Parkville plans meeting on contentious Master Plan

A joint work session between the Parkville Board of Aldermen and the City’s planning and zoning commission will soon determine the future course of the Downtown Master Plan.  At its Dec. 17 meeting, the Board decided it was not yet ready to commit to adoption of the plan with Board members stating they hadn’t had the proper time to review its contents and had some concerns with the contents of the draft plan. While the Board last month acknowledged the receipt of the plan, they were not yet ready to accept or endorse it. The City’s planning commission unanimously accepted the plan — with several revisions both minor and major — on Dec. 10. Substantial changes to content included the removal of items such as consideration for a historic district designation, TIF funding, multi-family housing downtown and a parking lot on the northern end of downtown. Assistant City Administrator Sean Ackerson asked the Board to accept the plan to close out the City’s grant-funded contract with consulting firm Ochsner Hare and Hare to receive the final reimbursement from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), which funded the project through a grant. Ackerson said he is working to schedule the joint work session to discuss the Board of Aldermen’s concerns and to set a date for the plan to be introduced to the public before its final approval. The Parkville Economic Development Council is slated to see a presentation on the draft plan this week to add its input. While the City is still far from finished with the Downtown Master Plan, another long-time project is winding down – so long as the weather cooperates. Director of Public Works Kirk Rome said that work is almost complete on the reconstruction of the Brink-Myers Road retaining wall. So long as the weather stayed above freezing, work should be complete in seven to 10 days. This will marks the end of a saga started in 2009 when the retaining wall collapsed during torrential rains and flooding. A lawsuit against the contractors who built the wall was settled in 2012. Once construction is complete, the City will finalized the permanent financing for the project. Also at the meeting, the Board authorized City Administrator Lauren Palmer to file liens upon property for delinquent sewer bills. Last year, the City took over its own water and sewer service billings. For bills more than 90 days overdue, the City may file a notice with the Platte County Recorder of Deeds and apply a lien on the property.