City aims to purchase tract of land from F.M. Wilson Trust
The City of Platte City has been talking about expansion and development east of Interstate 29 for decades. Now it appears the City is ready to do more than talk.
At its meeting Monday night at City Hall, Platte City’s Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to direct special legal counsel Doug Patterson to file a 60-day legal notice of action regarding the acquisition of roughly 35 acres of undeveloped land within City limits at the southeast corner of the HH Highway and Interstate 92 intersection. The action is the first step in a process City officials are confident will lead to infrastructure improvements and private sector development in the area.
“Development on the east side of I-29 has been a longtime City goal,” Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt said. “I’m especially happy to make this announcement because of my knowledge of this issue, going all the way back to the 1980s, when development on the other side of the interstate was just a glimmer in the Board of Aldermen’s eyes. This is just the beginning of a very long effort, but it’s good to finally take the first step.”
Patterson said the 60-day notice is the first in a series of actions required by law in order for the City to acquire ownership of the property.
“The City has been in discussion with representatives of the Wilson Trust for almost one year,” Patterson said. “We have reached the point in the discussions where both sides are ready to move forward with the property acquisition process.”
According to City Administrator D.J. Gehrt, the City felt compelled to make the move to acquire the property, partially due to the way the property title is structured.
“The City is not interested in being a long-term property owner or developer,” Gehrt said. “However, the structure of the property title and family trust prohibits the land’s sale to a private entity; ownership can only be transferred by acquisition by a public agency such as a school district or city.”
Gehrt said the 35-acre parcel is “perfect” to initiate development in the area.
“There are three other large parcels — 250-300 acres — in the area and then this smaller one,” Gehrt said. “Everyone that we have talked to says those bigger parcels are just too big of a bite to take. We feel like starting with this smaller parcel will help break the whole area free.”