Representatives with Harvest Investments presented a new concept plan for a housing cooperative in Bos Landen to the Pella City Council during their latest Policy and Planning meeting.

A development agreement with Harvest Investments was approved by council on Sept. 4, 2018, and land at Bos Landen was rezoned for the project at a council meeting on Sept. 18, 2018. The original concept plan included a three-story housing cooperative with 40-60 units for residents 55 years or older.

However, President and CEO of Ewing Development Ray Bisbee stated it can be difficult to pre-sell 50 percent of the 40-60 proposed units before construction, prompting the company to develop smaller cooperatives.

The newly proposed one-story patio concept plan would include 22 units (up to 40), three different floor plans and two exterior options for potential buyers to choose from before construction. The three floor plans would include units between 1,400 to 2,000 square feet and different amenities based on each plan. The entire cooperative would include custom designed homes, an outdoor pool, fitness center, Pickle Ball court, “While You’re Away” service, walking trails and a pet-friendly atmosphere.

“One of the big benefits of the patio homes is you can see how it fits with the natural topography, as well as the trees,” said Eric Cannon, an engineer with Snyder & Associates. “The previous three-story cooperative has a big building footprint, a big parking lot footprint, which would require you to masquerade the site and take out a lot of trees.”

President and CEO of Imprint Architects Karl Chambers described the new concept plan as “new urbanism,” which is a philosophy of design that focuses more on walking rather than relying on a car. Homes are built closer to the street, and the concept plan creates an emphasis on the front porch rather than the garage. The idea and overall goal of the plan is to create more interaction with neighbors and a sense of community.

On the contrary, council member Bruce Schiebout is concerned with the lack of parking and access for visitors. The proposed 20-foot driveways would only allow space for one vehicle, and narrow streets would make it difficult for on-street parking.

“These people living here are going to be active, they’re going to have children, and they’re going to want to have visitors. I think you could do a better job of making access for visitors,” said Schiebout. “That’s a concern of mine.”

Council member Larry Peterson is also concerned with homes being struck by golf balls based on the cooperative’s close proximity to the golf course.

The overall cost of the project would depend on multiple factors, including marketing studies, projected building costs and interest rates for the time frame built, land costs, the number of homes, projected operating cost and desired home types based on feedback from reserved members.

Based on home type and size, share value could range from $335,000 to $483,000. Share price could range from $195,000 to $285,000, and the monthly fee could range from $1,600 to $2,300.

Council has requested further discussion of presented concerns. Additionally, the property would have to be rezoned, and multiple public hearings would need to be held before moving forward with the project, said City Administrator Mike Nardini.

Emily Hawk can be reached at ehawk@pellachronicle.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-628-3882.

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