room at City Hall.

Public hearings on the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates set

Public hearings on the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates set

Dates for the public hearings on the final plat for Phase 1 of Woods Estates of Riverdale have been set. The following letter went to households and property owners located within 1,000 of the plat under review/consideration:

Public Hearing:
Notice of Consideration for Final Plat Approval
for the Woods Estates Subdivision in Riverdale

You are being sent this notice of a Riverdale Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing and City Council Public Hearing since you reside or own property that is within 1,000 feet, more or less, of the proposed Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision Phase 1. These hearings will be held as noted below, and you are welcome to attend one or both and to be heard during the public hearings portion of the meetings.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
CITY OF RIVERDALE, IOWA
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
FINAL PLAT REVIEW
WOODS ESTATES SUBDIVISION

Notice is hereby given that the Riverdale Planning & Zoning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider the request for approval of the final plat of Phase 1 for the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers of Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive, Riverdale, Iowa 52722.

Notice is hereby given that the Riverdale City Council will also conduct a public hearing to consider the request for approval of the final plat of Phase 1 for the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers of Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive, Riverdale, Iowa 52722.

These hearing are both to be held pursuant to Sections 25.04 and 27.03 of the Riverdale Subdivision Ordinance and Chapter 362.3 of the Iowa Code, for the purpose of determining that the final plat and plans meet the minimum requirements of the City’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.

All interested persons are invited to appear and be heard at the time and places listed above. Interested persons are also encouraged to submit written comments on these proposals to the City of Riverdale, Zoning Administrator, by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 for the Planning and Zoning Meeting and Thursday, January 2, 2020 for the City Council Meeting. Additional information is available at riverdaleiowa.com or from the Zoning Administrator by calling (563) 355-2511.

To review all of the material provided for review by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council, click here (please note: the web page will be updated as more material becomes available).

Council approves extension to Woods Estates of Riverdale preliminary plat.

Council approves extension to Woods Estates of Riverdale preliminary plat.

A special meeting of the Riverdale City Council was held on Monday evening (December 2nd) to consider extending the preliminary plat for the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision. The extension was requested by Woods’s attorney, Joseph Judge of Lane & Waterman. You can view that request here.

According to the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, the Council can grant an extension to a preliminary plat if a request is received from the subdivider and the Planning & Zoning Commission Chair provides his advice on the matter. In this case, the Commission Chair, Bill Briesch, advised against granting the extension, citing a variety of questions about the project and a desire for residents to be able to weigh in with their questions as well.

Residents present at the Council Meeting were granted time to ask questions and state their concerns for the record as part of the meeting. Mayor Mike Bawden added that while he shared the concern expressed by Chairman Briesch, there would be – in the mayor’s opinion – adequate time for people and P&Z Commissioners to research and ask questions as part of the review process for the final plat, but that the review of the final plat could not move forward if the preliminary plat was not extended.

The mayor also explained that the information originally reviewed and approved in the preliminary plat the first time (nearly 18 months earlier) had not changed. That information included:

•   a preliminary drawing showing the entire subdivision,

•   an example of the size of the proposed retention basins for the development (as an overlay over an existing subdivision), and

•   an elevation drawing showing the projected outflow of retained storm water from the proposed basins.

In the end, the resolution extending the expiration date for the preliminary plat passed on a vote of 4-0 (Council Member Chanon was not present to vote).

Special City Council Meeting planned to extend Woods Estates preliminary plat on Monday.

Special City Council Meeting planned to extend Woods Estates preliminary plat on Monday.

A special meeting of the Riverdale City Council is planned for 6:30 pm on Monday, December 2nd to grant an extension for the preliminary plat of the Woods Estates of Riverdale project. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Council Chambers prior to the public intake meeting for the FY21 budget, which is scheduled for 7pm.

A copy of the agenda for that meeting can be found here.

In a letter to the Mayor, dated November 29, Woods’s legal counsel, Joseph Judge, requested an extension for the preliminary plat to March 1, 2020 to allow for enough time to allow the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council to review the final plat, hold public hearings required by the City’s Subdivision Ordinance and take action.

“This firm (Lane & Waterman, LLP) represents Woods Construction & Development, Inc. (Woods), owner and developer of the plated property referenced above. On behalf of Woods, we hereby request an extension of the preliminary plat and the time period for filing and approval fo the final plat to March 1, 2020. We hope and expect that that final plat will be approved well before that time.”

A copy of that letter can be found here.

The City Council was prepared to take action on the initial plat extension request at its last regular meeting (held on November 26), but questions as to whether or not the preliminary plat approval had expired led to the Mayor and City Council to table the action pending further review. The initial plat had been approved in a previous City Council meeting (held in early July of 2018) and expired in February of this year.

Woods Development Subdivision Plat (Preliminary)

In order for the City Council to consider granting a new extension to the preliminary plat, a written request for the extension must be received from the subdivider (Woods) and the chair of the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission must advise on the extension (ref. Subdivision Ordinance, Ch 25.07).  Earlier today (Sunday, 12/01), the Co-Chair of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Bill Briesch, wrote that he was not comfortable with recommending the extension:

“I do not believe that we should extend the plat agreement as suggested. I believe the P and Z members as well as the residents should have the opportunity to be updated and able to voice, comment and vote their concerns.”

The Mayor disagrees with the P&Z Co-Chair.

“While I concur with the Chair that residents and commission members should have an opportunity to provide input on the subdivision plans, the preliminary plat doesn’t provide the detail required to have a substantive conversation. Furthermore, there have not been any changes made to the preliminary plat since its recommendation by P&Z and subsequent approval by the Council a little over eighteen months ago,” explained Mayor Mike Bawden.

