Ongoing Issues Still To Be Discussed Despite City Of Douglas' Approval Of The 31-Unit Condo Project Called "The Furrows"; Whether To Build Sidewalks Still On The Table
Though Monday night’s final approval of the 31-unit condominium project, The Furrows, on the part of Douglas City Council did not come with a stipulation that the developer build a sidewalk on the site’s 670-foot fronting on Wiley Street, a wish city officials had expressed, the planned unit development (PUD) agreement with the city does provide for such an opportunity in the future, say city officials.
“Because it is a PUD, there are community benefits within the agreement with the city. This allows us an opportunity for future negotiations with the developer. We would need to establish how much of the sidewalk along Wiley Street he would do and/or how much we would contribute towards it.”
City officials and residents alike have—via the city’s land use master plan and public input—made it their goal to create a bike-friendly and walkable city which calls for more sidewalks.
The completion earlier this summer of one portion of the Blue Star Trail (a 10-foot-wide, non-motorized path) along the Blue Star Highway - from Center Street north to the bridge - speaks to that.
So does the two-mile Beach-to-Bayou Trail which runs along the north side of Center Street from Wade’s Bayou to Lakeshore Drive and the Douglas Beach on Lake Michigan, completed and dedicated last year.
At its previous meeting, the Douglas City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance allowing the 20-acre planned unit development (PUD), which the Douglas Planning Commission okayed in June and recommended the city council approve.
Clement told the council that when it comes to developments like this one, developers do not know what kind of customers the market will create.
However, the standalone condos are unique in that they all feature a zero-step home entrance. Clements wants to sell them for half-a-million dollars, generally speaking. The private access road will feature sidewalks on one side.
Following objections from concerned neighbors, Clement withdrew his initial plan to build a second access for cars and fire trucks to Water Street on the east end of the lot.
The developer also said he will take steps to protect nearby Tannery Creek and wetland areas.
When council asked Redstone Land Development developer Tom Clement two weeks ago if he would be willing to build a sidewalk on his property’s 670 feet fronting Wiley Street, he said, “Not at this point.
“It would be a sidewalk to nowhere if I did,” he noted.
Clement was referring to the fact that at this point the city does not have a sidewalk there on either side of the road.
“One of our long-range goals is to see some sort of sidewalk or bike path along that stretch from Schultz Park to Blue Star Highway,” said Douglas City Council Member Greg Harvath.
Douglas City Council Member Lisa Greenwood suggested too that the city and the developer could perhaps work together to build sidewalks along that whole stretch, but only after the city was ready to build its corresponding portion.