May 21, 2024

Public improvements approved for second addition of Arbor Estates

City council supports street, utility connections of 23-lot subdivision

Contractors work on building homes at Arbor Estates in Newton. The city council on May 15 approved the preliminary work for the second addition of Arbor Estates that is expected to have 23 residential lots, which are zoned R-1, R-2 and R3, offering a wide variety of potential home structures.

Newton City Council on May 15 approved the preliminary work for the second addition to the Arbor Estates subdivision, which includes the construction of street and utility connections for 23 new residential lots. When the work is completed, council will review the final plat to start lot construction.

The second addition is located between North 11th Avenue East and North Eighth Avenue East in the 2200 to 2500 blocks. The property is also within the single-family (R-1), one- and two-family (R-2) and mixed residential (R-3) zoning districts. Each lot exceeds bulk zoning requirements of these three districts.

Newton Mayor Mike Hansen told council members that he had asked the city administrator to give him some additional information, which was provided. The mayor said he saw an opportunity when he looked at the plat of the North 10th Avenue cul-de-sac that extends toward Cardinal Pond, particularly the R-3 zoning designation.

“I thought what an opportunity to not only look at single-family opportunities that may present itself from any developer or contractor, but also taking advantage while we’re considering this phase and in the process of getting bids in the future of having an opportunity for town home construction to surround that pond.”

Staff took the mayor’s thoughts into consideration and will likely include that lot to be included in a bid package as an alternate going forward.

Also included in the preliminary plat were seven out lots, which will be reserved for either wetlands, trail connections or future subdivision phases.

The entire subdivision process — when construction of new public improvements is involved — is broken down into two parts: the preliminary plat approval and the final plat approval. The preliminary plat process involves a review and approval of the basic layout and an evaluation of the designs of public improvements.

According to agenda documents, the public improvements for the second addition to Arbor Estates involves extensions of both the East 23rd Street North and East 26th Street North and the associated utilities to be installed within those rights-of-ways. Then the public improvements will have to be constructed.

When the public improvements are completed, the final plat is presented to the city showing the improvements were made in accordance with the preliminary plat. When the final plat is approved by city council and recorded, the 23 proposed lots will then be available for transfer or sale.

Prior to city council’s approval of the preliminary plat, it was first reviewed by the planning and zoning commission, which then made a recommendation.

The planning and zoning commission voted 6-0 on May 2 recommending the council approve the second addition preliminary plat of Arbor Estates, with the understanding that all feedback would be addressed prior to the city council’s review. There was no public comment at the planning and zoning meeting.

No waivers from city standards are being requested for the preliminary plat. As is city practice, sidewalks won’t be constructed until individual lots are developed.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.