Council approves preliminary University Park development plan

by RACHEL SUN
Staff Writer | November 5, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — At a meeting Wednesday, the Sandpoint City Council moved 4-1 to grant preliminary approval for the development of a 152-lot subdivision at University Park, with some amendments.

Developers requested that the council extend the approved build time from two years to five years in consideration of the size and scale of the project, which the council approved.

“I think the size of this project should allow that for sure,” said council member John Darling.

Another concern developers brought up was the amendment by the Planning and Zoning Commission to require an additional turn lane to offset added traffic from the development.

That decision was based off traffic analysis from a more ambitious plan that would include mixed commercial spaces, developers said — an idea that may not come to fruition. Without those buildings, developers argued, the traffic revisions would be unnecessary and costly.

Based on that concern, the council moved to defer the addition of turn lanes until such a time that commercial buildings be added.

Commissioners from Planning and Zoning had also raised concerns over the construction of a fence along N. Boyer Avenue, and how design and build material might affect the aesthetic of the neighborhood.

To this end, developers outlined plans to use high-quality materials but requested the council allow for some flexibility to avoid driving up costs, to which the council agreed.

Finally, the council amended previous requirements for the developers to be responsible for clearing snow on the multi-modal path along East Mountain View Drive.

“No other developer or private property owner is required to remove snow from public pathways or a city trail,” said Jeremy Grimm, the representative for Tim McDonnel K-M Enterprises.

The council instructed staff to negotiate with developers on further issues and bring those issue back to the council.

Those negotiations could including a potential construction bond to allow developers to begin work in the winter that might otherwise be delayed due to weather constraints for paving roads, and normal building requirements.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.