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October 16, 2008 3:44 am

Residents worry new subdivision will alter old neighborhood

Written by Tribune Staff

Residents in one of Powell's oldest neighborhoods voiced their concern last week over the new development in the Water Tower West subdivision on Avenue D.

“We feel making a way for the new is important, but we don't want to be plowed over in the process,” said Jim Zeigler, who addressed the Powell City Council.

Zeigler said the neighborhood welcomes progress, but residents don't want to lose mature trees in the construction for Avenue D to be extended as a through street. Residents are worried about how increased traffic would affect children who play in the area, as well as how it would alter the neighborhood's quiet atmosphere, Zeigler said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council already approved a final plat for Avenue D to be a through street, progressing from Edmonds through the new subdivision and connecting to Greenfield Drive.

The Planning and Zoning Commission wanted Avenue D to become a connector street to the subdivision and did not see any safety concerns, said chairwoman Carol Richendifer.

Richendifer added that emergency response vehicles would have more availability in this plan.

The Water Tower West subdivision, being developed by Jeff Sheridan, operating manager of TJR Ventures, will continue as approved, Sheridan said.

Residents had suggested closing off the subdivision with a horse-shoe shape street. Sheridan said he considered that option early on, but will not revise the street plans.

The subdivision plans were approved by necessary officials without any issues, said City Engineer Sean Christensen.
Last week, property owners affected by the development met with Sheridan, City Administrator Zane Logan and Christensen. The group discussed where sidewalks will be placed on properties so that mature trees could be kept, Christensen said.

Avenue D will stay narrow at the connection and then will widen in the new subdivision, Christensen said.

Sidewalks must be installed to meet city ordinances and Americans with Disabilities Act codes, Logan said.

The city will pay for the ADA ramps, but the property owners are responsible for the sidewalks' expense, Logan said.

By installing sidewalks, residents Jim and Barb Beavers will lose trees, rose bushes and a barn that have stood for decades.

The property originally belonged to Barb Beavers' grandparents, Ora and Ruby Bever, and has been in the family since 1935.

“History matters a lot to us,” Barb Beavers said.

Both Zeigler and the Beavers agree that they would have liked to be involved in the process more.

“Our neighborhood, our voice has not been heard through this process,” he said.

Zeigler added that he does not want to villanize anyone.

“I know Jeff (Sheridan), and it's not his intention to harm us in any way, shape or form,” he said.

Sheridan plans to put the street in this fall, and Logan said the sidewalks will likely be built next spring.