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Dogwood Trailer Court finally closed; two housing developments OKed
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Jan. 13, 2010) — A troubled trailer court on the north end of Waynesville is finally vacant and the developer, Tom Townsend, says he should soon be able to start building infrastructure for a new 15-unit residential housing development.

Members of the Waynesville Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday evening to approve Townsend’s final plat for the new Townsend Subdivision, which will replace Dogwood Trailer Court. Located on Booker Street off Highway 17 near the old Rice’s Cleaners building, City Administrator Bruce Harrill said the development should be a welcome change.

“We did have a definite eyesore down there and this will be a great improvement,” Harrill said.

Townsend told Planning and Zoning Commission members that all but eight of the 24 trailers that were in the trailer court have been removed. He owns one and will be moving it to Crocker; the other owners are in the process of removing their trailers but in some cases are waiting for weather conditions to improve. All of the eight remaining trailers are vacant and utilities have been cut off, he said.

An older house on the property has also been demolished, Townsend said.

“The house is down but it’s not hauled off yet, I’m in the process of that,” Townsend said. “The utility company has to come in yet and start pulling poles out and some of the lines and they’ve got some other issues to take care of first before they get to that … I am hoping that by the end of this month that all the trailers will be gone. I know the house will be gone and we’ll be ready to start putting in infrastructure.”

Responding to questions from commission members, Townsend said he doesn’t anticipate problems getting the owners to remove their trailers.

“What happens if they don’t?” asked Councilwoman Twyla Cordry. “There isn’t any chance, is there, that you’re going to be putting in some nice houses down there and we’ll have a couple of eyesores left down there?”

“Then I am going to speak with an attorney about taking a tractor in there and a dumpster and hauling them off. They’re not worth that much,” Townsend said. “If there is anything left it will be demolish it and hauled it off. I will not leave those there; there’s not a chance I’d do that to anybody.”

Land Use Administrator Mitch McDonald said he had found no problems with the final plat and the commission members approve it unanimously, pending final approval by the full city council on Jan. 21.

Planning and Zoning Commission members also unanimously approved a final plat for expansion of the Woodland Hills subdivision in West Waynesville, owned by Curt Cox. Don Mayhew, Cox’s project engineer, explained that Cox wanted to make a slight change to add three lots to the north end which causes the lots to now be slightly less wide.

“How many more phases does he expect?” asked Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Tim Bartlett. “Let me rephrase, how many more does he have room to put in?”

Mayhew said when the Woodland Hills development is finally finished it should have about 166 homes in total, which leaves about 100 lots left. However, Mayhew said there’s no way to know how many phases Cox will need to complete the project.

“I think most developers, with the economy the way it is, are approaching the problem from saying they will develop what they can afford to develop at a time. Ten or 15 lots seems like about what people can do, depending on topography and other issues,” Mayhew said. “A couple of other developers have approached me about doing additions to their subdivisions in that same 10 to 15 lot range … For a while, I think the days of doing a hundred lots at a time are probably over until the economy turns around and money becomes available.”

Responding to questions from commission members, McDonald said he didn’t anticipate that Cox would have any more problems with building his homes despite some rugged terrain earlier in the project.

“I think the worst of his challenges are over,” McDonald said.

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