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7/11/2017 8:57:00 AM
Ingalls moves ahead with contested 400-home development

Christopher Stephens, Herald Bulletin

INGALLS – The Town Council voted unanimously Monday to allow a nearly 400-home development to go forward on Ingalls' north side.

The vote allows Arbor Homes to proceed with the proposed Maple Trails project that is slated to bring 379 new houses on the 150-acre development just north of Maple Ridge Elementary School between County Road South 650 West and County Road South 750 West.

The development will include a mix of ranch and two-story structures built by Arbor Homes as buyers are found. The property will also include a set of trails, small parks and two ponds.

The town voted to go forward with a Planned Unit Development plan after the developer met with and heard from abutting residents who had concerns that the development could have some negative effects to their property.

Maple Trails will now include fencing along the western and southern boundaries. The addition will also have a side setback of 15 feet, as requested by the council, instead of the previously proposed 10-foot setbacks, according to Mike Campbell, vice president of land acquisition and development at Arbor Homes, who spoke at Monday’s meeting.

Residents will also have the choice to build a 10- by 12-foot storage building on their properties, according to the PUD.

“I believe a favorable vote is a smart vote for Ingalls. It promotes small business, employment there and land development,” Campbell said. “I believe it supports our commitment to public safety, provides tax revenues, and it provides new housing and affordable housing.”

Once complete, the development could bring in as much as $500,000 per year in new tax money as well as $1,000 per developed acre to go into the public safety fund for police and fire, said Tim Green, council president.

After the vote, some of the roughly 40 Ingalls residents in attendance called out to the council in opposition, saying they felt the council hadn’t heard their concerns.

“Now I know how the Indians felt,” said one person in the crowd.

After the vote, many of the attendees left, and some were crying outside.

At the meeting, the council also appointed Chris Thompson as the town’s new marshal after a nearly six-month search process that brought more than 25 applicants. Thompson has served as interim marshal since Rick Martin retired earlier this year.

“Chris (Thompson) really deserves this job and he deserves a chance at it,” Green said. “He has already done a good job.”

Thompson takes the position after a year of shakeups that began with Martin receiving a five-day suspension for a list of misconducts and, more recently, the firing of reserve officer Joe Puig for improperly purchasing a police vehicle and retaining it for personal use.

Monday’s meeting was also the first for new Town Council member Teressa Egerton, who took the spot of Tonie Caraway who resigned earlier this month,.

Green also appointed Heather Moser to the town’s zoning board at the meeting.

2017 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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