An Andover housing development is moving forward after discussion over access to two properties on its north side.
The Andover City Council approved a final plat for The Meadows at Petersen Farms Dec. 15, 2020, with a few conditions. Following some discussion with the developer and the owners of two nearby properties, the developer agreed to run some utilities to the two properties.
Located off 165th Avenue in the northwest part of the city, the development will bring 46 single-family homes to Andover. While 165th will be the only connection at the start, later phases of development anticipate two more connections to Seventh Avenue.
Ahead of the final plat, the council approved the vacation of an easement for Jivaro Street north of 165th Avenue Northwest. There are two homes on the north end of Jivaro Street, and the homeowners raised concerns about several issues, including continued access to utilities such as electricity and internet. Homeowner Darren McDonald voiced concerns about how emergency services will access his home.
A representative of the developer clarified that the easement won’t be terminated until after a new road is constructed and paved. He further clarified that the developer will provide natural gas, underground electrical and Comcast internet services.
Mayor Julie Trude pointed out the two properties had taken a risk when they were developed with access across another piece of private property. She said she also was concerned about requiring property owners to pay for costs incurred off site when they do something within their property rights.
Council Member Valerie Holthus argued that the families on the property should have their utility hook-ups paid for by the developer, because the change is through no fault of theirs.
“It’s not their fault that this PUD is happening to them, and it just doesn’t seem fair to me that they would have to pay to have their utilities hooked up,” Holthus said.
Council Member Sheri Bukkila concurred with Holthus, arguing that a resident is responsible for the negative impacts their work on their property has on neighbors.
“If it was my neighbor doing an improvement, if all of the sudden they sever the water line or another utility — do they get to cap it and walk away and call it a day?” Bukkila said.
Ultimately the council and interested parties agreed to the final plat on the contingency that the developer runs electric, phone and internet connections to the two homeowners’ property lines.