To The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners:
The Sarpy County Planning Commission held its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, May 15, 2002 in the County Board Room at the Sarpy County Courthouse, Papillion, Nebraska. Chair Meyer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the following members present: Pam Buethe, Don Fenster, Tom Hurley, Brenda Kunz, Wayne LaBart, Marcia Matthies, Don Meyer, Denny Nichols, Alan Wear, Tom Wees and Doug Whitfield. There were no absentees. Tamra Madsen, Deputy County Attorney was present. Ken Tex, Planning & Zoning Coordinator and Cindy Gilbert, Recording Secretary, were also present.
Chair Meyer asked for commissioner reports.
Chair Meyer stated that he and several other commissioners had attended a workshop on the role of the Planning Commission and the Board of Adjustment Saturday, May 4th that had been put together by the Cities and County and thanked everyone who attended.
I. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS:
II. REGULAR AGENDA ITEMS:
1. Hillview, LLC, 17116 Washington Street, Omaha, requests approval of a Final Plat of a subdivision to be known as Hillview on the following described property, to wit: Being a platting of part of Tax Lot 3A, located in the SE1/4 of Sec 16, Twp 14N, Rng 11E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Jeff Elliott, E & A Consulting, representing Hillview, LLC, requested final approval for the subdivision known as Hillview. He stated that it was approximately 27 acres west of 168th Street. He also indicated that there are 65 single family lots and 30 town home units and it conforms to the preliminary plat.
Cindy Gilbert read into record the letter from the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District (NRD).
2. Marjorie Massaglia, 15238 Oak Valley Road, Ramona, CA, requests approval of a Change of Zone from AG to AGD on the following described property, to wit: Being a platting of part of Tax Lots 6 and 7B, located in the SW1/4 of Sec 22, Twp 14N, Rng 10E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Ken Tex explained to the commissioners that the owner wants to plat a 10 acre piece of land. He stated this property was in a Residential Low (5+ acre) area according to the Future Land Use Map and it met all zoning requirements.
3. Marjorie Massaglia, 15238 Oak Valley Road, Ramona, CA, requests approval of a Preliminary/Final Plat on a subdivision to be known as Little Big Place Addition on the following described property, to wit: Being a platting of part of Tax Lots 6 and 7B, located in the SW1/4 of Sec 22, Twp 14N, Rng 10E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Jerry Lofberg, nephew of the applicant, introduced himself, but did not have anything to add to Ken Tex’s previous statement for the property.
4. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., 14450 Meadows Blvd, Omaha, requests approval of a Special Use Permit for the extraction, processing and sale of aggregate on the following described property, to wit: That part of the SW1/4 of the NW1/4 lying North of Tax Lot 1, and that part of Tax Lot L lying North of Tax Lot 2, and that part of Tax Lot K lying North of Tax Lot 3, all being in Sec 28, Twp 13N, Rng 12E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska; and, the NW1/4 of the NW1/4 in Sec 28, and the NE1/4 in Sec 29, all being in Twp 13N, Rng 12E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska; and, the SE1/4 of the NE1/4 in Sec 29, and the SE1/4 in Sec 20, and the SW1/4 of the SW1/4 in Sec 21, all being in Twp 13N, Rng 12E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Neil Grant, Manager of Zoning and Permitting, Midwest Division, Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., indicated the reason for the application is to 1) change the name from City Wide Rock to Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. and, 2) expand the area they wish to mine. A detailed explanation of the map was given including boundaries, setbacks, mining areas and a time line for completion. He also agreed to participate in dust control on roads used by his customers as written in the operational plan. Berms will be built where ever possible to help screen the operation from public streets and adjoining properties. A minimum setback of 100' will be maintained from all property lines and road right-of-ways. He indicated that the quarrying operation would progress in a clockwise pattern. Plans for expansion included relocating the site entrance to 108th & Mitchell Road which would reduce truck traffic and dust on public gravel roads. Mr. Grant stated that blasting would only be conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and will not occur on Sundays.
Denny Nichols asked about dust control on 108th Street.
Ken Tex stated that 108th Street was in the process of being paved, which would eliminate the need for dust control.
Phil White, neighbor of the quarry operation, indicated that two explosions that had occurred recently had caused his home to shake and the noise from the heavy equipment is disturbing. He stated that, generally, a person’s biggest investment is their home and he has been sending complaints to the Planning and Building Department for a couple of years with no response. He read excerpts from the Zoning Ordinances stating he felt the rules were not being enforced.
