City approves land switch at Shor Acres
The Mobridge City Council took a first step in a proposed development at Shor Acres and action to eliminate safety hazards at the Phansteil building.
Property owners from Shor Acres (Kennedy Drive) attended the council meeting for a public hearing concerning the exchange of city owned land in the area with acreage owned by a number of people. The purpose of the exchange was to open lots owned by the City of Mobridge that are more suited for development than those owned by the private citizens. Some of the land owned by the city has been designated as a park (Brown Park) and the Shor Acres group was concerned those acres would be lost in the development.
The proposed exchange would include Lots 144 (except north 30 feet) and all of 132, 133, and 134 in Shor Acres (Brown Park), which is about 33 acres. Four acres were platted for the park. Mobridge City Attorney Rick Cain said a new plat of the land shows that in order for the city to get a fair exchange, Lot 135 (see map) would need to be included in the exchange. Bruce Keller, who is interested in buying and developing the property, told the group he would gladly include that lot with the property that would go to the city.
The city appointed three members of the community, Robert Knudson, Harley Overseth and Duane Martin to set a fair market value on both plots of land in the exchange. According to the report they sent to the council, the land has equal value at $11,900. The report stated the analysis of the land included factors any professional appraiser would use. Those factors, as stated in the report, were a combination of current market conditions, square footage, location, property condition and comparable market conditions.
Keller told the group the development would include newly platted lots, possibly in a cul-de-sac configuration, for new homes.
Mayor Jamie Dietterle told the people gathered in the room that Keller was interested in developing land that was sitting vacant and that was divided into small plats that were not conducive to construction because of the size.
Kent Mauck, who owns several lots in the Shor Acres neighborhood, voiced concern about losing more trees in development and area for the park. He told the council the landowners would like to see the city develop that designated land into a park.
Mobridge City Administrator Steve Gasser told the group the trees on the land are not part of the current designated park, but two tree rows.
The landowners all said they were not against developing the area, but were concerned they would lose part of the beauty and serenity of the neighborhood if the development did not include the designated park.
“The park is in the center and that is where it should be,” said landowner LeRoy Vogel. “This should be for the children.”
Currently the city has no plans to develop a play park in that area.
Cain said he has not been able to locate any paper work designating that land as a donation for a park only.
Willie Hepper asked the council why the planning and zoning board had not been part of the process. He said the land has much more value than the appraisal indicates and that it isn’t a fair trade for the city. He urged the city to get a licensed appraiser to do another analysis.
Councilwoman Rose Henderson asked why the land values were the same and asked if the proximity to water and sewer had something to do with the value of the lots.
It was agreed that might be one of the factors included in the appraisal.
Mauck told the council the group of landowners wanted to see something in black and white before the exchange was made and asked why there wasn’t anything available on paper for the group to view.
Keller said there is no solid plan yet because the exchange had not been made.
This is the first step in the process added Dietterle, opening the door to development.
Cain reminded the group landowners would need to consent to closing any alleys and streets before that action could be taken, but that was down the road as part of the development plan. He said the question before the council was whether they wanted to make the land exchange.
The council approved the proposed land exchange. Dietterle urged the landowners and the developers to work together to ensure the best possible plan for both the current residents and the developers.
Dietterle told the council the 60-day period in which it granted Phansteil building owner Rhett Albers to present a plan for what he intendes to do with the building had expired. He said a registered letter had been sent and accepted by Albers detailing what needed to be done to the building to correct the safety hazards. The completion date of Aug. 18 had been set back in May when Steve Gasser and Ward III Councilman Randy Carlson told the council the time had come to take action on the Phansteil apartment building on First Avenue East.
Gasser told the council City Ordinance Officer Brooks Johnson had continually tried to get Albers to do something with the property, to no avail. He said the building had deteriorated and become a safety hazard to the community.
Carlson said he had been in the building and the roof was nearly gone, there was extensive water damage and interior was deteriorating.
The council informed Albers the crumbling chimney needed to be removed, the porch on the east side of the building removed, and the wooden door leading to the basement removed, and a hole filled to block the entrance to the basement.
That work has not been done.
Carlson said he had sought and received an estimate of $8,458 form Jensen Rock & Sand, Inc., to do the required work.
The council debated whether to have tehecompany do the work and take Albers to court to recover the cost or to take Albers to court to force him to do the work and then to recover those costs.
Cain told the council he was certain they had justification in the eyes of the law for taking any action and that a judge would agree. He recommended they take the action that would take care of hazard problems in the quickest manner.
The council approved hiring Jensen Rock & Sand to do the work and move forward with court actions.