Council sets Sept. 3 public hearing

The New Prague City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for the vacation of a 10-foot drainage and utility easement in Prague Estates.

            The council unanimously approved the date for the public hearing at its Monday, Aug. 5, meeting. It also approved a first reading for an ordinance vacating the easement.

            At the August 5 meeting City Planning Director Ken Ondich explained that Jeffrey and Jennifer Schoenecker requested the vacation. The couple owns lots one and two of block 10 in Prague Estates Fifth Addition, which are currently vacated wooded lots. The Schoeneckers are preparing to construct a home on lot two and were approved for a lot line adjustment to add the west 15-feet of lot one to the second lot.

            Ondich said a problem is that the change of the lot line doesn’t mean the easement follows with it. The couple is asking to vacate the easement. City staff does not believe any utility lines are located in the easement at this time. For the public hearing neighbors and utility companies will be contacted so they may all offer input.

            Ondich said city staff did suggest combining the two lots, but the Schoeneckers chose to keep two properties. While a smaller lot one may make it more difficult to sell it, a house could still fit into the area.

            Council member Shawn Ryan said this could affect the neighbors if there are any neighborhood covenants. He noted this happened in his own neighborhood. He realized the city didn’t enforce covenants, but it could affect the neighbors if there is a smaller house.

            Ondich said a house that would be nearly 3,000 square feet could fit in the area, which would still be a good sized building.