LEXINGTON — The City of Lexington aims to help alleviate, in part, the housing issue with the proposed annexation of St. Ann’s Second addition. This will feature a housing development, which the Planning Commission forwarded to the city council.

During the meeting Tuesday evening, City Manager Joe Pepplitsch informed the council about the final plat of St. Ann’s Second Addition.

The land in question is part of St. Ann’s Parish property, on the east side of Taft St., along 5th, 6th, 7th Streets.

In November 2019 the Kansas based Prairie Fire Development proposed a plan to construct a housing development in the area, which the Lexington city council approved.

Pepplitsch said this final plat and annexation were being done on behalf of St. Ann’s Parish, the Lexington Housing Authority and the Knights of Columbus, which all own property in the proposed area.

The housing development will feature 25 rental duplex units, as well as a clubhouse, office space between the proposed extensions of E. 7th and 6th St.

Each unit would include three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a single car garage and open living, dining and kitchen areas. They would also feature high energy efficiency HVAC appliances, washer/dryer hookups and approximately 1,360 feet of living space, according to Prairie Fire’s presentation last year.

Pepplitsch spoke of the need for additional housing in Lexington saying, “we don’t have enough the way it is.”

A new north-south road, which will be named Kennedy, will be constructed on the east side of the developments, allowing for more access. The long-range plan for the new presidentially named street is for it to connect to 13th St.

Once formally approved, the city plans to handle all the infrastructure work at once, to make the area ready for development and construction. Pepplitsch said all the utilities will come from Taft St. and storm water will be diverted to the east and then south to a drainage ditch.

Pepplitsch said this area was originally platted in the 1950s under the name Village Green, but was abandoned and vacated during the 1980 recession. He did note there is still a 10 foot storm drain easement on the property running east-west on the northern side of the property.

Along the east side of Taft St., enough room will be left between the housing development and the road to allow for utilities and a walking path, connecting with Highway 30.

Around St. Ann’s Parish Center, Pepplitsch said the parish will retain 13 acres which will be used for their future development.

As for a timeline of events, Pepplitsch said utility work could be started in the fall, with paving taking place in spring of 2021. Foundations for homes could start going in as early as September, with occupancy of some of the units starting as soon as July 2021.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Pepplitsch told the planning commission, “we just need lots, many lots.” He added he also wants to see more than just seven to ten homes for sale in the community at a time.

The planning commission voted to forward the final plat for the addition to the city council.

The next business was the decision to annex the addition, a statutory requirement from the state, Pepplitsch said.

It was noted in the 1950s, when the area was first platted, the demarcation line jogged back south on the north side, leaving a small portion out. This new plat would do away with this and square off the property, which would add around five acres to the city limits, Pepplitsch said.

Speaking of the housing need, Pepplitsch said this addition of housing units will, “relocate people who are already here,” but the city has its sight set on bringing new people to the community and having homes available for them. “That will take a lot more lots,” said Pepplitsch.

The planning commission approved annexation and forwarded their recommendation to the city council.

During the roundtable discussion Development Services Director Bill Brecks told the commission he didn’t know of any new items coming up in August, Pepplitsch said there might be more subdivisions to consider in September.

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