Sand Hill Farm 2014

Sand Hill Farm

I haven’t written anything about the Sand Hill Farm property in a while, but there have been some things happening there.

Last year the Town of Culver negotiated a new storm water easement through the property.  There was an existing easement that ran diagonally through the property and exited through the Culcom property on Jefferson Street.  The old easement wasn’t a problem when it was planned to be just farm land, but the new easement follows the property lines putting the majority of it within the setbacks.  This frees up additional land for development.  It also provides several access points for future storm water control within the property.  I basically negotiated this as a no cost swap with the Town.  They removed the old easement which was actually a county easement in exchange for the new easement.  It worked out as a win-win for both parties.  The easements allow access and road construction over them, etc.

As part of the above project, I negotiated with the project contractor, Phend and Brown, to allow an additional construction easement and some construction staging.  In exchange for this they cleared the additional area of the scrub trees, graded it out and grassed it.  I allowed them to leave stockpiled soil there which should be usable in future development.  (I’d have been happier if they had distributed it move evenly, but the berm they created shouldn’t be much of a long term problem.)

This year the Culver Redevelopment Commission has added the 25 acres under my control to Culver’s TIF District #1 declaring it an “Economic Development Area”.  This would allow TIF funds to be used to enhance development in this area.  So far this has been approved by Marshall County (The property is not currently within the Town of Culver.) and by the Plan Commission.  It has to be presented to the Culver Town Council for approval, but I haven’t heard any opposition to this.

Also this year the Plan Commission has begun discussions to square off the northwest corner of the Town, extending the annexed area to Hwy 17 on the west and Hwy 10 on the north.  The southern end of this new annexation would be Mill Street as the Elkay property south of Mill Street is already within the Town limits.  This was prompted by my suggestion that the property from Mill Street up through my property be taken into the Town.  From that discussion the Comprehensive Plan reflects a desire from the community to extend that and take the bigger chunk.

These are exciting changes the Town is moving forward on.  The potential for growth is here.  Now we’re putting the pieces in place to actually make it happen!


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