Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

City to Take Up Lauren's Bay Estates Project

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

City to Take Up Lauren's Bay Estates Project

Article excerpt

The Shawnee County Commission plans this coming week to consider taking another step toward carrying out a compensation study while Topeka's governing body will consider its options for financing infrastructure work done in southwest Topeka's controversial Lauren's Bay Estates development.

The Topeka City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th, where governing body members will hear public comments and consider establishing five special assessment benefit districts to pay costs of infrastructure projects the city has carried out.

Two of the projects involve improvements benefiting Topeka's Sunflower Soccer complex. The other three benefit Lauren's Bay Estates, a subdivision located just west of S.W. 47th and Wanamaker Road.

Governing body members learned last month that the city will need to cover an estimated $11.1 million in special assessment infrastructure costs unless builders develop homes in Lauren's Bay Estates, where the 178 lots currently have only three houses. Brandon Kauffman, the city's chief fiscal officer and controller/ treasurer, provided the governing body three potential options to follow.

One involved charging the estimated total special assessment amount per lot of about $3,300 annually, which Kauffman said would probably make the lots more difficult to sell. Typical special assessments per lot in Topeka total $1,800 to $2,100, he said. Perry Marney, owner of 28 of the Lauren's Bay Estates lots, said last month the subdivision would never go up if its special assessments are that high.

Governing body members also plan to consider terminating special assessment benefit district projects the governing body approved in 2010 to pay more than $2.54 million in estimated costs to provide infrastructure for a development proposed by Jerry Wittmer on land he owns northeast of S. …

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