Chapel Ridge hearing delayed

Those expecting to hear about the fate of the proposed Chapel Ridge subdivision this week are more than a little disappointed — the scheduled March 17 hearing was cancelled. When a court case asking for the court to review the case and halt the development was filed late last year by Chapel Ridge opposition attorney William Quitmeier, the matter was set to be heard this week by Judge Abe Shafer. Late last month, the judges of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court — meaning all Platte County judges — recused themselves from the case. The Missouri Supreme Court was petitioned to assign a new judge and chose Vernon County Judge Gerald McBeth to preside. No new court date has been set. The case — which features more than 40 plaintiffs — essentially challenges the validity of Presiding Commissioner Jason Brown’s vote in December 2013 to approve the rezoning request that paves the way for a roughly 350-lot residential development near Parkville. This begins the next phase in a story that started 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. Within a week, Dave Rainey, the Sioux Township representative on the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission, resigned. Rainey said he felt he wasn’t needed on the Planning and Zoning Commission due to the actions of the County Commission.