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Development concerns expressed

By Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

More than 60 concerned area residents attended a public information meeting held Thursday night about a proposed 680 home development at the intersection of Highway 92 and Winan Road.

Many residents expressed their concerns and asked questions of the developer, Tim Dougherty, and one of the current landowners, Hal Swaney.

The proposal for 680 homes would be on 319.42 acres with only 49 percent of the total acres as actual lot area, which totals 156.38 acres. Another 38 percent (121.99 acres) is planned to be open area, a lake will take up 9.58 acres, and right of way roads and an Aquila easement will take up 38.36 acres. There will also be three miles of walking trails and a swimming pool.

“If you look at the Lakes at Oakmont and the Hills of Oakmont, we anticipate this being a combination of those two communities,” said Dougherty. “We want to price the homes where young families can move to Platte City.”

The homes are expected to sell for prices starting around $160,000 up to $350,000 or $400,000 near the proposed lake on the property.

A concern brought up by some citizens in the meeting was regarding the current zoning of the property and the county's Land Use Master Plan.

According to Daniel Erickson, planning and zoning director, the property is currently zoned for Residential Multiple Dwellings, RMD, which allows for single family homes, multiple family homes, churches or parks. Erickson said that the majority of properties along the north side of 92 Highway are zoned RMD or for planned industrial and have been since at least 1972.
The land is currently being used for agricultural purposes by Swaney.

The county's Land Use Master Plan lists the property as being for single family homes on large tracts of land. Erickson said the site is in what the land use plan refers to as a rural policy area, intended for 10-acre minimum lot sizes.

The Master Plan is also set to be updated within the next year.

In order to be able to plat out the land for use, the developer would need to apply for a planned unit development, PUD, plan.

“The existing zoning is for multiple homes,” said Kim Sorensen, landscape architect. “We are proposing a PUD in order to use the existing zoning.”

“A PUD provides some flexibility with setbacks and lot width,” said Erickson. “It will tie the platting and zoning together but (the PUD) can't be amended after approval.”

According to Erickson, some other local developments have used a PUD recently, including Lane Tree Lakes, near Camden Point off of Interstate 29. Also, the Summit Way development south of Platte City, off of 136th Street, used a PUD.

Swaney said he would rather have the land used for many single family homes rather than a few homes.

“It is not my objective to see large tracts of land tied up for individual homes,” said Swaney. “I'd rather have multiple homes on the land.”

“There is not near enough ground to put that many houses,” said David Allen, local resident. “Some neighbors cannot build homes if the property is less than seven acres, we should hold them to that also. I don't think that's fair for them.”

Other residents brought up concerns about the traffic in the area along 92 Highway.
Dougherty had a traffic study completed by Olsson Associates to determine roadway improvements needed.

The traffic engineer, Tom Fulton, recommended widening Winan Road from 92 Highway north to the second main entrance. The recommendation also included adding a left turn lane and right turn lane along Highway 92 east of Winan Road. The study also identified the intersection of Winan and Highway 92 as in need of turn lanes.

Several residents objected to the changes and questioned the traffic study.

“I don't think (the traffic study) could have been accurate,” said Jeana Houlahan, nearby resident. “Because of the condition of 92 Highway, many people drive around it. Some people use Interstate 435 to get to Smithville. We have been told for years they were going to widen the road; hopefully progress will be made soon.”

“Traffic along 92 Highway is a big issue,” said Allen. “Several people have been killed at 92 and Winan over the years.”

“Nobody here is for this,” said Sharon Aring, resident in the area. “I can't see putting more traffic on 92 Highway. They said they're not going to make any improvements along 92 besides the turn lanes.”

“Second was the question about the sewer,” said Aring. “(Tim Dougherty) said they would pump the sewage to Kansas City, but they're not going to be able to use the line through Hoover.”

According to Dougherty, the developers plan to build a new sewer line from the development completely to the Kansas City Todd Creek Sewer Plant. The new line would need to have the sewage pumped from the development, so other residents could not hook into the line.

“We will also improve about 10,000 feet of water line for the development,” said Dougherty. “We need this development; we don't want to exclude those people.”

The next step for the development is to make an application and go before the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission in either March or April, according to Dougherty.

Erickson said the board will take into account the recommendations of the Land Use Master Plan while considering the application.

Planning and zoning board meetings are open to the public and are held on the second Tuesday of every month.

“I encourage everyone on the Planning and Zoning Board to have a layout of the proposal in hand and go out there and look at the area,” said Rhonda S. Stamper, who lives on Hwy. 92 east of Winan. “Try to comprehend 680 homes on about 150 acres. I encourage the commissioners to do the same. And I encourage all of them to ask themselves if they would want something like this going in a rural area next to them.”


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