Delaware City Council had 15 development-related legislative items on Monday’s agenda, with some of them a point of contention among members.
The absences of Vice Mayor Kent Shafer and council member Lisa Keller, 2nd Ward and chairwoman for the planning commission, became problematic during the first reading of ordinances concerning the final development plan and plat for a portion of the Communities of Glenross, located between the Glenross Golf Course and railroad on Cheshire Road. The planning commission recommended the plans last week.
But council member Chris Jones opposed suspending the rules for council to approve the final development plans and plats for sections on the north side of the same subdivision without additional readings.
“We’re getting away from our own rules,” he said, in reference to self-imposed policies related to the number of readings for particular legislative items. Jones said there should be at least two readings for development ordinances to allow more opportunity for public comment.
City Manager Tom Homan said he thought council had made the distinction between preliminary and final plans in the past.
Council proceeded to approve each Glenross-related ordinance after suspending the rules. Jones was the dissenting vote on suspending the rules, but did vote with council to approve the actual legislation. Midway through the proceedings, city attorney Darren Shulman said council needed at least five members present in support of suspending the rules.
A representative from Pulte Homes, developer for the Glenross homes, said it wanted council to approve the final development plan and plat for at least one of the sections because the goal was to complete it before the end of the year.
Jones was not persuaded. Votes already taken on some of the related ordinances were nullified with all tabled for another reading at the next meeting.
But Jones was among the five present council members that approved the third readings of legislation concerning the development text, preliminary development plan and plat for the south side portion of Glenross homes. Pulte Homes would develop the 210.7 acres into 487 single-family lots including 106 for detached condos, which would be located on the northwest side of the area, adjacent to the Glenross Golf Course area. Council members said they were satisfied with how planning staff created another access point through the condos area for first responders, in addition to a roundabout on Cheshire Road.
Council did approve on the first reading the following ordinances:
• To authorize Homan to enter into a community reinvestment area tax incentive agreement and school compensation agreement with Symmetry II, Delaware City Schools and Delaware Area Career Center for a $4 million investment in a 60,000-square-foot speculative office/warehouse building on Innovation Court. Investors of Symmetry II have been given three years to meet minimum job creation and payroll commitments of 28 full-time jobs and $1.3 million, respectively, for a 50 percent, 15-year tax abatement on real property improvements. Investors can earn an additional 10 percent abatement for every $225,000 of new payroll tied to full-time jobs. If the total abatement is 70 percent or more, investors must contribute $3,000 per additional abatement annually to schools.
• To amend an existing community reinvestment area, approved in June 2015, with Precision Tower Products LLC for the construction of a 77,525-square-foot facility on Pittsburgh Drive. The company agreed to create 35 full-time positions with a payroll of $1.97 million. The facility is expected to be completed in the fall, but the company changed its name to Sky Climber Fabricating LLC for market reasons. The amendment would reflect the new name and allow hiring to begin now instead of Jan. 1, 2017.
• To authorize Homan to enter into a renewal of the Law Enforcement Support Office program, which allows the transfer of excess Department of Defense property including clothing, office supplies, tools, rescue equipment, vehicles, rifles and other small arms. Five percent of the equipment provided are weapons and less than 1 percent are tactical vehicles.
Council took no action after going into executive session, according to Lee Yoakum, Delaware’s community affairs coordinator. The next council meeting will take place on Sept. 12.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.