Attorney looks at developing subdivision

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Ironton Tribune/Michael Caldwell

"Build it and they will come."

Actor Kevin Costner made that phrase famous in the movie "Field of Dreams," but local attorney Kevin Waldo has his sights set higher than just a baseball field.

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Waldo hopes to develop a 21-house subdivision off Ora Richey Road in Ironton and has asked the city to repair the narrow, winding street that is filled with potholes.

Waldo discussed the issue with Ironton City Council last week. Waldo owns 36 acres of wooded property at the end of the road that he wants to develop into what he described as a high-end subdivision.

"I have seen a serious desire for upscale, residential properties," he said last week. "But, I don't feel comfortable with the financial burden without some commitment from the city."

Waldo said he would pay for tying into the city's street, sewer and water services and then dedicate these back to the city. The road repairs are needed now so trucks and equipment can access the property, Waldo said.

Each lot would be between one to three acres and include off-street parking, while much of the forest would be kept intact.

"We will have to clear it to a degree," Waldo said of the land that is totally raw and never been timbered. "When someone puts a house out there, I want it to look like the subdivision has been there 30 to 40 years."

An 8-foot deep pond approximately 40 foot wide by 100 yard long would serve as the centerpiece of the community.

Council chairman Jim Tordiff called Waldo's proposal impressive.

"You have really caught my attention," Tordiff said last week. "Over the years, we have been approached about subdivisions by a number of people. You are the first to say, 'I would do this' or 'I would do that.'"

Councilman Jesse Roberts, chairman of the public utilities committee, said that the panel had looked at the idea informally but would like to meet with Mayor John Elam, Engineer Phil Biggs, Waldo and other parties involved to further examine the proposal.

Ralph Kline, executive director of development for the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, indicated to city leaders that state Issue 2 funds may be available for the street repair project.