Silt board decision stirs up Stillwater plans
SILT – After nearly 10 years on the books, Stillwater is starting over.Town Board members Monday night voted to revoke the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the Stillwater Ranch subdivision, saying that the developers had defaulted on the existing plats and requesting that they start anew.According to Mayor Dave Moore, the board had three options to take – either extend the PUD, amend it or revoke it.”If we extended it, it was just going to be more of the same old thing,” Moore said. “If we amended it, it would be a bunch of paperwork shuffling back and forth. We chose to revoke it, which means they have to start over again.”The annexation of the property will not have to be redone, but the developers will have to refile the plats and start anew.The Stillwater Ranch subdivision was approved by voters in a special election in 1997. Although many have wondered whether the project would ever come to fruition, developers Dennis Carruth and Ed Sutton of SWD LLC say they’ve never given up.”We have never dropped our plans for Stillwater, as long and arduous a process as it’s been,” Carruth said.The holdup, he said, has been due to a former landowner agreement and financing. The original land agreement with Valley Farms Inc. ended up in litigation in 2004. However, the landowner, Roger Dixon, of Texas, president of Valley Farms Inc., died in 2005.The litigation was since dropped and a new agreement made with the current landowner.”We now have a new landowner agreement that is very workable,” Carruth said.Although the PUD was revoked by the board, the town of Silt is still anxious to see Stillwater Ranch developed and says they’ll work with them through the process.”We are looking forward to them coming back in,” Moore said. “It’s a completely new board now except one member. We’re looking forward to a fresh start with Stillwater, and we’ll do everything we can to expedite the process, even if it means having special meetings.”Plans for the 1,472-acre subdivision remain the same, with 1,198 single-family dwelling units and 162 townhome and condominium units. An 18-hole golf course is still planned for the first phase and another golf course in the second phase if the market warrants, Carruth said. The subdivision is planned to be built in three phases.Other amenities in the master plan include hiking and equestrian trails, a community center, swimming pool and some commercial development.”Everything is still the same,” Carruth said. “We’ll start over with our plat, but not with our master plan.”The new plats will need to go through the town’s planning and zoning commission like everyone else, before being submitted to the town board for approval, Moore said.Carruth said he hopes to get through the planning process by year’s end and to break ground next year.”No one has been more frustrated and challenged by this time delay than Ed and me,” Carruth said. “But the landowner and estate has been very cooperative, and that’s been very helpful.”
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