County Commission postpones decision on Ulm subdivision

County Commissioners voted to postpone their decision on the preliminary plat for the Rolling Meadows subdivision in Ulm.

The developer is proposing to add 14 residential lots and a parkland lot to the existing 13 residential lots in the subdivision.

The county planning board previously approved the preliminary plat but with a condition that the developer and home owners association come to a positive consensus on expansion of the subdivision.

Next phase of Ulm subdivision up for County Commission consideration

That particular condition caused concern on the part of the developer and the county commissioners.

Tony Prothero, an engineer for the developer, said that condition allows for potentially arbitrary conditions generated by the homeowners association.

“I feel like it is a dangerous condition of approval,” Prothero said.

He said the developer had begun a good faith effort to meet with the existing residents about their concerns over his votes within the association and their concerns about the water system and disagreement over the subdivisions covenants.

Residents and the attorney for the association said the existing water system for irrigation and fire suppression isn’t adequate. The developer is proposing modifications to the water tank to increase capacity and ensure at least 17,000 gallons are always available for fire suppression.

Commissioner Jane Weber said commissioners have no authority over covenants. Carey Ann Haight, the chief of the civil division in the county attorney’s office, said the commission can’t enforce covenants.

“It’s not a fight we can have or should have,” Haight said.

Haight said she wasn’t at the planning board meeting, otherwise she would have advised them against the condition that effectively involves the commission in a disagreement over covenants.

Commissioner Joe Briggs said he understood why the planning board included the condition and that it was, in essence, involving the commission in the covenants if they approve the preliminary plat.

“We have no way to take an action without affecting covenants,” Briggs said.

Since the developer and some of the members of the home owners association attended the meeting and indicated a willingness to work out the conflicts, commissioners voted to postpone the decision until June 26.