By Janae Fear, staff writer
City-owned property was a topic again at the Tuesday, Jan. 19, Owosso City Council meeting. An easement was requested and granted to Southwind Restaurants, LLC to ensure continued access to their property from the alley to the south at 910 E. Main St., the future home of Qdoba, on the corner of Main and Gould streets. The easement guarantees access to the property if the city decides in the future to vacate the alley.
Also granted by the council was a waiver of reversionary clause for Osburn Lakes, Lot 50. The Master Deed of the Osburn Lakes Home Owners Association includes the option for the developer, now the city, to repurchase any property that has not been built on in 18 months. The interested purchasers, David and Pamela Walter, currently own Lot 49 and are seeking to buy the adjacent property to the south to use as additional yard space, with no plans of building in the future. The reversionary clause will preclude the city from acting on that option to repurchase in the future.
An offer to purchase vacant land along Gould Street and Wright Avenue by Mike Cline for $1,000 was approved by council after much discussion. The property was valued at $10,000 by the city accessor due to it being situated in a flood plain, as it would normally be valued at approximately $26,000. In a memo to the council from Susan Montenegro, Assistant City Manager/Director of Community Development, it was noted that there had been no minimum price set for the parcels and the recommendation was to counter the offer received from Mr. Cline. The council discussed the concern that accepting of the offer would be setting a precedent that would affect future property values in the area, as well as for future sale of city-owned properties. Council vice-chair Chris Eveleth was absent and Council member Lori Bailey was the lone “no” vote.
The final discussion of city-owned property came at the conclusion of the meeting when it was decided by the council to work towards auctioning off or dispersing as much city-owned property as possible. According to Montenegro, the city owns approximately 135 parcels, many of which contain city-owned buildings, parks, easements, etc., with an estimated 20 parcels of either former bank foreclosure or “slivers of land” that would be appropriate to sell. The council will select a date at their next meeting for a March work session meeting to determine which properties would be appropriate and to plan a process for the sale, with the goal of holding an auction in June.
The next council meeting will be Monday, Feb. 1, in the lower level of Owosso City Hall.