Pottawatomie County Commissioners approved an amendment to a planned unit development Monday on a 2-1 vote.

Currently the permit allows for 48 units of multi-family housing on a defined lot, single family units and duplexes, for a total of 313 total residential units. The proposed amendment changes that to allow for development of triplexes and four-plexes, limit to two stories per structure. The amendment was proposed to allow for more affordable housing options. Monday’s conversation lasted well over an hour, at times becoming a hostile conversation between commissioners and developers.

Pottawatomie County Planner Stephan Metzger says the project meshes well with the county’s comprehensive plan.

      0417-Metzger 1

The Planning Commission had previously approved the amendment 5-3, but the Board of County Commissioners Monday became concerned with a variety of things, including overflow of parking in cul-de-sacs and paving of Harvest Road, which is spelled out in an agreement between developer Doug Phelps to contribute to once 100 units are platted within the Willow Glen subdivision.

Commissioner Dee McKee pressed Phelps to concede to paving that earlier, but is wasn’t a conversation Phelps was prepared to have Monday.

      0417-Phelps 1

Commissioner Pat Weixelman asked Phelps on when that threshold of 100 units will be met.

      0417-Pat and Doug

The amendment will allow density requirements to change from 2.42 dwellings per acre, to 3.4 per acre. Developer John Childs says the market has slowed on single-family home development.

      0417-Childs 1

McKee says there is not enough existing infrastructure to handle the additional population. She ultimately supported the amendment along with Commissioner Weixelman.

Commissioner Greg Riat opposed, noting he was offended by an accusation made by Childs toward him as the meeting dissolved into crosstalk among commissioners and other meeting attendees. Riat, a former Sheriff, stated he believes lower-income housing generally requires more services like law enforcement and EMS, services typically provided in cities. Childs had asked Riat to clarify those comments.

      0417-Riat 1

Riat said he didn’t appreciate the “hostile” comment by Childs.