The Anna City Council voted to approve an amendment to a facilities agreement with the developer of the Northpoint Crossing subdivision in Anna, but couldn’t get the motion to pass. Ultimately no action was taken on it during the council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Anna Planning Director Maurice Schwanke explained to the council that when the Northpoint Crossing neighborhood was approved, the city entered into a facilities agreement that outlined the obligations of the developer and the city regarding certain infrastructure and other public improvements. One item in the agreement was that the developer of a future phase of the property construct a walking trail within the neighborhood. Now, however, city staff is reconsidering the usefulness of this trail, since it would be confined solely to the neighborhood.
“Up to $175,000 was pledged to build in reimbursement to the developer after putting it (the trail) in,” Schwanke said in the meeting. “After looking at it and sidewalks that are going to be in place … this trail section doesn’t connect to any of our trail systems that we have planned for the city, it’s just out there on a drainage area for a short distance and it doesn’t serve any purpose that we can ascertain.”
With that, Schwanke said the developer has agreed that the council can strike the trail element out of the agreement.
“The monies that have been collected so far in the Northpoint development and the future fund that would have gone back to the developer to build a short section of trail can go back into the park trust fund to do other citywide park improvements,” he said.
City Manager Philip Sanders said at the meeting that the city had made this suggestion to the developer.
“The concern was we had $175,000 worth of park trust funds encumbered to build what would essentially be an onsite improvement to the neighborhood, and it would only benefit the neighborhood,” he said. “Rather than encumber those funds to build what would essentially be only benefiting one neighborhood, we feel it’s in the city’s interest that those funds be available for larger, citywide park projects.”
Council members, however, expressed concern about modifying an agreement when it is midway through the development process. Sanders tried to assuage those concerns.
“It’s an obligation in the development agreement that we have to reimburse him if he builds the trail, and if we amend the development agreement, he doesn’t have to build the trail and we don’t have to reimburse him,” Sanders said.
Kelly Patterson Herndon, a resident in Northpoint, stepped forward during the meeting to express her concerns about the trail as well.
“We have been promised by this developer many, many things, this trail being one of them, they have yet to do any of what they’ve promised,” she said to the council. “If you say the trail can’t happen, at least leave the money for us to develop our community. We still have a lot to develop. … There’s a lot of leeway for that money to spend for our community that can eventually benefit the city as a whole, not just us. It’s something to look at for the future. So we ask the council to consider leaving that money for our development in the future. “
A motion was made to approve the agreement amendment, but three councilors voted for it and three voted against it. So the motion failed
Following this, the council decided to bring the item back to be looked at again during its meeting on Dec. 13. This allows the council more time to consider the impact of the changes on the neighborhood itself, as well as provide an opportunity for members of the neighborhood to express their opinions to the city council.