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Development of 600 homes proposed

By Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

A major new housing development of more than 600 homes is being proposed in Platte County at the intersection of Hwy. 92 and Winan Road east of Platte City.

The proposed location for the project is about four miles east of Interstate 29. The development would be primarily located on land that is currently owned by Hal and Peggy Swaney.

Officials with the Platte County Planning and Zoning Department say no official application has yet been filed, but the county has seen a preliminary layout and had discussions with the potential developers.

It’s very early in the process, all parties involved are saying. But it’s clear the proposal could face a couple of challenges. For instance, the usage of that particular area for a high density project would not fit into the county’s land use plan. In addition, some nearby residents are already privately stating they have concerns about the increased traffic and other factors that 600 homes would bring to the neighborhood.

Some landowners of property neighboring the proposed development over the weekend received invitations to “An open house regarding The Lakes at Tomahawke Ridge, a proposed community to be located at 92 Hwy. and Winan Road.” The open house is set for Thursday night from 5-7 p.m. at the county commission meeting room in the Platte County Administration Building. The invitations arrived in unmarked address with no contact information listed.

Neighbors to the proposed site immediately began scrambling for more information. That general area of the county is fresh from a zoning fight against a proposed lumber yard last May. Residents of the nearby Hoover area showed up in large numbers to successfully argue against the lumber yard project which would have been located not far from the Hoover Christian Church.

Lakes at Tomahawke Ridge would consist of more than 600 homes sitting on anywhere from 307 to 335 acres, as The Landmark this week obtained varying reports on the total land area involved. The majority of land proposed for the project is currently owned by Hal and Peggy Swaney.

One of the partners in the proposed project is Tim Dougherty, developer/realtor who owns ReMax Homes Center in Platte City.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Dougherty told The Landmark on Tuesday afternoon. He compared it to the Hills of Oakmont, a development just south of Platte City. “In my opinion the layout of Hills of Oakmont was probably the nicest layout of any community at that price range in the Kansas City Metro area.”

Dougherty said Tomahawke Ridge will have about a 10 acre lake, a swimming pool, fountains, three miles of walking trails and at least 38% of the land left in its natural state--known as green space.

“Almost all of the lots will back up into open spaces, green spaces,” Dougherty said.
Price range for homes in the development would be around $160,000 on the low end and top out at around $350,000.

He said the focus will be to serve housing needs for younger families.

“We’re trying to hit the market nobody has chosen to hit (the lower priced homes for younger families). We think it will be as nice as anything in the metropolitan area in that price range. As a community, I don’t want to lose those young families coming to our town,” he said.”

Development partnerships are still being worked out, Dougherty said. County planning and zoning officials indicated Reed Kline is one of the people involved with Dougherty.

“There will be several partners. Mainly local people,” Dougherty said. He also said several different builders will be used in construction of the homes.

The neighborhood open house is the first step in the process of getting the proposal to be heard by the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission, who will make a recommendation to the county commission. The county commission has final say on whether the proposal is approved.

Daniel Erickson, director of the Platte County Planning and Zoning Department, said the land in question is currently zoned for residential multiple dwellings (RMD). He said the developers have mentioned to the county their intention is to ask for a planned unit development (PUD), which is an overlay zoning that allows for flexibility in setbacks and lot widths so long as the overall density remains the same as the underlying zoning.

Erickson said the developers have had an initial traffic study conducted. He said one area of concern brought out in the traffic study is the need for turn lanes at the Hwy. 92 and Winan intersection. Erickson said the cost of putting in turn lanes would fall onto the developer.
Erickson conceded the proposal does not meet the county’s land use plan for that area.

“Our land use plan identifies that area as being within the rural policy area, which means it is intended to maintain10-acre minimum lot sizes.”

Is that a concern?

“Yes, it is,” answered Erickson.

“There’s also the matter of the right use attached to the underlying zoning (residential multiple dwellings in this case). That will be a factor as well,” as the planning and zoning staff gathers information it will include in a recommendation on whether to approve or deny the proposal, Erickson explained.

“We just can’t imagine it not being received by the authorities, for lack of better words. If it’s not approved we’re going to lose young families from coming to Platte City,” Dougherty said.
Dougherty sounded optimistic the proposal will eventually get county approval.

Erickson said the neighborhood open house set for Thursday is a voluntary provision encouraged by the county. Dougherty estimated that 50 invitations had been mailed to area landowners. Some residents in the area who contacted The Landmark indicated they believed the number of invitations sent out in unmarked envelopes was far less than 50.

“We want to be good neighbors to everybody and show people how nice it’s going to be,” Dougherty said.

Erickson indicated it appears the earliest the proposal could be heard by the county planning and zoning commission would be March 11.



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