Marion agrees to sell property before zoning OK
Despite having told a couple in August to consult the planning and zoning board about their wish to build an RV and boat storage facility in Marion’s industrial park, city council members unanimously approved a resolution Monday authorizing approval of a contract to sell land to them.
The resolution authorized Mayor David Mayfield to sign a still-unwritten contract to sell 1004 Batt St. for a discounted price of $17,000 to Ashley Unruh and Mark Evans.
It specifies that conditions of the sale include that the buyers obtain the planning commission’s approval of a special permit to build a pole-barn type structure instead of an enclosed building.
“The city of Marion is authorized and directed to fulfill all obligations under the terms of the real estate sales agreement,” the resolution reads. “The sale shall be contingent upon successful acquisition of the conditional use permit.”
Margo Yates, planning and zoning administrator, said the commission thought the couple’s best path would be to apply for the special permit.
“We don’t have anything that refers to vehicle storage,” Yates told council members. “You guys can either accept our recommendation, deny it, or send it back to us.”
Council member Ruth Herbel questioned how the price was decided.
Economic development director Randy Collett said $17,000 was what the couple offered. The city previously had set $24,800 as the price for the land involved.
Herbel asked why the couple would get a 40% price reduction. Collett said he couldn’t do the math in his head at the meeting.
Herbel also questioned what happened if the couple decided not to build the facility.
“Can they turn around and sell it?” Herbel asked.
She also questioned whether an adjoining property owner, Airstream Guy, has decided he didn’t want the property. Earlier, the owner of the Airstream Guy had suggested he might want that lot for his own storage.
Collett said the owner, Derek Evans, had decided he didn’t want the lot.
Yates said the zoning commission would not to consider a request for a special permit until November to avoid having to make a ruling in a hurry.
Herbel said she had asked city administrator Roger Holter on Saturday to see a copy of the sale agreement.
Holter testily told her that he didn’t have it.
“When something comes in and is drafted, you get it,” Holter said.
In other business, council members:
- Discussed options for employee health insurance.
- Discussed a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and federal Department of Transportation grant that might cover 80% of the costs of developing a recreational trail.