The Washington City Council would like a proposed 50-foot right of way just outside the city limits to line up with Washington Heights Drive at its intersection with Bieker Road.
The council made the recommendation on a sketch plan for a proposed subdivision during Monday’s meeting.
Roscoe Mayer proposed to divide his property at 248 Mayer Drive just outside Washington into two 3-acre parcels. Because the property is less than 1.5 miles away from the city limits, Washington is allowed to make recommendations to Franklin County before the plan is approved.
Mayer currently has a driveway on the property that enters onto Bieker Road just west of where Washington Heights drive meets Bieker Road.
The current sketch plan calls for a 50-foot right of way in place of the driveway per county regulations. Before Mayer’s proposed subdivision is developed, the city would like the right of way to line up with Washington Heights Drive to create a better intersection.
City Administrator Jim Briggs said Washington doesn’t allow offset intersections. He said in years past the city has made costly fixes to line up troublesome intersections.
“We spent a lot of money trying to line up Elm Street, High Street — those were all offset intersections,” Briggs said.
Briggs said it would be easier to line the roads up now before any building is done on the property.
Councilman Jeff Patke said Mayer’s driveway was around before the city built Washington Heights Drive. He asked why the city didn’t line up the two when the road was built.
“We put the street in that didn’t match his driveway, but now we’re asking him to match our street,” Patke said.
Briggs said Mayer’s driveway isn’t really the issue. Briggs said the new right of way would ostensibly become a road if the subdivision were developed.
“If he wants to keep it as a driveway, I don’t think we’d have a problem,” Briggs said. “But he’s proposing a 50-foot easement with egress and ingress — which is a road. So you could assume that as he continues to develop that property, which I expect someone will do some day, all that traffic is going to have to come up to the location.”
Assistant City Engineer Andrea Lueken said she had tried to reach out to Mayer to see if the change would even be possible.
“I don’t know if that’s something he wants to consider,” she said.
The council and Mayor Sandy Lucy agreed to make a recommendation to the county to have Mayer adjust his plans.
“We feel this would be a better opportunity for traffic flow,” Lucy said. “Traffic flow, when you start platting streets, should line up.”
The motion by the council is simply a recommendation. The county has the final say.
Briggs said if the county ignores the recommendation, the city could present a resolution to the Franklin County Commission. All three members of the commission would have to approve the measure to force the change.
Mark Piontek, city attorney, said the city has only taken that option a few times.
“It’s pretty rare,” he said.