Representatives from Stetson Properties say the company doesn’t have specific development plans for the land they own in Kuna, but when the time is right, they want to be ready.
After a public hearing on Tuesday, the Kuna City Council granted a request to rezone the 2.5-acre parcel on the Southeast on the corner of Columbia and Ten Mile Roads.
“The applicant sees the Ten Mile Corridor as a very important corridor coming up,” Kuna Senior Planner Troy Behunin told the council. “With the fairly recent opening of the Ten Mile interchange and all the development lined up along Ten Mile, things are poised to take place.”
Behunin and other members of the city’s planning and zoning staff have been working on the request for several months, and ultimately created a 58-page document laying out the specifics, including 20 conditions Stetson Properties, along with LEI Engineers and Surveyors, agreed to abide by if request to rezone to a C2 designation was granted.
Currently, the property is zoned R6, a medium density residential designation.
Behunin reiterated for the council several times that the applicants do not yet have specific plans for the property.
“They see an opportunity to line up talents to get the land ready with a C2 designation and entitlements for developments in the future,” Behunin said. “They would like to get it ride that next development wave that is shortly coming our way.”
Planning and Zoning staff was supportive of the request for two reasons, Behunin told the council.
First, the applicants requested a right-in in and right-out on Columbia Road and Ten Mile, which is significant if the roads are to maintain functionality and perform the way they’re supposed to, especially given the high volume of traffic, which is likely to increase.
Whatever future development brings, Behunin added, the applicant is setting stage for shared access at southern property boundary and also to the east.
Furthermore, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) anticipates construction of a roundabout at the Ten Mile and Columbia Road intersection sometime in the next 10 or 15 years.
“Certainly, with any kind of monumental development down this corridor the traffic could reach a level where a roundabout could be necessary sooner rather than later,” Behunin said, noting city staff was expecting it to come sooner. “ACHD said the timetable was 12-15 years, but staff believes it will be shorter than that because Ten Mile is picking up steam.”
The impending Meridian Road Interchange rebuild project is going to send commuters seeking an alternate route to work, he said.
“Some are likely to backtrack and use Ten Mile instead of Green River for that, he said. “If the secret of Ten Mile as a little road is not out yet, it will be out shortly.”
The uncertainty of a timetable for ACHD project, however, has left the city on more than one occasion struggling with whether to enforce city code, which requires sidewalks placed along frontage of commercial development.
While the issue has not yet been decided for the impending construction of Ridley’s Family Markets, the location and conditions of the rezone at Ten Mile and Columbia presented a different set of circumstances.”
“ACHD recommends 5-foot additional asphalt along roadways in lieu of sidewalks because of the proposed roundabout,” Behuni said, noting the installation of sidewalk, curb and gutter would be especially costly to the applicants, considering it would all be removed once the roundabout project gets underway, and likely reinstalled by the ACHD.
“It was explained to me that, at the time of the roundabout being constructed, it would be ACHD (responsibility) to construct roadway, curb and gutter and also the sidewalk because of the major improvement to that section (by then).”
Laren Bailey of LEI Engineering and Surveyors, one of the applicants, noted he wanted to clarify his position on the sidewalk issue and was the only individual to address the council during the public hearing.
“We’re not trying to get out of anything,” Bailey said. “We would prefer to go with ACHD recommendation, because asphalt would most likely get torn out in the future and also because there isn’t any other sidewalk that connects to this area, so I don’t know where anyone who was using it would be coming from. But if the council sees a need for it, we’re not going to argue. I want to be clear about that.”
The rezone and development agreement does stipulate that at a time of future development the city council has a right to add or impose different conditions.
“It’s also anticipated that a fuel station of some sort would be (part of future plans for the development),” Behunin said, adding that a drive-thru restaurant is also “anticipated.” “It’s not planned, they don’t have an anchor or a tenant or anything like that, but if that were the case in the C2 zone, a fuel station would require a special use permit. They have to come back when they know what they want to do or who they want to sell it to for further land use actions. This is not the last chance the council will have.”
Instead of full curb, gutter and sidewalks – but more than the ACHD recommendation of five-foot additional asphalt along roadways both parties agreed to land somewhere in the middle with eight-foot of additional asphalt along the roadways.
“It’s not intended to be a sidewalk but will still provide a means for pedestrians should the need arise,” Behunin said.