Not everyone is applauding Platte City’s decision to purchase 35 acres to spur development at the southeast corner of Interstate 29 and Route HH. We will likely be a minority voice. Development in the Northland has a way of steamrolling those who don’t want it. But at least those voices should be registered for history.
Speaking of history, it’s interesting that the City can let a historic and stately old church crumble away without helping the private owners. But millions in the bank and millions of borrowing power can be aimed at upcoming millions of dollars in infrastructure development costs, not to mention whatever it must cost to buy 35 acres of land next to an interstate highway, so private developers can make money off development.
I do understand the proponents. City officials would like more tax revenue rolling in. Established business owners would like more potential customers. The proponents speaking out in favor are people I like personally and respect professionally. However there are some losses in this venture for some of us, and our voice at least deserves to be heard.
Yes, it’s a little surprising to find a chunk of land still being farmed across the valley from a city’s edge. But it’s always been part of PlatteCity’s charm for those who like small towns and prefer them to cities. That open countryside is found a short drive from the Courthouse and downtown to the west is a plus for many. Charms will be lost when the pavement, asphalt parking lots, stoplights and whatever else goes in.
There’s an old adage in the county that people move to the country but they want to be the last ones in, which is hypocritical. That’s true, I guess. But it has disturbed me through the decades how development projects are promoted by those who stand to profit as super-wonderful for everyone and everything. The reality is there are winners and losers. Most of the time the losers are those who enjoy rural countryside and small-town living.