by Larry Lemmons
Tuesday the Amarillo City Commission considers changing the zoning of land south of Hollywood Road to allow the future development of the Redstone subdivision.
The city has a new comprehensive planning steering committee, made up of 21 people, who are tasked with coming up, over the next eighteen months, with a new comprehensive plan for the city.
Some of what they'll be studying is subdivision development. Much development outside of West Texas has done away with the all important alley, but the alley is mandatory in Amarillo. In fact, some taxpayer costs are back in the alley in trash collection and pavement erosion.
Although a developer may create an alley, the city will have to maintain the alley as long as the subdivision exists. Alleys are a part of Amarillo and have been since the city began. While the city says alleys are used primarily for utility access, it's the trash pickup that creates the financial incentive to keep alleys. Trucks that pick up trash on the street are twice as expensive.
Amarillo Director of Public Works, Michael Rice says,"Those trucks that pick up the poly carts are about twice as much as the trucks we buy to pick up the three yard metal containers."
And while alleys are required by the city, the Planning and Zoning commission can create exceptions, like the one at Westclif, where no alleys exist.
Developers of the Redstone subdivision want to include a minor variation of alley pavement.
Redstone representative Ron Connally says, "We've asked the city to work with us, to allow a little less slope than what their preference is. And in turn what we're going to give them is a little beefed up section of paving."
The city is rightfully concerned about long term costs associated with pavement erosion and trash pickup.
Connally says, "Their portraying to us that we've put them in a situation where they've got a risk. We don't think so."