Local Government

Hannibal council gives initial OK to subdivision, annexation to address city's housing needs

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Nov. 7, 2017 9:35 pm Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 9:45 pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A new housing subdivision -- and the land it would be situated on -- could soon be coming to Hannibal.

Jim Mulhern owns about 50 acres of property off Westover Road just south of the Hummingbird subdivision, and the Hannibal City Council gave initial approval Tuesday to annex the land into the city so that Mulhern can develop a 43-home subdivision.

"Mr. Mulhern does not need to annex this property into the city in order to develop a residential subdivision," City Manager Jeff LaGarce explained. "We have asked him to annex it into Hannibal to grow this community."

Hannibal City Manager Jeff LaGarce

LaGarce told the council that the local economic impact created by the new subdivision would be "staggering." The type of homes built in the subdivision would sell for about $240,000 each, and total construction value would be $10.3 million, he said. The 43 potential homeowners also would add about $912,000 to the local economy each year.

LaGarce added that the subdivision would address the city's critical need for more housing.

"Too many incoming employees to Hannibal choose to live in Quincy or unincorporated areas, owing (their decision to do so) to lack of new housing growth/choices here," he said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has already given its approval for the property's annexation, and after the council gave a first reading Tuesday of an ordinance to approve the annexation, it indicated future public hearings regarding the subdivision will be held.

In addition Tuesday, councilmen approved several measures to reduce the $9.5 million redevelopment cost for turning the former St. Elizabeth Hospital, 109 Virginia St., into apartments for seniors.

"Each (request) is critical to the economic viability and affordability of renovating this proposed 55-unit complex," LaGarce said.

The city agreed to create an urban redevelopment district to allow future tax liability to be applied by the developer toward redevelopment costs; waive fees for building permits and inspections; and allow some outstanding taxes owed by the previous property owner to be applied by the city toward public purposes within the project, such as demolition.

Councilmen also returned to developers ownership of 109 Virginia St. after the city took temporary ownership of the property so that it could receive a grant to remove asbestos.

The council also gave first reading of an ordinance permitting the Missouri Department of Transportation to overlay U.S. 61 from Mo. 168 to Warren Barrett Drive in the spring. As part of the $6.5 million project, new sidewalks, curb and street aprons will be installed, as well.

"There will be no cost to the city (for this project)," LaGarce said. "With the street repaving project we started in the city this year and this project, there is about $13 million going into improving Hannibal roads."

OTHER ACTION

• The council approved a Traffic Committee request to place a stop sign at the end of Ridgewood Drive before vehicles enter North Arch Street to reduce traffic speed.

• The council approved a $5,000 engineering service agreement with MECO Engineering to perform a preliminary structural investigation of the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. Andy Dorian, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said in a memo that the lighthouse is in need of significant renovations because of age and deteriorating wood.

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