Stunning aerial view of downtown Hamilton

Hamilton officials face a decision about space in a growing industrial park

City Manager Joshua Smith brought the matter to council’s attention during a recent meeting and said, “city staff is not even 100 percent cohesive on this topic, so we thought it deserved some additional review by council.”

Smith and Mayor Pat Moeller both serve on the Hamilton Planning Commission, which considered the matter last year. At that time, the planning commission approved the requested conditional use by a 3-1 vote, with Smith among those voting for it and Moeller voting against.

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Since then, the city’s economic development and engineering staffs raised issues, so Smith asked city Engineer Rich Engle and Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson to discuss their concerns with council.

“There’s a place for every business,” Gunderson said. “I just don’t believe that this is the highest and best use for this particular property, given the nature of the development in this area, which is an industrial park.”

Near the proposed Kiesland location are companies including Procter & Gamble subsidiary iMFLUX Inc., Valeo Climate Control and Salvagnini America. ProLogis is building a 156,000-square-foot industrial building nearby.

“It’s a very nice area,” Smith said.

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“You can see that it’s very inconsistent with the other development that is within that area,” Gunderson said.

He noted the city has incentivized much of the development in that area, “and as the result, we know what we’re getting as a product — not only are we getting jobs within those particular buildings, but we are looking at some very nice development that’s occurring.”

Engle said the company plans to store 46-foot-by-10-foot trailers on the site.

He said the city recommended the company use standard pavement sections, which would have six inches of aggregate base, 2.5 inches of asphalt pavement and 1.5 of a surface cover, for a total of four inches of asphalt plus a six-inch base. That base “gives the water drainage a place to migrate away under the asphalt.”

The company instead proposes a “prepared sub-grade,” which is the ground and eight inches of recycled asphalt pavement, plus two inches of asphalt surface.

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“It’s our opinion that this is not going to be a sufficient pavement section that’s going to last out there,” Engle said, “and that’s the concern we raised about the site.”

Smith told council when they vote on the matter in April that it can reject the conditional request or require additional conditions that were not recommended by the planning commission.

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