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Wed, March 20

UPDATE: D-H Council again postpones Young's Farm decision

DEWEY-HUMBOLDT - At the request of Monogram Development, the Dewey-Humboldt Town Council Tuesday night again postponed a decision to rezone the former Young's Farm property for a 286-acre residential and commercial planned area development.

Mayor Earl Goodwin said the council will vote on the rezoning Aug. 21.

Toward the outset of the Tuesday meeting, Town Manager Roger Swenson said the council would need a super-majority vote to approve the rezone. That ultimately caused the postponement.

Town Attorney Kenton Jones said, under state law, if owners of 20 percent of the farm's surrounding property who live within a 150-foot circle of the parcel object to the rezoning, six of the seven council members must vote in favor of the measure to approve it.

About two hours before Tuesday's meeting, Swenson said property owners who live within 150 feet of Young's Farm had sent additional protests to town hall, making the super-majority necessary.

However, he added that at 5:05 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m., town officials had received some rescinded protests.

"We got numbers that changed at the last minute," Jones said. "We don't think those changed the outcome of the calculation. But I can't give you a hard number that puts us exactly where we are. We believe they (protesters) met that three-quarter requirement."

Monogram partner Don Allison and the developer's attorney, Greg Huber, said they want to meet separately with Jones to determine the validity of the results.

Earlier on Tuesday, Allison said Huber tried to contact Corey Cox, a Planning and Zoning consultant for the town, and Jones.

"We were unable to discuss the formula and the processes that was going back and forth to make that calculation," Allison said. "There appears to be a number of discrepancies that exist in the way that's interpreted."

Huber said, "This is not really a function of last-minute protests being filed or last-minute decisions. It's really more an issue of the underlying methodology and the spreadsheet that was built in order to define the universe of properties and owners who have the right to protest, what the property measures are, and how the statute's applied to that."

Jones said he first found out Tuesday morning that a super-majority vote might be an issue. He said Cox and other town planners have worked continually with the protest data and agreed the situation calls for a super-majority.

"We have addressed methodology today. We've done this exactly the way we've done it in the past," Jones said. "I'm not disagreeing with Mr. Huber, but we have a formula that's laid out by statute. I spoke with Mr. Huber about it before the meeting. He agreed with me as to how we're supposed to have done this."

Goodwin subsequently agreed to grant Huber and Jones additional time to evaluate the numbers and make sure a super-majority vote is necessary.

Also on Tuesday, the mayor allowed for a lengthy public hearing on Monogram's updated residential project. But he declared beforehand that the town would not accept any more protests and/or rescissions to the ordinance after Tuesday night to prevent a last-minute issue affecting the Aug. 21 vote.

"I'm operating on the basis that everyone who is eligible to file a protest by being a neighbor to the property has had the opportunity to file or not file numerous times," Goodwin said. "I don't want to leave any more doors open for more mind-changing."

On July 12, Monogram offered a modified planned area development (PAD) proposal in an effort to reach a compromise with the council on density in the residential portion of the project at the southeast corner of highways 69 and 169.

The revised plan splits the project's 259-acre, single-family residential parcel (B-2) into three sections with 10 percent less density than the original proposal.

But it also increases the number of lots from 50 to 75 on the 15-acre parcel of cottage homes (B-3) that lies due north of B-2. The B-3 parcel would act as a buffer between B-2 and the Village Marketplace to the north.

On July 17 the council narrowly approved a rezoning for Monogram's proposed 28-acre Village Marketplace for commercial uses.

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