200-home multi-phase development on east outskirts of Ash Grove could be in the works

The Ash Grove Board of Aldermen heard an attention getting proposal at their Feb. 4 meeting that involves a potential 200-home development on the east side of Ash Grove. The idea was floated by property owner Ed Hurley, who owns 120 acres on Farm Road 76, one quarter mile east of Ash Grove, land he’s hoping to turn into a subdivision.
Hurley described a development that includes nice, brick front, single-family homes that would be protected by restrictions to keep home values up.
Hurley expects to sell lots after finishing the infrastructure, which will include curb, guttering and buried electric lines. And although done in phases, Hurley expects 200 possible homes by the time it’s finished.
“I want it to be enticing enough for people to be encouraged to move in,” Hurley said. “It’s got to meet certain criteria.”
Ash Grove Mayor Les Gardner and council member Troy Watts both agreed the plan seems solid.
“I’m in favor of it,” Watts said. “I think it’s a good idea.”
Also supporting the notion were Ash Grove Board of Education members Bill Duncan and Jeana Scroggins, and school district Superintendent Dr. Aaron Gerla, all of whom were in attendance.
“The school is fully supportive of this. That’s why we’re here trying to stay on top of this,” Gerla said.
Gerla speculated that a development of that size could mean a large influx of students, around 300 additional to the district, which would more than replace the 200 students lost district-wide since 2007.
The path isn’t without its obstacles though, as the property in question isn’t even within city limits, nor does it border land within city limits, a requirement for annexation. This can be remedied through multiple annexations, and likely will if other stars align.
As it stands, the city is determining its exact city limit lines which will dictate their plan of action going forward. Thereafter, myriad determinations will need to be made regarding required infrastructure such as water, sewer, and a slew of other unanswered questions involving utilities.
Although still in the planning stages, it bodes well for the prospect of the development that it has the full support of the property owner, the school district and at least some support of the Ash Grove Board of Aldermen.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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