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Final plat request put on hold, again
4/27/2007 By: Carole McWilliams
A longtime Bayfield resident whose subdivision plans have been held up by sewage plant issues pressed town trustees on Apr. 17 to approve his final subdivision plat.
David Black objected that his Bay Heights subdivision proposal has been in the review process longer than other projects that have moved ahead.
Black wants to subdivide his land east of the Buck Highway into six lots – one with Black’s existing house, and five new lots. The five lots will depend on the Fox Farm subdivision to the south for access.
Town planner Joe Crain recommended approval with conditions for Black’s final plat.
Town Manager Justin Clifton said there has been confusion over whether the informal policy from last year was to not approve final plats, or to approve them but not record them.
Crain said the intent this time would be to not have the mayor sign the plat, so it couldn’t be recorded.
But trustees pointed out that with another small subdivision proposed by resident Murray Mead, the board denied the final plat instead of approving it and not letting it be recorded.
Why should Black’s proposal be handled differently, trustee Rick Smith asked. Citing the town’s current request to the state to lift a moratorium on selling sewer taps, he said, “The last thing I want to do is make the state unhappy with us. We’re walking on thin ice now.”
Trustee Carol Blatnick agreed. “We’re in a really precarious position with the state,” she said.
Black said, “I’m not necessarily interested in building anything right now. I want to be able to do the infrastructure. I spent hours and hours, and a lot of money, to get (the plan) to final plat. … I’ve been in this process longer than anyone else.”
He continued, “I shouldn’t be treated different than any other developer. The sewer district issued a bogus letter (that it could provide service). The issue isn’t creation of the lots. It’s issuing building permits.”
Smith responded that Black’s proposal is no different from others in terms of recording the final plat. “We can’t do that,” he said. “I can’t support anything that would jeopardize the town with the state and the tribe and shut this town down.”
Black protested, “It will take at least six months to put in infrastructure. There probably won’t be any houses built over the winter. I can’t even borrow money to start without the plat recorded. I’d like to have it to where the mayor can sign it at some point.”
Crain advised that developer Brad Elder will be coming to the town board on May 1 for final plat approval of another part of his Dove Ranch subdivision. “It’s not like there’s nobody else in the pipeline,” he said.
The resolution approved last year was to approve final plats but not have the mayor sign them, Crain said. But Clifton didn’t want the final plat approved, “no matter what the resolution says.”
Town attorney Dirk Nelson wanted clarification from the state on whether final plat approval, even without signing, would allow Black to sell lots.
Trustees put off a decision on Black’s project to May 1.