Things are looking up for the developer of a proposed "green" community in Shawnee Bend, but a challenge of an extension of the planned unit development (PUD) by Camden County Planning & Zoning is not through the weeds just yet.
Retired college professor Dr. Gary Storm is attempting to develop an environmentally responsible and culturally enriching residential subdivision off of Red Oak Lane in Shawnee Bend 3 but has hit some major stumbling blocks in his plans for the Woodland Community since first getting approval of the 72 acre PUD from Camden County P&Z and the County Commission in 2010.
With a troubled real estate market nationwide, Storm has struggled to get funding for the development and received a one-year extension of the two-year PUD in April 2012. He was granted another one-year extension by the planning commission in April 2013.
The Shawnee Bend 3 Homeowners Association (HOA) is now appealing the second extension over concerns that the project is not feasible and, if it ever does get off the ground, may fail. A derelict, half-constructed development at the core of Shawnee Bend 3 could become a fire hazard and would put area property values at risk.
The HOA was also concerned about multi-family dwellings and commercial uses near the Lake of the Ozarks shoreline as outlined in the original proposal. Shawnee Bend 3 covenants that were in place prior to the PUD do not allow those types of uses within 1,000 feet of the 662' elevation.
The Camden County Board of Adjustments - an arm of P&Z - is hearing the appeal. At last month's meeting, the BOA continued the public hearing on the case, requiring Storm to come up with a new development plan that would meet subdivision restrictions and to work with the homeowners association to try to work out a plan acceptable to them. If those conditions were not met, the BOA indicated approval of the HOA's appeal and the end of the extension were likely.
Storm provided the BOA with a new plan at its Oct. 23 meeting, but representatives of the HOA still had concerns about the PUD.
Now, the BOA has tabled the case for another month to give P&Z staff more time to review the plan and create conditions on the PUD to satisfy the county and the HOA.
It appeared that the case is moving toward denial of the appeal and the continuance of the PUD extension.
The extension gives Storm through March 2014 to file a final plat on the phase one of the PUD. The final plat locks the PUD in place. Storm has not had the detail of a final plat developed or filed up to this point to keep his options open as he markets the project and due to the expense of engineering.
Page 2 of 2 - Storm attended the Oct. 23 meeting with Matt Marschke of Midwest Engineering who is working on the project.
With lots of green space and a village type feel, Marschke said the planned community is an ideal example of what the county's master plan is looking for in residential developments.
The new plan removed all attached single family residences - row houses - and replaced them with regular single family homes that featured green construction materials and smaller setbacks from roadways for greater density. The development would also feature mostly one-way roads to cut down on pavement.
Other parts of the development would be used for community green space with a community green house and garden.
More controversial was a site to host arts and horticultural workshops with space to temporarily house a few students. A plan to put loft apartments for artisans above community garages for residents was also opposed by the HOA and was in conflict with the property's zoning. The HOA also did not like the commercial park designation of part of the development.
There was also question of how to identify the 1,000 foot zone. Storm used the lake shore due to the gentle rise of the site placing the 662' line possibly 200-300 feet up the valley.
During the meeting, Storm agreed to only one loft apartment per community garage building to comply with single family residential requirements.
If the appeal were granted and the PUD terminated, the zonings would revert to what they were prior to the case.
Storm could apply for a PUD again if the plan becomes firmer or gets financial backing, but the HOA has put into place more restrictions that do not allow for any commercial within the subdivision.