Herald JournalHerald Journal, Nov. 15, 2004

Two developments could add 200 more homes in Waverly

By Jane Otto

In 2002, the Census Bureau said Waverly had 732 people.

That number could double by 2010, if the town’s growth continues at its current pace.

In 2003, 67 new homes were built. Another 55 new home permits were issued so far this year, and the city council expects an average of 50 new homes annually for the next five years.

“We knew it would get to this point,” City Clerk Debbie Ryks said, “but the residential growth is just amazing.”

Two more potential developments will fuel the council’s expectations.

Darrell Lachermeier presented the council his development concept at Tuesday’s meeting.

Lachermeier’s planned urban development is spread over 94 acres on Waverly’s eastern edge, south of Highway 12. Bordering the northern edge of Lake Carrigan, the development will feature 44 acres of park space and trails. An estimated 120 homes is slotted for the development.

One hitch, however, is not all the acreage has been annexed. Lachermeier must annex close to 30 acres before any development can begin.

He must next submit a preliminary plat map to the city’s planning and zoning committee for review.

After his plans get final approval, it will take roughly 30 months to grade and improve the site for development.

“It’s a good plan,” Mayor Charlie Bush said. “He just has to work out the minor details.”

Ron Brekke of John Oliver and Associates showed the second proposed development on the council’s docket that evening.

Named Spring Meadows concept plan, the 49-acre planned development lies off County Road 8, south of Highway 12.

“It has some nice topographical features that will lead to some nice homes,” said Adrian Duske, a planning and zoning committee member.

The majority of lots range from 10,000 square feet to 11,000 square feet. Some, however, are as large as 19,000 square feet and as small as 9,000 square feet, the allowable minimum lot size.

Like Lachermeier’s development, Spring Meadows will enter the preliminary plat phase and once finalized, will take 30 months to complete.

Annexing more land?

Another residential development is planned for a 176-acre parcel that Ray Williams of Westar Ventures wants to annex.

The Woodland Township site, formerly the William Douglas farm, lays on County Road 8’s east side, south of Highway 12.

Waverly and Woodland Township have recently signed an orderly annexation agreement, of which the first step is to have a joint meeting, Ryks said.

A meeting was tentatively set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at Waverly city offices.

Paying for new tower

All these new homes will help pay for the city’s new water tower, a project that has been seven years in the making, Ryks said.

New water connection fees will help pay off the bonds the city has for the tower.

At Tuesday’s meeting, City Engineer Barry Glienke said the tower has been painted, but the logo won’t be done until next spring.

Changing the rules

Proposed new developments can also mean unplanned costs for the city.

Waverly pays all pre-development costs, such as engineer and attorney’s fees, because it has no pre-development clause in its subdivision ordinance. Not until developments receive the final go-ahead can the city be reimbursed.

The problem is it can sometimes take several years until a development reaches that stage, Ryks said.

The proposed Lachermeier development is an example. “That has been going on for two years,” Ryks said at Tuesday’s meeting. “We’ve accrued engineering bills with the Lachermeier development, but we can’t seek any reimbursement because we’re not in a pre-development agreement.”

The city wants to amend the ordinance to allow for such an agreement. The planning and zoning committee will review the amendment at a public hearing 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2 at the Waverly city offices.

Once the city can have pre-development agreement with developers, Ryks said, “That will have to help a great deal with those costs.”

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