ore than 100 area residents flocked a Parkville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday night, concerned about proposed commercial and residential development on vacant land near Interstate 435 and Hwy. 45.
Many of those present voiced their opposition to a plan by Brian Mertz of Parkville Development that calls for the construction of numerous buildings from single to multi-family, retail and commercial to be built on more than 300 acres at the highway intersections.
Residents, including 600 of whom signed a petition opposing the development, presented numerous objections. The residents said they fear that some of the less expensive residential and retail will result in lower property values and crime.
The commission eventually will make a recommendation to the Parkville Board of Aldermen regarding the development plan. But commissioners decided to halt the meeting without making a recommendation after several residents testified.
Commissioners will hear more public comments at the October meeting. During the meeting, numerous homeowners voiced their disapproval of the project. Misty Snodgrass, who lives three streets from the Parkville city limits, said she’s disappointed in the city’s “lack of transparency” in the planning process and some features of the plan that are not aligned with the city’s long-range master plan.
As an example, she cited an earlier study conducted on a previous construction plan in the area that was abandoned in 2007 after the economy took a downturn.
That plan called for soccer fields but a study by a consultant at the time determined the plan was not a good fit. However, the current Parkville Development plan includes several baseball fields.
“So, the soccer fields were not feasible but the baseball fields are,” she said. “I’m not opposed to any development,” she said. “I’m opposed to this development.” Sandra Knoernschild, who lives in Platte County but owns a business in Parkville, said she is “not opposed” to the plan and that “unsubstantiated opinions and comments” should not be considered.
Tim Albright, who told commissioners he lives just west of the proposed development, said he opposed the plan because he and his wife chose the area for its undisturbed beauty and serenity.
The proposed development, he said, will take the “park” out of Parkville,” he said.
“I’m hearing conversation about taking all that beauty, all those trees, all that landscape –it’s going to be gone,” he said. “We’re taking away what Parkville is.”