May 15, 2014

One more try for Outlot 2


By Jerry W. Kram

The ongoing saga of Outlot 2 took another turn as the New Town City Council rejected two bids to swap the 39 lot development on Sand Hill for a number of units for city employee housing.

The special meeting was held May 7 to deal with a number of issues including the bids for Outlot 2. The city has been trying to develop the last substantial piece of city owned property for about three years. Last year the council decided to install streets, water and sewer infrastructure in hopes of attracting bidder to develop the property.

Two bids were submitted by the same two developers who presented to the council earlier in the year. One bid offered the council five units and the other offered eight. However, both developers asked the council to waive any restrictions on the kind of housing that would be built in the development. Council member feared that would lead to too many high priced units being built when the whole purpose of the development was to create more affordable housing in the city.

The council mulled over its options with City Attorney Bill Wood. Wood told the council that the city has few options to control how the area will be developed once it turns the city owned lots over to a private party.

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