Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

January 23, 2019 Riverside annexation now on hold
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

A missed step in Riverside’s process of annexing the Northern Heights development property is sending the annexation back to square one.

City Clerk Becky LaRoche told the council Monday night that the city attorney said the city should have held a consultation meeting with the county prior to approving the annexation.

“We may have to do the whole thing over again,” LaRoche said Tuesday morning. “It’s all in the paperwork.”

While there is little doubt that the city will again go through the steps and annex the 30-plus acre property into the city, the announcement throws into question the status of approving the preliminary plat and construction permits until the property is part of the city again.

The developer wants to start construction this spring, and it is unclear if this setback will affect the construction start.

LaRoche termed the consultation meeting a formality.

“Nobody comes, but you have to send the letter,” LaRoche said.

It is not as if the county did not know about the annexation.

LaRoche talked with people in the county attorney and county auditor’s offices. County Engineer Jacob Thorius voiced concern about the annexation and “how the roads on the east and west side of this annexation will be maintained.”

According to LaRoche, the consultation meeting was not on the original instructions she received from the city attorney on steps needed for annexation.

Prior to LaRoche’s report at the City Council meeting Monday night, the council approved the preliminary plat for the project.

The plat was approved on a 4-1 vote, with Councilperson Tom Sexton dissenting. Sexton has voted against all resolutions on this project because he objects to city financing being used by the developer.

“I’m not opposed to the project moving forward,” Sexton said earlier this month. “I am opposed to the city financing.”

In approving the preliminary plat, the council included a requirement that builders of lots along Tupelo Boulevard install sidewalks along the street when the homes are built.

City Engineer Scott Pottorff with MMS Consultants said the sidewalk requirement is important.

“If you don’t put them in with the building, they never get put in,” he said.

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