James Wood, also a neighbor of the quarry operation, noted that he felt Martin Marietta had been taking some positive steps in reducing the degree of the blasting. Although, he suggested that there had been two significant blasts recently. He was aware that a seismograph reading had been taken, but was unaware of the results. He also agreed with Mr. Grant that Martin Marietta is trying to be a good neighbor. His stated his concerns about being in such a rush to expand their operation. He also stated that he actually lives closer to the mining operation than Mr. White does. He also noted that he had purchased his land in 1986 and built his home in 1988. He said that no quarry operation existed at that time. He also indicated that his property value would be adversely affected with this quarry operation and wondered what recourse property owners had if this permit was approved.
Joe Vampola stated he has lived in the area since 1945 and was the one who subdivided that land. He said that he started having trouble with the quarry operation because the blasting affected the 30 to 40 dogs he had. He eventually moved and now has bigger concerns. The truck traffic that travels through there does not follow the speed limit, there is too much dust and if they keep blasting, he may run out of water because of the limestone cracking near his well. He has experienced cracks in the plaster walls of his home. He stated that, even though he is hard of hearing, he can still hear the blasting. He also feels his property value will go down.
Brian Hanson, Fiscal Administrator, Sarpy County, stated, that in reviewing the packet with Ken, it was suggested that the setbacks could be increased where residents are so close on the northeast side.
Dan Goethel, General Manager of the Nebraska District of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. stated he had been to visit each of the neighbors. He knew Mr. White had submitted the complaint to the Planning and Building Department and, subsequently, Martin Marietta performed a seismograph test. He had the results with him and stated there might have been some confusion on the time Mr. White stated that the blast occurred. He noted that Martin Marietta does suggest to their customers that the speed limit be followed, but doesn’t have any control, since they are not his employees. He also indicated that the cracks occurring in the limestone near wells don’t necessarily have anything to do with the blasting. Cracks can occur naturally. He stated that they will discuss setbacks with the Planning and Building Department.
Alan Wear wanted to know about how many blasts occurred each year.
It was estimated that approximately 100 to 150 blasts occurred throughout the year. That was an average of 2 to 3 a week.
David Theis stated he had a concern about the rocks and debris found in his yard from the blasting that had occurred. His concern is that, as the mining operation moves closer to his home, will he have the same problem with flying rock hitting his home and property?
Neil Grant stated that the area across from the Wood’s and the White’s house is an area that is currently permitted through City Wide Rock without conditions and added that blasting conditions are proposed to be added to the permit as part of the expansion. He further added that the blasting will be done in a safe manner and that property values should not be affected.
Denny Nichols noted that Martin Marietta has a facility in Weeping Water, Nebraska and asked if there was any impact on the neighboring water supply?
The answer was that there was no impact at all.
Tom Wees questioned what would be left of the property when all mining had been completed.
Dan Goethel stated that a lake approximately 10 acres in size would be created. They will not leave any hazards to the area. It is the intent of Martin Marietta to be a good neighbor, reiterating the fact that he had visited with the Wood family and the White family when they first purchased the quarry.
Terry Misenheimer, an explosive engineer for Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., stated that the blasts that are done are designed to have minimal impact on neighboring properties. The blast that occurred on the 9th of May, that Mr. White had made the formal complaint about, was re-constructed as close as possible and monitored continuously. He also stated that they try to maintain within 1/4 of Federal Government Regulations of ground particle velocity (ground movement). He continued by giving technical details about the way readings are taken and gave the results noting that, while this was being monitored, 33 triggers were received and only one blast occurred. He explained that things such as wind, traffic and airplanes can cause those triggers. He added that all the levels, including the blast, were well below the levels that usually trigger complaints from neighbors. He also stated that the blasting that cause water wells to crack and fail is a misconception. In order to break the rock around a well, you would have to be aiming to do just that.
At 8:55 p.m., the public hearing was closed.
Don Fenster was wanting clarification on whether the Special Use Permit stays with the land or the owner.
Tamra Madsen explained that the current Special Use Permit was obtained by City Wide Rock, not Joe Olivo, and typically stays with the company for as long as they own and operate the business. All the assets are still currently owned and operated by City Wide Rock as Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. purchased the business as a stock purchase. The Special Use Permit is still operating as City Wide Rock, which is one of the things that Martin Marietta is asking for in their application.
