Preliminary Development Plan Written Comments ID: 289
|To:||Stephen Lachky, Mayor Nan Johnston|
|Subject:||Preliminary Development Plan Written Comments|
NOTE: Please find this attached as well.
Planning and Zoning Commission:
I wanted to highlight my concerns regarding the proposed development plans near the I-435 and Hwy 45 intersection.
We recently moved to this community and chose Thousand Oaks for its beauty, sense of community, and incredible schools. We are extremely disappointed in the massive development proposals that are currently being considered by the planning and zoning commission.
First and foremost, I am not against economic development and understand that it is vital for a community to be sustainable. I am opposed to the proposed development for numerous reasons and do not believe it has been properly vetted and the issues have not been addressed due to lack of transparency.
I will expand on the following concerns regarding the proposed development:
1. Lack of Transparency and Neighborhood Stakeholder Engagement
2. Environment, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Considerations
3. Transparency and Accountability Regarding Public Financing
4. Altering the Fabric of the Community and Surrounding Neighborhoods
5. General Proposed Development Concerns
Lack of Transparency and Neighborhood Stakeholder Engagement
I am extremely concerned about the process and lack of transparency. For example, there has not been any neighborhood stakeholder engagement/outreach regarding this proposed development and the City of Parkville website contains inaccurate information on the ``FAQs: Development at the Intersection of Interstate 435 and Missouri Route 45 regarding the question "Are there any pending applications for development being considered in this area? No. Although the City has participated in numerous informal discussions with property owners and developers regarding concepts, the City has received no formal applications for development in this area. (see attachment)
I have worked in and around government and politics at the state, federal, and local level, and have not ever seen such a closed process regarding such a significant issue.
A precarious situation of the city playing roles of property owner, developer, plan approver, code enforcer and landlord is made more questionable when details are developed behind closed doors.
Environment, Infrastructure, School and Public Safety Considerations
There is no doubt that the massive size of these developments (nearly 2/3 the size of the Legends Outlets) will have an impact on schools, public safety, and have an environmental and infrastructural (Storm water, flooding, etc) impact on our community. I have not seen any studies regarding any of these issues and have provided numerous questions regarding these concerns. Additionally, there will be fewer individuals who are deeply tied to this community coming into our neighborhoods. This will certainly have a negative impact on both our local schools and the property values of homeowners. I have seen this firsthand in other communities.
Transparency and Accountability Regarding Public Financing
A municipality's objective should be to use local public funding as judiciously as possible. However, there has not been any information shared regarding the types of bonds, tax incentives, and any other types of public financing. This lack of transparency leaves local taxpayers in the dark as to whether or not they will be on the hook should the development be unsuccessful or if the developer goes bankrupt.
Altering the Fabric of the Community and Surrounding Neighborhoods
My husband and I chose this area because of the rural feel and that it did not feel like every suburban neighborhood that surrounds Kansas City. We loved the historic downtown, the green space of English Landing Park, and that the area around Thousand Oaks was a neighborhood away from the bustling areas along Hwy 45 and closer to I-29. We consciously chose small-town living and quality of life instead of being closer to amenities. Those of us that have moved here and invested in this community will have it drastically impacted by this proposedl development. Up until now, there has been little to no outreach to the surrounding neighborhoods. The residents that purchased homes in this area should be able to buy and build with the confidence that responsible planning and zoning will be adhered to in this community. However, this proposed development will drastically change and unravel the fabric of a stable and established neighborhood.
