The Dodge City Zoning Board approved two cases at their Tuesday evening meeting.
The board approved a rezoning request for a 60 foot section of a property at 511 Sunflower, subject to the owner providing a survey to determine the boundary line.
The owner wishes to create an additional driveway on the back side of the property to allow truck access to a warehouse.
In the second case, the board approved a plat map for property around the Civic Center.
"That land has been owned by the city for so long that it was never platted," said Dennis Veatch, development services administrator for the city.
The property in question includes vacant areas between the Dodge City Middle School and First Avenue, from Morgan to Soule. The area to be platted also includes the Civic Center and adjoining parking lot up to the south property line of the National Guard Armory.
The city is considering deeding the land and the Civic Center to USD 443. The proposal will be on the agenda of the city commission's next meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22 due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
In order to convey the property, the area needs to be platted so legal descriptions of the property can be included in the agreement.
"The city will continue to own the fire station property and the swimming pool property," Veatch said.
As part of city staff recommendations on the issue, Veatch listed several concerns from Ray Slattery, city engineer.
Slattery's concerns included technical issues such as drainage easements, storm sewer easements and public utility easements.
Dave Mathews, a Garden City surveyor hired by the school district to draw up the plat map, said the changes suggested by Slattery were minor and should not hold up the process.
Slattery and others also raised concerns about the National Guard Armory property not being included in the process.
"The problem was, with the time constraints, we didn't want to let the cat out of the bag," Mathews said. "Once you include that additional owner, we don't know how far up the ladder you'd have to go to get a signature or how long that might take."
Concerns have been raised that the north exit from the Civic Center parking lot onto Central Avenue sits on National Guard property but the school district would like to retain use of that exit. Additional concerns were expressed about what would happen if the armory decided to put a fence along their south property line.
"The armory and the city have cooperated for many years and we see no reason to anticipate any change in that," Veatch said.
Discussions about the possibility of the city transferring the Civic Center and adjacent property to the school district have been developing for several months.
Page 2 of 2 - In a memorandum to the city commissioners, Ken Strobel, city manager, outlined the background of the plan.
"The Civic Center has served the Community well for over 50 years by providing a venue for entertainment and athletic events. However, with the advent of the United Wireless Arena, Magouirk Conference Center and the Western State Bank Expo Center, the community's need for the use of the Civic Center has declined. At the same time, however, the School District, which presently owns a substantial portion of the property in the area of the Civic Center, is anticipating continued growth necessitating the need for additional school facilities. At the present time the District is one of the largest users of the existing Center and anticipates a growing need for the availability of such a facility in the future for school purposes," the memorandum reads.
Strobel notes that the transfer of ownership of the Civic Center from the city to the school district would have economic and operational benefits for both parties.
The city, as part of last year's Community Facilities Advisory Board budget funded by the Why Not Dodge? sales tax, has committed $60,000 to repair the north and south doors of the Civic Center, but, according to Strobel's memo, "the City will save approximately $250,000 annually in operational and maintenance expenses."
USD 443 superintendent, Alan Cunningham, told the Globe Monday, as he prepared to go to Topeka to participate in school funding discussions, that the school board would wait to receive the proposed agreement from the city before making any concrete decisions.
The zoning board's approvals will now be put on the agenda for final approval by the city commission. In the case of the rezoning at 511 Sunflower, once the owner submits the required survey, there will be a 14-day protest period before final approval.