The Hoisington City Council met Monday night and continued the discussion concerning a proposed Hoisington housing project by Housing Opportunities, Inc. Three sites are under consideration for a total of eight duplexes with 14 units. The first site, located at 7th and Cedar, would contain one duplex. At 5th and Pine, three units are planned, and at 4th and Maple, four units are planned. Zoning changes from R-1 to R-2 are required at both the Cedar and Maple properties, and letters have been sent out with nothing but positive feedback received, according to Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell. The Pine property is currently zoned properly, but some variances will need to be made. The only concerns expressed have to do with potential parking issues on Maple Street. According to Mitchell, the street is only 25 feet wide, so parking has only been allowed on one side of the street. Vicky Dayton of HOI proposed the two units on that street be set back further so a single curb cut opening onto a shared drive with off-street parking could be installed. The council was pleased with this arrangement.
Mitchell provide a time line for the project. Public hearings are scheduled for Jan. 5 for zoning changes to the Cedar and Maple properties. Applications for the project are due to the state in February. The awards will be announced sometime in May or June. Then, the city will have until December to exercise their options on the lots, allowing the projects to commence. The project may be eligible for neighborhood revitalization dollars. Mitchell said he and Dayton discussed this possibility, and reported Dayton said HOI could pay for part of the project if the city allowed the company to apply for the grant. This could cut the cost to the city by a third, though exact figures and dates are not available at this time.
City manager’s report
Mitchell also reported that the office building at 171 S. Main is nearing completion of some of the repairs and improvements, including framing of the back room and side, as well as metal installation and roof decking. Once the back is done, the city is working on a agreement with Subway to make further improvements
Code enforcement is continuing to work with homeowners on rehabbing derelict properties. Also, the city would like to see voluntary self-enforcement of the ordinance that buildings need to be marked with numbers. There are still about 75 buildings out of compliance, he said.
The zoning board advised Mitchell they are considering a change to the percentage of lot coverage requirements to accommodate further improvements in the city. Currently, structures can only take up 30 percent of the R-1 zoned lots, and the board is proposing an increase of 5 percent. The same would be true for other lots in the city. The board is also considering the proposal to allow accessory buildings to be built on vacant lots, provided they are complementary to the neighborhood. Recommendations will be made to the council for further consideration. Concerns over the operation of EMS services were assuaged. Dr. Durrett will continue to supervise the liaison as the medical director for EMS services at the present time, and services will continue to operate as normal
Mitchell received an email from Councilman Brian Wilborn inquiring if the governing body could change the regular meeting time to meet earlier. The governing body will look into a proposal to change the regular city council meeting time to 7 p.m.
Pharmacy negotiations continue.
Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
• Consideration of maximum proposed year end transfers. Some transfers may be less, depending on end of year bills yet to be received. Among the transfers included were up to $30,000 to cover payments on the pharmacy project, up to $50,000 toward an ambulance, as well as several other expenditures towards other city equipment and capital improvements. A complete list is available at the city offices. Funds are available for end of the year demolition. Typical demolition costs around $5,000, and there is enough for about three houses to be demolished.
• Agreed on Hoisington Chamber of Commerce annual banquet attendance.
• Approved the cereal malt beverage license for Cardinal Lanes.
• Approved the cereal malt beverage license for Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant and Bar
• Approved the revised real estate purchase option and sale contract.
The council met in executive session for consultation with an attorney on matters that would be deemed privileged in an attorney-client relationship for 15 minutes with the governing body, city attorney and city manager. Upon reentering open session, no action was taken and the meeting adjourned.
The Hoisington City Council’s next regular meeting will be at the city offices at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 26.