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Commission gives okay to subdivision

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

A 25-acre rezoning request was approved last week by the Platte County Commission, clearing the way for a small subdivision in the northern part of the county.

"I found there was just no legal basis to deny the rezoning request," said Michael Short, first district commissioner.

The applicant, Apex Management, Inc., John Pepper, was asking the commission to rezone 25 acres of a 65-acre tract located along the northside of Highway H and one mile west of intersection Highway H and P for a two lot minor subdivision from AG (agriculture) to RE (rural estates).

During the last meeting, opponents of the rezoning request approached the commission with their concerns.

At the last meeting, one of the opponents Ralph Hicks who owns property adjoining the land to the east, relayed his concerns to the commission.

"My personal reason (for the objection) is because I purchased my property in 1998 because it was rural and there wasn't a lot of development in that area," said Hicks. "I think the request should be denied so the area can remain a rural and ag area to keep the density in the area to a minimum. I would ask the commission to reconsider this application."

Jerry Cox, owner of the property to the north, also spoke to commissioners about his concerns regarding the remaining 40-acres of land not being rezoned.

Last week, planning and zoning director Aaron Schmidt assured the commission and the opponents that if the owner of the land were to want to rezone that land, they'd have to come back before both the planning and zoning committee and the county commission.

Jim Farley, attorney for Pepper, informed the commission that his client had no further intent of subdividing the land beyond the two tracts currently proposed.

"After last weeks session, I took the opportunity to talk with planning and zoning and to look at maps and I took a road trip to look at the proposed area. I found there was no reason to deny the request," stated Steve Wegner, second district commissioner.

In other business, the commission approved the appointment of three new members to the Platte County Stormwater Committee. Mike Howell, Terry Breyfogle and Tom Jacobs were appointed to the three seats.

Director of Planning and Zoning Aaron Schmidt told commissioners: "With the increased responsibility of the board I feel we need more people appointed to the committee."

The committee, which was formed in 2000, is a citizen oversight committee appointed by the commission to review stormwater related projects throughout Platte County.

Commissioners also approved an intergovernmental agreement between Platte County and the City of Platte City for the purchase and use of a roll-off truck. The four-year agreement will extend from April 25, 2002-April 25, 2006. The cost to the county is $7,500 and the cost of maintenance, with any other costs beyond oil change, filter change and the repair of flat tires, will be shared between the two entities 75/25, with the city funding 75 percent of the costs and the county paying for the remaining 25 percent.

Commissioners also approved a New Holland tractor lease for one-year from May 1, 2002-May 1, 2003. The tractor will be leased from St. Joseph Tractor Inc., St. Joseph.

One bid was also received for the purchase of a special utility vehicle by the sheriff's department from All Pro Ford of Platte City.