New Jasper subdivision moves forward

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

JASPER — A local developer is a step closer to constructing a new subdivision on the west end of Jasper's corporate limits.

But before Kerstiens Homes & Designs was granted a primary plat approval for Brookstone Estates VII, a project that would bring a single-family home subdivision to a swath of 27 acres of land near Pebble Drive and County Road 490 West, neighbors laid out their requests for how they’d like to see the project completed.

The developer will return for a secondary and final plat approval in July.

Dan Buck, a member of the Jasper Plan Commission who recused himself from the vote on the matter and lives on nearby Keusch Lane, presented a slideshow at Wednesday night’s plan commission meeting on behalf of nearby residents that detailed their requests.

They included keeping lot sizes equal to or greater than 23,000 square feet, matching up lot lines to maintain the look and feel of the area and acknowledging the already-existing stormwater flooding issues in the subdivisions around Brookstone VII.

“First and foremost, we support the development of this land,” Buck said. “We do not want to get in the way of that whatsoever. We do have some objectives that we would like you to review tonight.”

A total of 211 neighbors signed a petition in support of those requests. Some residents who attended the meeting, both in person and virtually via Zoom, spoke to the water issues and voiced support for increasing lot sizes so they meet that 23,000-square-foot number.

Todd Kerstiens, owner of Kerstiens Homes, said at the meeting that he understood the neighbors’ concerns. When speaking about the design layout, he explained that a 2½ acre detention basin that is part of the new development will help with water issues in the area.

He stressed during the discussion that the lot sizes — at least half of which are smaller than half an acre — are aimed at meeting a demand.

“I build homes for what the people want,” Kerstiens said. “That’s what I do.”

He later added that “this is what the majority of my clients ... are asking for. That’s why I’m proposing it.”

Plans for Brookstone VII show the subdivision consisting of 49 lots. The area was recently rezoned from agricultural to low-density residential by the Jasper Common Council.

Shortly ahead of granting the primary plat approval at its meeting on Wednesday night, Plan Commission President Paul Lorey explained that Wednesday’s motion was concerned with utility infrastructure — and not lot sizes. The commission approved the plat as submitted.

Two waivers for the project were also presented. One — which would have permitted developers to maintain the current width of County Road 490 West and not widen it — was denied, and the other — which granted the developers a 10-foot easement — was approved.

The plan commission’s next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, at City Hall, 610 Main St.




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