No Chapel Ridge group’s efforts in response to Commssioner’s controversial vote
Citizens up in arms over the approval of the Chapel Ridge subdivision are now hoping to take their cause to the polls, hoping to oust Presiding Commissioner Jason Brown in the November election.
Over the weekend, signs paid for by donations to the No Chapel Ridge group stating “Down with Jason Brown” have gone up across southern Platte County. The red and black yard signs read “Do not let Jason Brown destroy your property value… south Platte County Republicans and Democrats against cronyism and corruption.” The signs were sold for $10 each as part of a fundraiser held Jan. 18-19 for the No Chapel Ridge legal defense fund. Just before Christmas, attorney William Quitmeier filed suit on behalf of members of the No Chapel Ridge group. The suit questions the validity and legality of Brown’s vote to approve the rezoning and planned development application for the Chapel Ridge housing development near Parkville. Judge Abe Shafer is scheduled to hear the case 9 a.m. March 17 and on the nochapelridge.com Web site and Facebook page, opponents are rallying to attend the hearing decked in red. The suit questions Brown’s vote due to his alleged ties to Platte Valley Bank, which is also a financing body for the Chapel Ridge project. During his various election campaigns, Brown received campaign donations from individuals associated with Platte Valley Bank, and from the bank itself. The situation harks back to 2012, when Brown voted to award JE Dunn a $1.25 million construction contract for work at the Platte County Community Centers. The Commission bypassed the low bid to approve the Dunn contract, citing that the County chose the lowest and best bid instead of simply the lowest. Brown was a former employee of JE Dunn, and received campaign donations from Terrance Dunn in 2010. “Citizens from all across the political spectrum are basically saying the same thing: People are sick and tired of Jason Brown’s corruption, whether the Dunn construction deal or Chapel Ridge, and it’s time for Jason Brown to go,” states the South Platte County Voice blog, located at southplattecountyvoice.blogspot.com. As implied by its name, South Platte County Voice, whose author remains unnamed on the site, seeks to give a voice to those opposed to the Chapel Ridge subdivision. All of this is in reaction to Brown’s vote at a Dec. 2, 2013 County Commission session. The story begins in July 2013 when developer Brian Mertz of PC Homes LLC filed a rezoning application for the 143 acres off Highway 45 near Parkville. In September, the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission heard the application before a packed house and voted unanimously against it. In November, a revised application for a planned residential development went before the Planning and Zoning Commission again and again it was unanimously denied. On Dec. 2 it went before the County Commission on appeal. Second District Commissioner Duane Soper recused himself from the vote and 1st District Commissioner Beverlee Roper ultimately voted no. Brown cast one vote and in Soper’s absence, Brown’s vote carried the weight of two, allowing for a 2-1 passage of the rezoning request.