Holton city subdivision regulations outlined

Holton’s codes list three different classifications of residential subdivision, according to the city’s subdivision regulations as provided by Assistant City Manager Kerwin McKee. A copy of the regulations may also be obtained at Holton City Hall.

According to the regulations, Class A applies to subdivisions located within the city limits. Class B applies to subdivisions adjacent to the city limits, adjacent to an area where subdivision proceedings have commenced or adjacent to another subdivision approved by the city and adjacent to the city limits. Class C applies to subdivisions located within the city’s “planning area” but not adjacent to the city limits or a Class B subdivision.

Concerning streets, the city’s subdivision regulations mandate a surface made of concrete, asphalt or “materials approved by the City,” and including curbs and storm sewer inlets.

Holton City Attorney Dennis White recently suggested to the Holton City Commission that curbs and gutters not be required for cost reasons, but instead that streets and roads “fit in with the character and integrity of the neighborhood.”

White’s proposal also recommended the placement of green swale ditching along hard-surfaced roads in place of curbs and gutters. Such ditches are not mentioned in the zoning regulations, but as “drainage structures,” they are listed as “other improvements” that could be made “in accordance with the recommendations of the Planning Commission and specifications of the City.”

Streets are also required to be a certain width, depending on their individual uses, zoning regulations state. For arterial streets (highest speed allowable for longest possible distance with some access control), the minimum width is 80 feet, and for collector streets (designed to connect local streets with arterial streets), the minimum is 70 feet.

The minimum width of local streets is 60 feet, whether it is a throughway or leads to a cul-de-sac, which must be no longer than 500 feet and have a turnaround radius of 60 feet. For marginal access streets or frontage roads, two-way roads must be 60 feet wide and one-way roads must be 50 feet wide. Alleys must be 20 feet wide, zoning regulations state.

Driveway entrances “are up to the property owner,” McKee said, noting that hard-surface entrances are not required in single-family residential subdivisions, but they are on entrances to apartment complexes or other structures in R-2 (multi-family residential) zones.

Developers are also required to pay for street construction, but when a subdivision is complete and located within the city limits, the city takes over maintenance, McKee said. He added that “special taxes” for maintenance of roads in a subdivision are not imposed by the city, but where they are assessed on residents of a subdivision, it is done at the developer’s discretion at the time the subdivision is created.

In all three subdivision classes, the area of the lots will be determined by the availability of approved public water and sewer systems, both of which must meet “minimum design standards,” according to city codes. Landowners, subdividers or developers in charge of a Class B subdivision are required to submit petitions for annexation to the city with their final plats.

Lot sizes also are mandated by zoning regulations, with the mimimum width of an interior lot set at 50 feet, while the minimum width of a corner lot is set at 90 feet “in order to maintain a front yard on both streets.” The minimum depth of a lot is set at 120 feet, measured through the center of the lot and perpendicular to the property line or radial to the property line on curved streets, and every lot shall abut on a street other than an alley.

Class C subdivisions are also subject to minimum lot size requirements based on the availability of water and sewer systems. If these subdivisions have either a public sewer or water system, but not both, lots may not be less than half an acre in size; if they have neither, the minimum lot size is two and a half acres.

Permanent easements also are mandated where alleys are not provided, with a minimum width of seven and a half feet for access to utility lines, poles and wires. Temporary easements of 12 feet are required during construction and installation of water, sewer and other utility lines, which McKee said are installed at the expense of the developer or landowner.

In the case of Class C subdivisions that are eventually annexed into the city, responsibility for public utility lines that belong to other entities, such as Jackson County Rural Water District 3, shifts to the city, McKee said. Class B subdivisions, he added, are a different matter, as public water and sewer systems are designed to the city’s standards.

“If it is annexed, we’re probably going to have most of the utilities there anyway,” he said.

Certain types of utility systems, such as the low-pressure septic system that White asked the city commission to consider, have yet to be reviewed before a decision is made on whether to include them in the subdivision regulations, McKee said. He added that when sewer “lift stations” are required, they are installed at the expense of the subdivider.

For more information, contact McKee at 364-2721.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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