Subdivision concerns heard

Residents talk to Oak Creek Town Board about Sierra View

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Oak Creek residents presented concerns about the proposed 70-unit Sierra View Subdivision, such as increased traffic on steep roads leading to the subdivision and the stability of the hill on which the subdivision will be built, at the Oak Creek Town Board meeting Thursday night.

The meeting was scheduled so the town could consider annexing and approving the proposed subdivision, but that action was delayed until June, and only public comment was taken.

About 20 people attended the meeting, and nearly 10 spoke about the subdivision. Most brought their concerns forward, with one saying that the subdivision would bolster business in a town with a fragile economy.

The comments quickly turned into a discussion, with residents posing questions and Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman, as well as the developers, answering the concerns.

A top concern for residents was traffic on Moffat and Bell avenues, which have a grade in some parts of about 14 percent. Grades of 7 percent typically are the steepest allowed.

Resident Stacy Hayes said she was worried about the increase of traffic, especially because a lot of children walk along the roads to get to their school bus stops.

"We have young kids, and I don't want them to be dodging cars," Hayes said.

Other residents asked that a traffic study be done. Developer Tim Geiger said that he preferred "common sense" solutions to the problem: Instead of completing a study to show there would be more traffic, which obviously will happen, the effort should be put to developing solutions, he said.

Hayes also brought up concerns about the stability of the hillside, which other residents echoed. The Sierra View development proposes designating 51 lots on a meadow adjacent to town.

"I have a family that lives on that hillside. It's not stable. It's in their back yard," Hayes said.

Rodeman and the developers said that the stability was a focus of geologic surveys, which show that the hill is stable enough for the development.

Resident Dave Fisher said he thought the development group's fiscal analysis of how the subdivision could benefit the town was "overly optimistic."

He urged the town to give residents adequate time to comment on final plans before the Town Board made a decision about the project.

"What are we commenting on if we don't see a proposal in its final plan?" Fisher asked.

Rodeman assured residents that the town's attorney, Bob Weiss, was paying close attention to details of the annexation agreement and would help ensure that the development would pay for itself. She also said the town, developers and engineers had been studying the details very closely and had worked through many of the concerns residents posed Thursday night.

"I'm really adamant that this subdivision doesn't cost us anything," Rodeman said. "We have so much to fix. ... To spend any of the town's funds (on the development) would be insane."

Final plans for the subdivision will be available May 19 when the Oak Creek Planning Commission hears the plans. The final public hearing and vote on annexing the subdivision will take place at a special meeting at 7 p.m. June 3 at Town Hall.

In other business, the Town Board tabled plans to consider updating its Master Plan until June 24.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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