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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.