“That’s why we felt it was appropriate to move ahead with granting the extension and focusing our time and efforts on getting the final subdivision plat through our review process. People have a limited amount of time during the holidays and it didn’t seem prudent to ask our P&Z Commissioners and City Council Members to take extra time out of their schedule just to “rubber stamp” the preliminary plat so the community can move on to reviewing and commenting on all of the detail provided with the final documentation on the subdivision plat.”

The City has received all of the required documents so the Planning & Zoning Commission can begin their review of the final plat for Woods Estates of Riverdale. The Commission will conduct a public hearing prior to considering and recommending approval or rejection of the final plat to the City Council. Dates for the public hearing and meeting of the P&Z Commission have yet to be set.

What happens next.

The special meeting of the City Council is still scheduled to take place on Monday evening. But a meeting with the City’s corporate counsel, staff and city leadership will take place earlier in the day to see what options are available to address concerns raised by the Planning & Zoning Co-Chair and by the Mayor. If the meeting is cancelled or re-scheduled, City Council Members will be notified by email and phone and an updated post will be made to the City’s website and social media.

 

Woods Development requests an extension for approval of the Woods Estates of Riverdale Phase I Preliminary Plat

Woods Development requests an extension for approval of the Woods Estates of Riverdale Phase I Preliminary Plat

(Updated 11-26-19) Following the publication of this original story, Riverdale’s Planning & Zoning Commission Chair, Bill Briesch, contacted the mayor to make note of the fact the commission had held no meetings in 2019, so the request for an extension was on a plat that had long-since expired. 

Records show the preliminary plat submitted by the developer (Woods Development) was approved by the Riverdale City Council in July of 2018, meaning the six-month window of opportunity to get the final plat approved had closed. This information was shared with the developer and P&Z Administrator (Tim Long, City Administrator) who are now investigating options and the proper way to move forward with review and subsequent approval of plans and plats so the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision can proceed.

(Original Story 11-25-19) In a letter dated November 20, 2019, attorney Jay Sommers asked the City of Riverdale to extend the period allowed for the approved preliminary plat of Phase 1 of the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision to be considered. The preliminary plat was originally approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council in late May of this year.

Mr. Sommers states that the regular time limit on the approved, preliminary plat is six months, but an extension can be requests. The letter sent to the City constitutes such a request.

The letter continues:

“Accordingly, pursuant to Sec. 25.07 of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, please consider this letter a formal request for the City Council of Riverdale to grant an extension of sixty (60) days of the initial Preliminary Plat approval of Woods Estates of Riverdale – First Addition.”

A copy of the letter can be obtained by clicking here.

Developer provides photos of landscape design for new development

Developer provides photos of landscape design for new development

Developer Seth Woods provided photos of Walsh Pointe One – a housing development Woods Construction helped establish – as examples of the landscaping and foliage residents of Riverdale can expect once homes in the new Woods Estates of Riverdale project are completed.

In response to a request made by the City of Riverdale earlier in the year, Mr. Woods provided a written commitment to plant over 1,000 trees with diameters of 3″ or greater on the 100-acre development when it is finally completed. (Note: The TIF established for the project has a ten-year lifespan, so it is currently assumed the project will be completed before that – but economic conditions are a factor in the housing market and a slowdown may delay final completion.)

Mr. Woods’s statement, dated April 11, 2019 says:

Woods Construction & Development is responsible for the planting of 1,024 trees 3” diameter or greater. The covenants shall read “each lot/home is required to plant a minimum of 7 3” diameter trees”.  At a 116 lots x 8 trees each, we have 928 replanted trees.  The developer than will be planting the balance on the entrance, hillside and northeast property line of the development.

This statement squares with a previous one Mr. Woods made to the City Council back in August of 2018.

A gallery of images provided by Mr. Woods can be found below. The photos were taken from his home in Walsh Pointe.

Photos show progress on Madison Drive and site grading (and a sold lot!!) in Woods Estates

Photos show progress on Madison Drive and site grading (and a sold lot!!) in Woods Estates

Check out these recent photos showing progress on Phase I of the Woods Estates of Riverdale project by Woods Construction/Development. Madison Drive is now connected to State Street, work on completing the drainage system connecting the detention basins to the storm water system is underway and grading work is continuing on the lots that will be sold in Phase I – approximately 13 homes in the new development that should see some dirt work and construction yet this year (depending on weather).

Woods Estates Progress Reports from the City’s engineering consultants

Woods Estates Progress Reports from the City’s engineering consultants

Field reports from the City of Riverdale’s consulting engineers can be found here. Field reports are filed by MSA Professional Services and the City of Bettendorf’s Public Works/Roads Department.

Planning & Zoning Commission to meet October 18, 2018

Planning & Zoning Commission to meet October 18, 2018

A meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Riverdale has been called for Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held in the Community Room at City Hall. An official notice will appear in the Quad-City Times on Thursday, October 11th and will be posted to the City’s public notice board on the North side of City Hall.

The meeting is a public hearing and will involve reviewing the final plat for the first phase of the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision, developed by Seth Woods and Woods Development.

Notices will be sent to every resident of Riverdale, per City code.

ABOUT WOODS ESTATES
The Woods Estates Subdivision is a 94.69 acre residential subdivision located southwest of Manor Drive and northwest of State Street/US 67 and was formerly known as the Welch farm. Phase I of the subdivision covers approximately 17.7 acres and includes thirteen sign family lots and two outlets for the stormwater management detention basins which will be used for the entire subdivision.

All interested persons are invited to appear and be heard at the meeting. Interested persons are also encouraged to submit written comments on these proposals. Comments should be sent to:

Tim Long, Zoning Administrator
Riverdale City Hall
110 Manor Drive
Riverdale, IA 52722

Written comments must be received by 5pm on Thursday, October 18.

If you have any further questions, you can reach Mr. Long by calling City Hall: 563-355-2511