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Chief confirmation tops council agenda

September 2, 2018

Confirmation of North Platte’s next police chief will precede the City Council’s 2018-19 budget hearing Tuesday, with further discussion of a bicycle motocross project and rezoning requests for a proposed 41-home development to follow.

A public meet-and-greet session with retiring Los Angeles police Lt. Daniel Hudson, a 1985 Hemingford High School graduate, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers at 211 W. Third St. The regular meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Dwight Livingston nominated Hudson Aug. 23 over two other finalists to succeed retiring Chief Mike Swain. The council is scheduled to confirm Hudson’s appointment as part of the multi-item “consent agenda,” which will be Tuesday’s first item of business. Any council member can request a separate vote on the nomination.

After Hudson’s confirmation vote and the budget hearing, council members will return to the question of whether to grant a license to 308 BMX Inc. to build and operate a dirt BMX track on the South Park site, just southeast of West Walker Road and Buffalo Bill Avenue.

Council members tabled the request at their last meeting Aug. 21 after a lengthy discussion about whether to give their blessing to the two-year-old proposal. City officials and project sponsors were to meet to refine the draft license agreement over the subsequent two weeks.

After the BMX discussion, the council will hold a public hearing and have its first chance to weigh in on North Platte homebuilder Lonnie Parsons’ plan to build 41 single-familiy homes on a vacant 8-acre tract at West Philip and Dixie avenues.

The North Platte Planning Commission Wednesday advanced a trio of related requests that would rezone the site from R-1 to R-2 and abandon its existing plat.

After the public hearing, the council will vote on whether to amend the city’s 2011 comprehensive plan to permit R-2 zoning on the tract. If they approve, votes to rezone and to abandon the current plat would follow.

Even with positive council votes on Tuesday, Parsons would have to return to seek final approval of the $11.5 million project — including his request for tax increment financing — before the Planning Commission Sept. 25 and the council Oct. 2.

Parkview Community Church of the Nazarene, which once intended to build a new church on the tract, would sell it to Dancer Properties LLC — in which Parsons is a partner — if and only if the council grants TIF so Parsons can recoup an estimated $1.67 million city bill to install infrastructure.

The proposed rezoning would allow somewhat smaller lots in Parsons’ development, in which he proposes to build one-story homes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an attached garage. They would sell in the $200,000 range, he said.

Several homeowners protested the plan before the Planning Commission, saying permitting smaller homes and lots — expected to attract younger families and senior citizens — would threaten their property values and increase traffic congestion, among other possible impacts.

An unrelated seven-home replat of a vacant tract at West A Street and Bare Avenue will be considered as part of the consent agenda. The request by Wilk Builders LLC includes a proposed variance to allow four of the lots to be 4 feet deeper than the city’s usual standard.

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