Don Fenster also asked Ken Tex if he had received many complaints that he had not responded to?
Ken explained that the complaints started a year and a half or more ago. He did go to Mr. White’s house on more than one occasion when he knew blasting would be taking place and deemed that those particular blasts were not creating a nuisance. He explained that Mr. Olivo had started the practice of informing the neighbors and the Planning and Building Department of when the next scheduled blast would occur. Ken also stated that his department had received many complaints that were duplicates of previous complaints filed with his office. He indicated he could not say for sure whether he responded to Mr. White directly or not.
Joyce McLeod asked if she could speak and was told by Chair Meyer that the public portion of the meeting had already been closed, after which Chair Meyer asked for any comment by the Planning Commissioners.
At that time, Tom Wees asked Ms. McLeod what it was she had wanted to ask.
She proceeded with the fact that she is very alarmed by the thoughts of the quarry operation lasting an additional 35 years. That is a very long time. She reiterated the fact that the quarry was not in operation at the time they built their home. She did add that the blasts do occasionally rattle things inside their home.
She thanked Mr. Wees for the opportunity to speak.
Don Fentser asked if there was a way to monitor the blasts to make sure they weren’t exceeding County guidelines?
Dan Goethel responded by saying that they could monitor each blast and would be willing to do that for a period of one year.
Don Fenster ask if we can require them to continually monitor the blasts.
Tamra explained that we can, indeed, require them to operate at certain performance standards including monitoring each of their blasts.
If they do exceed the limits set upon them, they can be brought back before the Commissioners or the Board for action at that time.
Dan Goethel stated that they keep records of the blasting and they will provide a log that monitors the blasts to maintain that they are staying within the required limits of the Zoning Ordinances.
**A 10 minute break was taken at 9:25 p.m.**
**The meeting resumed at 9:35 p.m.**
5. Western Springs Land Corp., 5004 S. 110th Street, Omaha, requests approval of a Final Plat on a subdivision to be known as Tiburon Estates on the following described property, to wit: Being a replatting of Lots 123 through 184, Ballena, inclusive, located in the E1/2 of Sec 28, Twp 14N, Rng 11E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Ken Tex stated that Doug Hill, Hill-Farrell Associates, Inc., was unable to attend the meeting. He stated that the Preliminary Plat was known as Ballena Estates and the Final Plat will be known as Tiburon Estates. With the exception of the name of the subdivision, it conforms to the Preliminary Plat. He also explained to the Commissioners that the Subdivision Agreement would include wording for the S.I.D. to maintain any center medians there are in that subdivision and that hydrant spacing would be a maximum of 450'.
Susan Niles, resident of Lake Ridge Estates, questioned where this new subdivision would be getting their water and sewer from because Lake Ridge Estates is under water restrictions right now until fall.
Ken Tex explained that Lake Ridge Estates has their own water system and Tiburon has their own.
Ms. Niles said at the last Association meeting, it was stated that they would be abandoning that lift station.
Mr. Tex said they would not abandon the lift station. It would be the treatment plant. He also reiterated the fact that Tiburon and Lake Ridge Estates are on separate water systems.
6. Harrison Woods, LLC, 8701 West Dodge Road, Omaha, requests approval of a Change of Zone from RD-50 PD to RD-50 PTD on the following described property, to wit: Sublots 1 thru 16, inclusive, of Lot 1and sublots 1 thru 24, of Lot 2, being a replatting of Lots 28 (A & B) thru 48 (A & B), Harrison Woods, a subdivision located in Sec 16, Twp 14N, Rng 11E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Doug Dreessen, Thompson, Dreessen and Dorner, Inc., introduced himself as the representative for Harrison Woods and requested the Change of Zone and Final Plat be approved. He stated that the Change of Zone is being requested because they are looking to split those town homes into villa size lots. It will bring the current 42 lots down to 40. The improvements will remain the same.
7. Harrison Woods, LLC, 8701 West Dodge Road, Omaha, requests approval of a Final Plat on a subdivision to be known as Harrison Woods Replat II on the following described property, to wit: Sublots 1 thru 16, inclusive, of Lot 1and sublots 1 thru 24, of Lot 2, being a replatting of Lots 28 (A & B) thru 48 (A & B), Harrison Woods, a subdivision located in Sec 16, Twp 14N, Rng 11E of the 6th P.M., Sarpy County, Nebraska.
