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City Council approves plat for property on the loop

CouncilApprovesPlatAfter a few times around, the Paris City Council has approved the final plat for a piece of property on the northeast loop that could become the home for Paris Ford.

Planning & Zoning Commission approved the plat Monday for what has been a contentious piece of property. It is a roughly 9-acre tract across from Tractor Supply Co.

The property largely sits in what FEMA considers a floodplain, with one edge in a floodway. Because of that, the plat has had an interesting history. P&Z approved it May 5 by a vote of 5-0. The City Council denied the permit 5-2 on May 12, citing concerns about drainage and the lack of floodway and floodplain designations on the plat. City staff asked for a revised plat, which was submitted a week after the council meeting. It shows floodway, 100-year floodplain and has notes about off-site drainage.

The property owners had an engineering firm conduct a hydrologic study based on a survey of the property; the results show a much smaller floodplain than FEMA’s existing designations, which includes a floodway with water running across the side of a hill.

“The final plat is not the place to look at drainage issues,” Engineering Director Shawn Napier told the council Tuesday.

A residential plat is easier to predict and discuss things like drainage because there are a lot of knowns in such a division, Napier said. But commercial planning is different and “until you have a site plan, you can’t look ahead like you can with a residential development.”

The confusion surrounding the plat has been unnecessary and should be avoided in the future, Councilman A.J. Hashmi said.

“We are neither business unfriendly nor do we want to be business unfriendly,” he said. “Anybody should be able to divide property any way they want.”

Hashmi made a motion to approve the plat, on the condition that Napier would take responsibility for making sure the city had followed all the rules and regulations involved and any future drainage issues would be the responsibility of the property’s developer. Councilman Edwin Pickle seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

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