I battled with Mrs. Puckett’s trigonometry class for most of my senior year at Platte County High School. The struggle was very real. An excellent student in most areas, I wasn’t alone in trying to make sense of the content. Results of each test seemed to show a mostly advanced classroom of students who weren’t able to apply the lessons to the exams. Disgruntled thoughts of students in that particular classroom started to paint a very unlikable scenario of what was going on. Obviously, Mrs. Puckett didn’t want us to succeed. She kept putting the most difficult problems on the test, putting us in an almost unwinnable battle to achieve a passing grade. How stupid. Mrs. Puckett, who to this day I still like very much, couldn’t have implemented such a strategy. Wouldn’t make sense. Frustrations with progress — or lack thereof — led me to assume the worst before myself and others realized the better strategy. We had to talk the situation through with our instructor and find a solution. I think I made a B, not good enough for my lofty standards but passable. A lot of that result hinged on working together — identifying problems and coming up with compromise. I’m sure there were others who fared worse, and that was bound to happen, too. In life, not everyone wins. Right now in southern Platte County, a movement continues to swell against residential development in the area of Highway 45 and Route K. A digital version of a pamphlet sent to various e-mail addresses, including ours at The Citizen office, paints a worst-case scenario for these sub-divisions. Much of the angst centers on Route K’s inability to handle an influx of traffic. Buzz words like suburban sprawl, congestion, dangerous, nightmare and rubber-stamped dot the text with accompanying dramatic photos. A proposed sub-division called Chapel Ridge recently received approval from the Platte County Commission on a technicality when Presiding Commissioner Jason Brown cast a deciding vote of approval for the developer to proceed with plans to build about 600 homes in the area. The appeals process on that decision is ongoing. In the meantime, another proposed development of more than 200 homes, some multi-unit buildings, has popped up seeking approval. The Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a discussion on this one scheduled for Tuesday until August. The residents forming the opposed group called South Platte for Responsible Development seem to be battling against an inevitable conclusion. With businesses flourishing in the nearby Barry Road area, expansion of residential areas to provide quick access to these commercial areas always comes naturally. Many of these residents likely sought the same convenience but with an added value of maintaining a sense of rural life. SPFRD does try to offer some solutions but most are a bit selfish in nature based on maintaining their desired surrounding. A population surge doesn’t seem desirable, but developers have a right to their own financial gain. The County could benefit from the increased tax base. Instead of assuming the worst, residents need to realize that adjustments to Route K are likely to help accommodate the increased traffic. Direct opposition to any plan doesn’t generate goodwill, and although the end result might not be perfect, voicing concerns while listening to the other side could help generate compromise in the process. Just like in trigonometry, a solution exists. You just have to be willing to work to find the answer.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Citizen_Ross.