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Opponents brace for second round

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

A group of residents against the proposed Lakes at Tomahawke development met on Tuesday night to organize themselves for another round.

Developer Tim Dougherty is working with the primary landowners Hal and Peggy Swaney to move the development forward.

Opponents are preparing to speak against the proposed 655-home development on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. The propososal calls for the development to go in at Hwy. 92 and Winan along Hwy. 92, about four miles east of Platte City.

According to Kirby Holden, Platte County resident and one of the opposition leaders, the planning and zoning department is requiring the developers to make changes to the traffic impact study. If the developers do not return the changes by the Tuesday before the meeting, then the department will most likely recommend against approval.

“The good thing is every time they get something changed it costs them money,” said Holden. “The traffic study went from 120 pages up to 400 pages. It's almost like they tried to throw so much in that people would not want to look.”

Holden pointed out that in the new proposal, the first phase is for 151 homes with an entrance along Hwy. 92. Holden said that all of the improvements to roads around the development hinge on reaching the 151 homes, before which the developer is not required to make improvements.

“Everything on the plat revolves around 151 homes,” said Holden. “At the 151st they have to spend to fix Winan,” he said of the narrow roadway that will be impacted by the development.
Some of the residents expressed concerns about the comments by the developer's attorney, Christopher Byrd, in local newspapers claiming the planning and zoning commission cannot deny their application.

Byrd has previously claimed that the application cannot be denied if it meets all of the prescribed guidelines from the county planning and zoning department. The residents, however, counter that the county staff--and eventually the county commission--has in the past and in the future will need to continue to consider the safety of the development's impact on roadways and the impact on the existing infrastructure.

The residents said they plan to challenge many of the letters of recommendation from local government entities, including Kansas City and MoDOT.

Part of the campaign includes writing letters to local papers to try to keep the development in the news.

Holden urged everyone in attendance to get their friends to come to the planning and zoning commission meeting on Aug. 12 to fill the room.

Holden said the chances of the residents stopping the development are improving the longer the developer takes before presenting the proposal to the zoning board.

Holden is also running the website and has a contest going for anyone who can find a similar development with the same density at a similar distance from a town center to win $100.


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