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The Rundown – Commission authorizes Main Street driveway

Post Date:06/13/2018 2:14 PM

The Rundown is prepared by the City of Newton Public Information Office to summarize the City Commission meeting and does not represent official Commission minutes.

7 p.m. June 12, 2018, Newton City Commission meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission authorized a driveway at 725 N. Main, between the Cornerstone Law and Vogts-Parga Construction offices.

Cornerstone Law owner Steve Johnson requested the curb cut because the parking lot behind his building is narrow and bottle-necked, requiring vehicles to back up as much as 60 feet to get out. Alan Vogts, whose business shares the lot, said that with up to 20 employees coming and going, the parking setup has caused safety concerns.

A curb cut at that location had been rejected by City staff, however, for a number of reasons, including:

  • Newton’s subdivision regulations require that driveways must be at least 150 feet from an intersection on an arterial street. This location is about 120 feet from the intersection.
  • Newton’s comprehensive plan, ReNewton, calls for a safe, walkable downtown district, and this driveway would cause increased risk to pedestrians using the sidewalk.
  • Main Street Historic District guidelines state that sidewalks should be retained for pedestrian use.
  • Adding a driveway at this location would eliminate at least two parking stalls on Main Street, where parking is already at a premium.
  • Drivers on Main Street, which carries 10,000 vehicles per day, generally don’t expect vehicles to be pulling out of driveways mid-block. This creates an increased risk of collisions.

Commissioners decided to grant an exception in this case and asked Mr. Johnson and Mr. Vogts to work with the City Engineer to develop a plan based on her recommendations for the safest driveway configuration. That will mean a one-way, entrance-only drive from Main Street. The plan must then be submitted to the Kansas Department of Transportation for approval because of Main Street’s designation as K-15.

Community recognitions

The City Commission honored Newton High School spring sports teams that competed at state tournaments, including the tennis, swimming and track teams. The NHS girls track team won the state 5A title for the third year in a row.

The Commission also recognized Sand Creek Station Golf Course, which recently was ranked No. 1 in its class for the 10th consecutive year in the National Golf Foundation’s customer satisfaction survey.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Welcomed new Commissioner Rod Kreie, who was sworn in to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner David Nygaard.
  2. Approved a special event request for the Harvey County Free Fair Aug. 2-6.
  3. Amended the final Planned Unit Development for JS Mitch Properties at Old Main and U.S. 50 to combine two existing building footprints into one.
  4. Received plans and specs for grading for the new commercial development at East First Street and I-135 and set a bid date of 1 p.m. June 28.
  5. Awarded a contract for Slate Creek bank reconstruction to Vogts-Parga Construction for $145,246.90.
  6. Awarded a contract for the drainage channel at Centennial Park to Vogts-Parga Construction for $45,136.30 and authorized City staff to negotiate with the contractor.

For more information, please contact Director of Communications Erin McDaniel at 284-6055 or