City officials consider Cyclone Drive development prospects

Friday, January 10, 2020

During a busy meeting Monday night, the Alta City Council considered efforts to add new housing.

In his first meeting as mayor, Kevin Walsh said he had been in contact with local real estate developer Joe Aube, who has some interest in available building lots on Cyclone Drive.

Aube has encouraged city officials to review a home he is completing in Storm Lake as part of that city’s new 3rd Addition.

At issue, however, is the size of homes to be built. Current Alta policies require homes of at least 1,400 square feet, while Aube has been developing houses in the 1,200 square foot range.

Mayor Walsh said he is being told that spec homes as large as Alta requires cannot be built and sold successfully, both by Aube and other potential developers who have looked at Alta and not been able to make the plans pencil out.

“I think we can all agree that the prime lots have been taken - and that it is in our best interests to put some houses in there,” Walsh said, supporting a lower square footage requirement. He said that seven or eight remaining lots are available.

Council member Les Mann, however, questioned whether allowing smaller houses in the area might hurt the property values of the earlier homes built to meet the city requirement. Walsh admitted that the effect is not known, but suggested that “there is several million dollars worth of property we could have out there.”

The council is expected to give further consideration to the issue.