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AUSTIN EDITION Austin housing project tabled by board

By Amy Olson

aolson@postbulletin.com

An Austin couple will have to wait until next month before county board members make a decision on their request to create a housing subdivision south of Austin.

Mower County board members voted 5 to 0 Tuesday to table David and Lisa Williamson's request to create a housing subdivision along U.S. Highway 218 southeast of Austin.

David Williamson said he wants to develop nine lots of about 5 acres each on a parcel of mediocre farmland he owns in Austin township west of U.S. Highway 218. He said he and his wife want to build a home on the land and decided it would be a good idea to create a subdivision.

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Neighbors expressed concern the strip of land between two houses where the Williamsons want to construct the road entrance would be too small to comply with township and county requirements. They also voiced opposition to increased dust from having a gravel road so close to their homes and questioned whether putting the houses in might change water flow across the landscape.

Developers must apply for a preliminary conditional use permit to plat or design a proposed subdivision before going back to the planning commission and county board for final approval of the development.

Board member Ray Tucker said he was concerned the Williamsons had not presented a more concrete plan to the board, adding two previous applicants had more precise drawings.

"Usually we approve a preliminary sketch, not an entire farm," Tucker said.

Board member David Hillier said he agreed. He recommended tabling the permit application until the board's April 2 meeting so board members could do a site visit and so the Williamsons could have time to prepare more definitive maps. The board is expected to make the site visit before its March 26 meeting.

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