The annexation of a property on Fall Creek Road, which is scheduled to become affordable housing, was postponed by the Branson aldermen.
According to a city report, Dan Ruda, who originally petitioned for the annexation on behalf of Fountains on Fall Creek, LLC, requested that the annexation of the property at 3855 Fall Creek Rd. be postponed until the March 24 aldermen meeting.
“Quite simply, the applicant reached out to our office and asked for their item to be postponed until the March 24, 2020 meeting,” said Planning & Development Director Joel Hornickel. “They have a permit that they were issued through the county for certain activities that they’re hoping to complete before this process is complete so it doesn’t confuse things between the two entities.”
Several community members, who live near the development, have discussed concerns about tree removal, flooding on the property and requests for barriers between their properties and the development, as well as voicing requests to work with the developer to establish understandings and work together to create a positive process for all.
“We want to be good neighbors, we’re trying to build something good,” said Ruda. “But, the other side, I can assure all of you today, is look around our community.
“We have to decide what we want to do ... Development land is adjacent to somebody, no matter where it’s at…. We do want to work with the community.”
However, Ruda said the process has been less than satisfactory so far, and he labeled a previous meeting between the residents and the developer as “less than professional.”
“Some of the information people don’t appreciate is when we bought the property some 15, 20 years ago, we’ve sat on it and looked at it for 15 or 20 years (and) everybody that was within X number of feet that was living there at the time, got a notice ... We were approved for a large number of living units, including timeshare, nightly rental, second home.”
A report for the Branson aldermen says the approximately 55-acre property is proposed to have a mix of housing types, along with affordable housing.
The affordable housing will use Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) awarded funds for the development.
According to Ruda, they hope to have single-family housing, market rate housing, patio homes and/or apartments, as well as some upscale second homes and vacation homes.
Ruda highlighted that they are giving up acreage to provide 30 flood buffers – the 15-to-17 acres that experiences flooding – and feels that some “don’t appreciate that.”
Ruda also discussed why most of the trees from the property have been removed, saying that during development, trees often don’t survive due to disruption to the root systems. He also said that, in the end, it’s better to revegetate.
“(We) did what we did because the laws in the county are such that they don’t have the same tree ordinance that the city has,” said Ruda. “I didn’t make those rules. Property was in the county when we bought it ... It wasn’t like we came in unscathed and didn’t have public opinion and we made adjustments through that process.
“It wasn’t a matter that we didn’t have the trees down (why they asked for a postponement). We’re trying to do the best planning and to position ourselves and work with the city to make it less frustrating on staff and ourselves in how we zone each of the different lots.”