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Annexation moving to forefront, again

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

The message is clear. Annexation is a priority for the Platte City Board of Aldermen.

As a part of that message delivered at their regular meeting on Tuesday evening, three points were clarified by board members.

The first is they are interested in annexing land south of Platte City to 120th Street, land that is planned to be part of the Seven Bridges residential development by developers David and John Barth.

Alderman Ron Porter told the board he felt the annexation of Barth’s latest development would be in the best interest of the city.

“I think we should look at annexing all of that before it gets all built up down there,” said Porter. “I think we should get them before too many houses get built down there and they get there and say they want to stay in the county.”

City Administrator Keith Moody had comments about the potential process in a phone interview with The Landmark Wednesday morning.

“Ron’s interest was to extend the boundary to 120th Street which is consistent with our city comprehensive plan,” said Moody.

“However, you can’t reach that point with one annexation, it would require more than one. State statute requires that 15 percent of the boundary of the proposed annexation must be contiguous to the city’s current corporate limits.”

Moody said Platte City is in a different situation than similar communities in the area like Smithville and Kearney who have had success in annexing large tracts of land beyond their city limits.

“We are in a different situation here because the developers do have those services south of town, like water and sewer,” said Moody.

“Smithville and Kearney on the other hand had good luck annexing large tracts of land because the developer needed those services provided by the cities.”

Moody acknowledged that would be a major stepping stone for the city if they look to annex Barth’s area, as well as their second point, which is they are still looking to pursue the area between I-435 and the Platte River south to 136th Street.

“That’s a hurdle for us to try and annex those areas. Their big question is what benefit is it to us to annex our land if we already have water and sewer services,” stated Moody.

“You’ve seen the tone of that opposition. It’s very emotional opposition,” Moody said in reference to the city’s last attempt more than two years ago to annex the area between I-435 and the Platte River south to 136th Street.

“The warning's the same, be prepared and don’t embark upon this lightly,” Moody cautioned the board about pursuing the issue of annexation.

Alderman Billy Knighton said the issue of annexation will be somewhere in the future of Platte City.

“According to the last city survey, they (citizens) thought for the city’s survival we needed to do it. It boils down to maybe it’s done today, tomorrow or next year, but it will be done sometime,” Knighton stated.

“Maybe we went about it the wrong way two years ago but maybe with good planning the two sides can come together and come to an agreement.”

Finally, the board signified that the issue should be a focus after the spring election.

“I think after the election we should get going on this,” said Alderman Jim Palmer.

However, Mayor Dave Brooks tried to subdue the notion that annexation was top on the list for the city.

“We’re not deciding anything tonight,” Brooks told Palmer. “We’re just discussing.”

Moody informed the board that it would likely take a year to complete the annexation process from the time it was started. If all goes as indicated, Platte City may look to extend its boundaries by the summer of 2007.


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