Lawsuit dropped because there's more than one way to count traffic
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 1:05 PM
Here's a story that might occur only in Greater Des Moines, West Des Moines to be more specific.
Businessman Gary Kirke has dropped a lawsuit against real estate developer and broker Richard Hurd that had little to do with a gentlemen's disagreement and a lot to do with traffic generated by commercial and residential development. Hurd had planned to buy roughly 30 acres that Kirke owns at 60th Street and Mills Civic Parkway.
The deal hit a speed bump when West Des Moines trip count standards got in the way of projects planned for the properties. West Des Moines appears to be the only city in Greater Des Moines that adheres strictly to standards established by a national traffic engineers organization. However, those standards are being adjusted, and the changes appear to clear the way for development at the intersection.
Kirke will hold on to about 16.5 acres at the southeast corner of the intersection. He is considering several development options, said spokeswoman Jamie Buelt.
Hurd said he plans to close next week on a little more than 13 acres at the northeast corner of the intersection. He noted that the new traffic standards take note that in an area with an abundance of convenience stores, bank branches and other establishments, people don't drive out of their way to visit one over the other, so they generate little additional traffic.
"We are fully supportive of the city of West Des Moines re-examining and modifying how it defines and uses trip counts in the regulation of development along Mills Civic Parkway," Buelt said.
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