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ALPINE THREAT: CONDEMN LAND TO BUILD ROAD

The City Council considered condemning property for a road owned by a developer Tuesday rather than give in to down-zoning his land to allow smaller lots.

The property would be used to build a road for access out of this growing community on the east and southeast side.The council was told that developer Wayne Patterson would build a road through his High Bench subdivision faster if the council would rezone his property to allow half-acre lots, rather than full-acre lots.

Councilwoman Phoebe Black-ham suggested the city condemn the property and build the road, rather than wait for Patterson or be pushed into rezoning the property. She suggested the council not give him the zoning he wanted to keep the property undisturbed for a few more years.

The road would be one link in an effort to construct an access from High Bench Road to Canyon Crest. The city has already purchased land between Patterson's property and the Silver Leaf subdivision, which would provide the final link. Patterson's 1,200-foot strip is all that is holding up the project. The estimated cost of building that much roadway is $100,000, not including the utilities, the council said.

City Attorney David Church said the council must decide if the area is best rezoned as a separate issue. He said the council wouldn't want people to think developers could get a rezone if they built a road for the city.

Blackham moved to deny Patterson's application, but then withdrew her motion. The council then tabled the request pending further study, including the appropriateness of the rezoning request and how to best complete the road. Patterson wasn't present at the meeting and could not be contacted for comment.

Traffic in that area must now come down 100 South, which is heavily congested. The new road would help alleviate that congestion. Blackham said she would like to see the new road "before the snow flies."