by Alan McArthur
After several hours of testimony before the Platte County Commission, the application for Brentwood Parc was denied on Thursday with a unanimous vote. The action by the count commission upholds recent action by the county’s planning and zoning commission, which recommended the application be denied.
The proposal by James Owens was to rezone about 78 acres of property east of Weatherby Lake and north of Shelter Haven to planned residential district. The residents in the surrounding neighborhoods have objected to the proposal.
The application would allow the developer to place 115 lots on the property and connect the neighborhood to Bridle Parc Lane in the north and to Amity Avenue and Moore Drive in Shelter Haven.
Opponents to the development said the proposal would cause an increase in runoff entering Weatherby Lake, a decrease in property values in Shelter Haven and cited the increase in vehicles on roads as dangerous.
The developer's lawyer, Jim Bowers, attempted to refute the arguments made during the planning and zoning meeting by using the testimony of the professionals hired by Owens to design and plan the development.
Before the hearing started on the proposed zoning change, Bowers said that he wished to conduct the meeting as providing official testimony in case the issue had to go to trial.
However, Bill Quitmeier, attorney for the residents, objected by saying the commissioners were not judges and requested he be allowed to cross-examine the witnesses.
The commission asked that each lawyer present their witnesses, but cross-examination and objections to testimony would not be allowed. Both lawyers agreed to the ground rules, however, mentioned later they would have objected to statements of witnesses in a court of law.
During the testimony, Owens went to the microphone and told the commission about the property and his proposal for rezoning. Presiding Commissioner, Betty Knight asked Owens if he knew what was involved when he purchased the property.
“When you bought the property did you know what it was zoned?” asked Knight.
“At the time I was unfamiliar with the process of rezoning,” said Owens.
Owens said he would still have purchased the property had he known the process and said it was unfeasible to develop the property without the zoning change.
“The damage from this development will be substantial,” said Quitmeier. “The new development has to be reasonable.”
Quitmeier said the neighboring residents would have no problem with the development if it used the zoning currently on the property.
“It would be lovely if he wanted to build with the current zoning,” said Quitmeier.
After hearing the testimony, Tom Pryor, first district commissioner, made a motion to approve the application for rezoning and Jim Plunkett, second district commissioner, seconded.
All three commissioners then voted against approving the application.