A debate about the fitness of the planned Westbrook subdivision to be built along Howard Orchard Road followed a similar story arc Monday night before the Planning and Zoning Commission: It was tabled.
The preliminary plat of the major subdivision called for 175 single family homes to be built on the 118-acre property recently annexed to the city.
The annexation request has been tabled five times over the last six months. Developers and residents of the adjacent Thornbrook subdivision hashed out a development agreement to allay concerns about the effects of increased traffic through the neighborhood and the unfitness of Howard Orchard Road to accommodate another major subdivision.
At present, Howard Orchard Road remains a hilly, curvy, and unimproved stretch of gravel road that is not currently slated for improvement by the Boone County Public Works Department. The county said it would not support any development along the road if the plans did not include future improvements to the road. Joining the county in its opposition, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of annexation even though city staff had already signed off on the request.
The City Council approved the annexation on Monday, but not without its own hesitation about the current state of Howard Orchard Road. It also doubted that the developer’s agreement to pay $86,231 for the improvement and reconstruction of the road would cover a substantial amount of the multi-million dollar project.
A report authored by the same city staff recommends: “Unless the applicant is able to come up with a mechanism for improving the condition of Howard Orchard Road to city neighborhood street collector standards ... city staff cannot recommend approval.”