Furthermore, this proposal is drastically different from the ``Highway 45 Corridor Plan that was proposed in 2016. Moreover, it runs contrary to the following principles contained in the proposal. ``To ensure that future development of the corridor enhances the character of the corridor and the county goals have been prepared. Several of
those goals are applicable to the Highway 45 Corridor and include:
· balancing the protection of property rights and protecting the health, safety and welfare of residents;
· minimizing the impact of development to environmentally sensitive areas;
· conservation of distinct natural features that contribute to the character of the
· maintenance of the architectural and natural character of the county;
· conserve distinctive man-made features that contribute to the character of the
· protect and reuse valuable historic resources;
· ensure that development improvements are sensitive to the historic context of communities;
· acknowledge that an efficient and balanced transportation system supports a healthy economy and access;
General Proposed Development Concerns
A ``build it and they will come mentality is dangerous in today's economic environment. Consider for example, Zona Rosa, which is in an excellent and strategic location. Zona Rosa's occupancy rate has fallen from 85.9 percent in 2014 to 60 percent in 2017. The area has become a source of much concern for Platte County and its taxpayers in recent months after it was revealed a special one percent sales tax is typically falling $500,000 or more shy in making bond payments that are backed by Platte County. The upcoming December payment could be about $700,000 short. This project does not serve the needs, expand amenities for, or improve the quality of life for the citizens of Parkville and Platte County.
With the proposed development near I-435 and Hwy 45, traffic congestion, infrastructure, quality of life and storm water issues would place additional pressure on surrounding neighborhoods. Neighboring property values will certainly be impacted by such a large-scale project, as will quality of life. I have significant concerns regarding the size and the scope of the proposal. This is a massive development and it does not appear that developers with take an incremental approach. Again, I have not seen any impact studies on how these massive changes will impact the community and surrounding neighborhoods.
I would prefer to offer suggestions regarding improvements and modifications to the proposed development. However, I have more questions than answers (see attached questions).
Conclusion and Request
There have been missteps regarding the proposal and it is critical that the Planning and Zoning Commission take a pause and empower residents who call this community home and allow us to be actively involved in decisions that affect our lives and neighborhoods. It is important when considering such a significant proposal, we must carefully balance community needs with the negative impacts unbridled development has on the community.
I respectfully request that the process be slowed down to allow the neighborhood to have an opportunity to voice its concerns and to be given additional information outside of a public hearing. I do not believe a presentation by the developer to the Commission in a public setting is sufficient, considering the massive size of the development. Additionally, I request the Commission take into consideration the principles that were adopted by the ``Highway 45 Corridor Plan. I respectfully request that the City of Parkville and Platte County incorporate the community voice into any proposed development plan to ensure that it is environmentally, socially and economically feasible and responsible.
14050 NW 64th Ter
Parkville, MO 64152
Questions Regarding the Proposed Development
· Who will be the target of the motels when it is out-of-season for baseball?
· Is there any federal financing or funds being utilized for the apartments and townhomes?
· Has a thorough study of the entire proposal been conducted?
· Which uses will be allowed and which will be prohibited, especially uses that are perceived as particularly incompatible with the surrounding neighborhoods?
· What is the development roadmap that defines the beginning, the end, and the process in between?
· Has there been a cost/benefit analysis conducted on this specific proposal?
· How tall will the new structure(s) be?
· Do you have confirmed tenants for office or retail?
· Do you know what motels will be part of the proposal?
· What similar size and scope projects has the developer done?
· What is the price point for the housing, rentals, and townhomes?
· Has a traffic study been conducted with regards to this specific proposal?
o How much increased traffic do you expect?
o Will improvements be made to intersections or roads signals?
· What will the business hours of operation be?
· What impact will storm water runoff have on surrounding neighborhoods and creeks? Are there storm water impacts that would be realized?
· Has a hydrology study been conducted?
· Has there been an overall environmental impact study completed on this proposed development?
· What types of materials will be used for construction?
· Does the development require signage?
o How tall will the signs be & what materials will be used?
o Are the signs internally illuminated at night?
· Will this development create additional noise or light pollution?
· What schools will be impacted by the development and how will overcrowding be addressed?
· Can fire and police departments provide adequate protection for the proposed development?
· Is there adequate water and sewer infrastructure available to meet the new demand?
Misty D. Snodgrass