The final plat for 49.5 acres in the STAR bond district received city council approval Jan. 24.
The design outlines streets, access ways and lots for a development city leaders are looking at to provide additional commercial growth for years.
The action was actually a replat, but was necessary, especially to allow for new roadways – Freedom and Independence streets and Destination Drive – to be incorporated within it, said City Planner Cody Bird.
“This is the groundwork, the bones of what’s being established,” Bird said.
Making the platting a bit different is that the city itself is involved as a landowner, as it holds title to land where a city water tower is located.
The proposed plat will provide that a western portion of the Water Tower Addition would become a private street, constructed and maintained by the developer.
The planning commission had previously approved the design, and the applicant has worked with city staff, Bird said, to iron out details and agree on how the area will be developed.
This development district is west of Rock Road and north of Patriot Avenue. Nearby buildings include Derby North Middle School, Calvary Baptist Church and a QuikTrip, although none of those are in the district.
While the council was examining the platting area of less than 50 acres, the entire STAR bond taxing district is much larger at 233 acres and stretches south to Meadowlark.
The plat provides for five commercial lots along its east side. They range in size from 1.53 acres to 2.8 acres.
A map provided by the city labels at least three of those sites as “pad,” meaning a general business development, such as a restaurant or retail operation. One of the sites is indicated as being the location of a hotel. No specific business names have been yet released.
The medical complex, or Rock Regional Hospital, is on the northwest side of the site with the Field Station: Dinosaurs development south of that. Parking for the attraction’s visitors would be on the far south end of the parcel.
The district makes up a special taxing area and as proposed, a percentage of sales tax revenue from within the development will be used to fund it, through what are known as STAR bonds.
The sales of the STAR bonds have not yet closed, but are expected to be completed this month, and after that, the developer, Derby Destination Development LLC, may proceed.
The choice of street names for the district got strong approval from Mayor Randy White.
White liked the way two of them played off of patriotic themes and the other served as an advertisement.
“They’re great choices,” he said.
All street names were proposed by the developer.
However, traffic flow to and from Rock was a source of concern for members, especially Cheryl Bannon, who inquired if the plan was taking growing traffic projections into account.
None of the lots will have direct access to Rock, Bird told them, and designers did put a lot of thought into how to handle that traffic once it will get to Rock.
Two of the intersections will have lights and because of that, Bird said, they naturally will attract the most traffic as human behavior dictates that drivers want to seek the path of least resistance.
Two additional entrances are proposed and both would allow full turning movements onto Rock Road, Bird said. The final configuration of the intersections and entrances will be determined through the city’s engineering plan review process.
City Manager Kathy Sexton assured members that traffic flow was a major concern.
“We trusted the traffic engineers on this one,” she said.