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Council approves preliminary plat for Ferris new homes

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SHERRY LONG
The Ellis County Press

FERRIS - City council members unanimously approved a new preliminary plat for a Shaw Creek Ranch, a subdivision of new homes to be built on land west of town if the developer completes certain conditions addressed by the councilmembers.

Approximately 480 homes will be built on the parcel of land situated between Lucy Mae McDonald Elementary School and Ferris Intermediate School on FM 983 and FM 660.

Councilmember Jessie Hernandez noted in previous newspaper advertisements the developer promoted the subdivision offering a park; however, in the preliminary plat plans, a park was not shown.

'Where's the parks? In your newspaper ads you were promising the people of Ferris parks?' said Hernandez.

KD Financial Head Engineer Tommy Cansler showed city officials where the developer proposed placing a park for the new neighborhood.

'We would be happy to provide land for the park on the east end of the retail section adjacent to the cemetery,' Cansler said.

Councilwoman Lori Perkins said residents would be better served with a park inside the subdivision.

'I would rather see the park right here in the middle of this residential section; over here in the retail office this is going to be a business area you're not going to want to park over there by the traffic.' Perkins said.

'This cul-de-sac is kind of centralized in the subdivision and (we) have proposed to make those lots on block I lots 15-21 (and) dedicate that as a park,' KD Financial President Steve Donosky said. 'We'll work that out in the final plans.'

Hernandez and Councilmember Victor Burnett also asked what would become of the stock pond on the land.

Donosky proposed removing the pond building on top of the land. He said the homes would not be on the area previously occupied by the pond, yet some of the lots will back to the old pond area.

According to Halff Associates Engineer Matt Craig, contracted as the City of Ferris' Engineer, advised city officials the developer must determine if the pond is considered a wetland before construction can begin.

The Army Corps of Engineers have jurisdiction over all wetlands.

KD would be required to obtain a permit to remove or fill any wetlands.

Craig said once construction plans are submitted, the developer would be need to include a storm water pollution prevention plan, a notice to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and provide ongoing monitoring and maintenance of pollution prevention measures in place during construction.

Hernandez voiced concerns about what would happen once structures and roads were built upon top of the covered pond, if the homes sink into the ground?

'I've seen it done before I was on a job up north where they went in there, drained a tank and covered it and then they decided to put a big building on it and nine months later, the building was sinking. That's sort of where I'm going here ... they can cover up that tank, but who is responsible for the roads?' asked Hernandez.

Donoksy and Cansler assured city officials an on-site lab would be monitoring the area during excavation to ensure the soil has just enough moisture. Donoksy said, due to the large amount of clay in Ferris soil, it is important to monitor moisture level in the soil.

According to city documents KD must provide data and analysis concerning how the new subdivision will affect the existing water and wastewater facilities of Ferris while providing for additional areas to be added later. The data must show the city's resources will be able to handle the additional loads.

KD will also need to show where utility easements will be placed along with their intended uses.

Donosky proposes building homes in various sizes being mixed together in the subdivision. The smallest homes allowed would be a minimum of 1,200 square feet.

Donosky said they will contract with homebuilders who will provide residents with various choices in home size and price.

'If everything goes smoothly, homes should be available by Spring 2004, ' Donosky said.

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