Doug Dreessen requested approval of the Final Plat.
8. Proposed amendment to the Sarpy County Zoning Ordinances regarding the RD-50 (Two-Family Residential District) reducing the Lot Width to 50' and increasing the Lot Area to 6,000 square feet.
Cindy Gilbert read into record the letters from the Cities of Gretna, LaVista and Springfield.
Ken Tex explained that a sub-committee had been appointed by the Chairman of the Planning Commission to look at possibly reducing the lot width. The committee consisting of Denny Nichols, Tom Wees, Brenda Kunz, Don Meyer and Ken Tex met in April. He noted that, as suggested in one of the letters, it was never the intent to increase the density. That is why the lot area was increased at the same time the lot width was being decreased. He explained that it can be addressed in other areas. Other areas, such as the City of Bellevue, address this matter with an ordinance for Planned Subdivisions.
Tom Wees reiterated what Mr. Tex had stated that they never intended for every house in a subdivision to sit on a 50' wide lot.
Ken Tex suggested that maybe the Planning Commission take a look at putting together an overlay district such as a Planned Subdivision. He also said the County Board would like to sit down and discuss this with the members of the Planning Commission.
Tom Wees expressed concerns that, although they probably couldn’t please everyone, they could find a way to compromise with all the parties involved and noted that this area needs affordable housing for all.
John Fullenkamp stated that he was not trying to slip something in. He apologized for causing such a controversy. He would like to see developers invited to a meeting to contribute their ideas. There are places for larger homes and places and a need for smaller ones as well. Every time you raise the price $5,000.00, you knock out another five percent of the market.
Mark Wayne said that the County Board would like for the Planning Commission to attend a Board meeting. Mr. Wayne would rather see a workshop. He also mentioned new legislation that allows Cities to ask for additional zoning jurisdiction.
Tamra Madsen stated that any kind of workshop would need to be in a public forum and advertised as such.
She also mentioned LB729 by adding that the County Board would have to give permission for the Cities to take over jurisdiction. She stated that Commissioner Boyd would like to see a set of standards developed to use as a guideline when the time comes. She then further explained how the legislative bill worked.
Denny Nichols stated that it was obvious that there was no reason to move forward.
David Potter, City of LaVista, stated they would reserve comment since the Planning Commission was going to take another look at it.
Ken Tex said he would like to know what the Cities are concerned with.
Rod Buethe, representing the City of Gretna, stated that the proposal talks about decreasing the width and increasing the lot area. Going back and looking at other lot plans, if you went with a 60' wide lot and 5,000 square foot lot, you could only go 83' deep mentioning that he had not seen many 83' deep lots. By the time setbacks are met, the lots are almost unbuildable. You almost need the 6,000 square foot lot to make it buildable. Referring to those houses in Hickory Ridge, the square footage in those houses are around 900 to 1,100 square feet and the assessed value is $105,000.00 to $113,000.00. You can go to many of the cities and find existing homes for that price, so saying that affordable housing for empty nesters and starters aren’t there is incorrect. Right now, the City of Gretna has a 60' wide lot minimum with an 8,000 square foot minimum lot size. Sarpy County is still one of the fastest growing counties in the state, so we must be doing something right. We don’t need to adjust the lot size, because we are still building the way it is now. We need to make sure that it is the Planners and Board that are making the decisions.
Bob Doyle states that his client, Celebrity Homes, build homes that range in price from $110,000.00 and go all the way up to $200,000.00. He said his clients are asking for a little flexibility. Not all their buyers are interested in large side yards, but, maybe more back yard. The lot widths often occur given what the ground dictates. Bellevue has the Planned Subdivision which gives some flexibility that might allow for some 60', 55', or even 50' lots. The ultimate goal is to give the homeowner what they would like to have. He supports taking this off the agenda for now and taking another look at it.
Alan Wear asked about the amount of money that could be saved reducing the size of the lots.
John Fullenkamp gave a generalized cost of reduced lot sizes and discussion occurred on lot sizes and affordable housing. He ask that they take a look at some land planning and make it flexible enough to work for the developers and the buyers.
Tamra Madsen updated the Planning Commissioners on the actions taken at the May 14th County Board meeting by the Board of Commissioners.
Being no further discussion, Matthies moved, seconded by Hurley, to adjourn the meeting. By a unanimous oral vote, Chair Meyer declared the meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.