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Prairie Trail West rolls on

Tiffin council approves development along Highway 6

TIFFIN– Another new development will be popping up in Tiffin, this one closer to the heart of the community and next to Clear Creek Amana High School.
Developer Jim Glasgow has attended several Tiffin City Council meetings since March, proposing the development with plans to include a mix of multi-family homes, commercial lots and single-family residences in the 55-acre development located on Highway 6 to the west of the school district’s property. Several parcels on the property had to be rezoned first to allow the various types of structures, a process that met with no resistance from council members.
Plans for Prairie Trail West continue to move along, with the council approving a preliminary plat at its June 26 meeting.
Council member Peggy Upton questioned the property’s location in a flood plain, a designation shared by the city’s potential new city hall site.
“Doug, I saw your comments that you have concerns with the area being platted within 100 and 500 year flood zones, ” Upton asked city engineer Doug Frederick, of Frederick Hart Engineering. “Yet we want to build a city hall in the same flood zones….is it okay to build there, or isn’t it?”
Frederick said he had concerns that the planned detention basin would have stormwater runoff coming from two directions.
Glasgow told the council he intends to have his construction crew grade and fill the ground enough to elevate buildable lots to above the 500-year flood plain level. Engineer Duane Musser of MMS Consultants assured the council that the project would meet all Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit processes and obtain all certifications necessary to elevate the buildable lots above a 500 year flood plain designation so it won’t require property owners to get flood insurance for their buildings.
“The City of Tiffin has been very helpful in working with me and MMS to design a project that will work well for both builders and buyers,” Glasgow said. “I expect to have all the duplex and multifamily sold before I start streets and utilities.  There is a lot of interest from contractors wanting to build in Tiffin.”
In May, Glasgow offered to swap some of the land with the city in order to provide a site for a new city hall– the location for which has been hotly debated between council members since last fall– but the idea was defeated by 2-3 vote, with council members Jo Kahler, Jim Bartels and Mike Ryan voting against it.
Last month, the discussion about the proposed development went more smoothly, and Prairie Trail West’s developer’s agreement was unanimously approved with little additional discussion.
“Congratulations,” Tiffin Mayor Steve Berner told Glasgow. “Start moving dirt.”
Glasgow said he chose to locate this development in Tiffin because of its ideal setting.
“I bought the Tiffin tract of land about 10 years ago because I thought it had a lot of potential given the location west and adjacent to the CCA school property,” he said. “I had envisioned housing that would provide access to the school without crossing the highway and within walking distance.  That is how it has evolved.”
Glasgow said he expects to have all the duplex and multifamily buildings sold before he constructs streets and utilities, which will probably be this fall.“
“There is a lot of interest from contractors wanting to build in Tiffin,” Glasgow said. “And I just have to say, it has been a pleasure working with the City of Tiffin.”