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Professional center at Gateway & 1st North OK’d by Providence

September 27th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Dani Hayes

PROVIDENCE – A professional building proposed on the southwest corner of Gateway Drive and 100 North got the go-ahead to begin construction from the City Council Tuesday.

A requirement for the building’s developers is to extend Gateway Drive south of 100 North to provide business access.

The problem the council wrestled with is who will pay for the new road, as the city was already planning on constructing a roundabout at the same intersection to improve traffic flow.

The council met in a session closed to press and public to determine a course of action, and agreed on a compromise with the Providence Professionals Center Subdivision.

Morris Poole, an orthodontist representing Providence Professionals, said his group recalled having the responsibility to dedicate land for the road construction that will be 66 feet wide. If the city decided to widen the road to 80 feet, the extra cost should be paid back to them by the city.

“We decided we will pay for the 7-foot strip of property that is required on the east side and we want them to dedicate the 7-foot strip that is on the west side,” said Councilman Ralph Call.

The Providence Professionals’ next step is to finalize purchase of the land from the LDS Church on which the building will be built. The building will include offices for orthodontics, a pediatric dentist and an oral surgeon.

A compromise was also reached regarding sidewalks on the new road. The west sidewalk will be paid for by the Providence Professionals and the east sidewalk will be paid for by the city, Call said.

The decision was almost pushed back for an additional two weeks for further deliberation. Councilman Don Calderwood moved for a recess in the discussion Tuesday night to allow the council to listen to the recording of the last meeting. Calderwood suspected that Poole agreed to dedicate the extra 14 feet of land on both sides of the road. His motion was not seconded.

“I’m certain that if we listen to the tape we will still be undecided,” Poole said.

Poole said that the issue had been in deliberation too long, nearly a year. He was concerned about the amount of money it could cost the Providence Professionals in legal fees if the debate continued.“I want to go on and buy my property,” he said. “This has gone on long enough.”

Call said, “When we approve tonight’s development agreement, they can go consummate their agreement with the Mormon church. Now they can go forward with their plans.”

The road has been on Providence’s master plan but construction was not considered until Poole and his associates approached the city about building a business subdivision on the lot.

A master plan maps out where roads should be if any areas are developed, Call said. “We don’t want to put those roads through but we designate them so when a developer comes along, we’re ready and we can say this is where the road will be.”

Call said that since the road extending Gateway Drive has been on the master plan, it is the business’s responsibility to pay for the construction. “The city doesn’t pay for the roads of the development in the city, the developers do,” he said.

“Providence city believes that the development needs to pay for its impact on the community,” said Skarlet Bankhead, city administrator. ”So if they need a road to get into their development, they should build that. It’s also so the taxpayers don’t have the burden of paying for the development.”

In response to the final decision, Poole said he thought it was fair.

“We got it all resolved,” he said. “We gave a little, they gave a little and we met in the middle. It worked out well. It’s really the way that I wish all politicians would work. Yes, there was discussion and debate last night but when all was said and done we did the best we could do. Everyone got their points across and everyone was heard. I didn’t feel like I lost or I was cheated.”


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