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10:27 AM Sun, Oct. 21st

Kingman Crossing front and center for council action

Stuart Yocum

Stuart Yocum

KINGMAN - The plan to build Kingman Crossing could take a couple of steps forward today when the City Council holds its first and only meeting of August.

The first item is approving an agreement with a firm that would determine the best location to build an interim crossing across Interstate 40, near where Kingman Crossing is located. The idea is to relieve traffic congestion on Eastern Avenue and provide better public safety.

The Council approved funding the feasibility study and staff recommends the job go to AECOM Technical Services Inc. In addition to determining the best location, the firm will provide design concepts, right of way needs and estimated costs.

There are two locations to consider, according to staff. The Kingman Crossing option would look to connect Louise Avenue to Santa Rosa Boulevard using the Kingman Crossing Boulevard alignment. The Prospector Street option would connect Louise to Diamond Joe Road/Santa Rosa Boulevard using the Prospector Street alignment.

It is important to note this would not provide interstate access, but rather a road across the interstate. The item could be approved without discussion as it is on the consent agenda.

The second item is significant as it involves rezoning Kingman Crossing from rural residential to a planned development district. Kingman Crossing involves the sale of 151 of 158 acres of publicly owned land that would be home to a fourth I-40 interchange and retail shopping.

At least two members of the Council question whether the time is ripe to rezone the land. If a majority doesn't agree with Jen Miles and Carole Young, the city would begin the process of establishing commercial zoning that would exclude undesired businesses. If the Council gives staff the go-ahead, the Planning and Zoning Commission could hold a public hearing on Sept. 8 and the Council would follow up with its own on Oct. 6.

In other matters of interest on tap for discussion and possible action:

• The Council will revisit proposed changes to the commercial landscaping requirements in the zoning ordinance.

The Planning and Zoning Commission's first effort to amend the plan for the first time since 1998 was wholly rejected by local builders and Council members earlier this year and a committee was formed to reach consensus on the proposed changes.

• The Council could approve a proposal from Ritoch-Powell & Associates to design plans and specifications to improve Eastern Street between Pasadena and Airway avenues.

The plans would include road design inclusive of pavement, curbing, sidewalks, possible bike lanes, drainage features and other elements.

• The Council could approve an agreement with Sunrise Engineering for a water reuse study.

The evaluation will specifically look at groundwater injection, airport industrial use, and reuse at the city's golf course and parks.

• The Council will likely postpone a public hearing regarding its plans to make a temporary half-cent hike in the sales tax permanent. Finance Director Tina Moline at a recent meeting said she needed to post notice of that intention on the city's website for at least 60 days. The public hearing will be held on Oct. 6.

• Mayor Richard Anderson is at odds with some of his colleagues on the Council regarding how meeting agendas are published.

Councilman Stuart Yocum requested the item after Anderson reportedly had City Manager John Dougherty remove an item Yocum submitted to be placed on the agenda. The matter was scheduled to be discussed at a non-action work session in late July, but Yocum asked that it be postponed because neither Anderson nor Vice Mayor Mark Wimpee were in attendance.

The current ordinance allows any Council member to place an item on the agenda. Staff recommends adding wording that "only the requesting councilmember can agree to have an item removed or deferred from the next available agenda."