Council approves new housing; declares trick or treat night

by Charles Gerian

The Blackwell City Council met for a brief meeting Thursday to approve the specifications and zoning of a west Doolin Avenue lot that will soon be home to a new housing development from Freedom Homes, LLC.

The meeting began with the recognition of Community Development Director Talyn Spence as the city’s Employee of the Month. City Manager Jerry Wieland thanked Spence for her dedication to the Main Street Beautification Grant, a program she has guided for more than a year.

He praised her outgoing personality and dedication to helping others at City Hall. The Council also read the whimsical Halloween proclamation, naming Oct. 30 as Trick-or-Treat night in Blackwell. Trick-or-treating will last from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The Council then discussed the planned housing development. The plat is a 3.7-acre subdivision that will be divided into 14 single-family residential lots conforming to the City of Blackwell’s zoning.

The lots will have 70-foot frontage, with minimum lot areas of 9,000 square feet. The agreement between the housing developer and the city says Freedom Homes will begin with the construction of four homes. The developer will have room to develop more homes if the venture is successful. This will be the first new housing development in Blackwell in more than 30 years.

The houses will face 6th and 7th streets.

Alleys will not be built between the homes; instead, they will have 20-foot drainage and utility easements stretching from Almack Drive to Doolin Avenue. Electrical lines serving the homes will be underground, and garbage will be picked up street-side. Council members said the agreement is a community-wide effort to bring housing to Blackwell. They said they hope it will open the door for new opportunities and foster growth within the community.

New business ventures will draw in employees who, in turn, will need houses to live in. The Council also approved an extension of the McClung Trail, a walking path that extends from Vinnedge Avenue to Bagby Park. The trail will go further north because of the vote.