Commission unanimously OKs controversial NBH housing project

After a four-hour Platte County Commission meeting and with a unanimous vote, a new housing development slated for the area around the intersection of Highways 45 and K near Parkville, Mo., is set to move forward. Named West Point Plaza, the proposal has drawn heat from nearby property owners during the past several months. The development model features both residential and commercial units, and the commission approved a rezoning order and residential district plan on Tuesday.

Before the commissioners heard presentations first given before the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 12, the matter of a name needed to be cleared up. Developer David Barth mistakenly filled out paperwork naming the applicant as NBH Holdings LLC, said attorney Jim Bowers. The company’s formal name is NBH LLC. When formed in 2002, it was named for an acronym of the partners in the holding company — North American Savings Bank (N) and Barth (B) for the brothers who formed the holding company (H).

The listing of Holdings after NBH is not necessary.

This semantic error became a source of controversy as those already wary of the project questioned if Barth was the real applicant at all. First district commissioner Beverlee Roper questioned Bowers on the error, and Barth’s relationship to similarly named companies.

After several minutes of interrogation, county attorney Bob Shaw said he believed it was a simple error and easily corrected.

“In all other respects, the application is in order to proceed,” he said.

After approving the correction, commissioners heard presentations from Platte County director of planning and zoning Daniel Erickson, Bowers and neighbors in opposition.

Although those opposed to the development came out in force Aug. 12, approximately 20 attended the Tuesday meeting and most simply held “Say no to NBH” signs. An online petition at garnered more than 380 signatures in opposition, and the cause was promoted on the South Platte for Responsible Development Facebook page and its webpage at

Joani Pakula — a local resident who said she’d signed that petition — spoke twice before the commission and became emotional over the issue as she outlined what she felt was a violation of the Platte County Land Use Plan. She questioned Barth’s relationship to presiding commissioner Jason Brown but was reminded by Brown that her comments were limited to the matter at hand.

“I’m hearing rationalizations again. I heard this last time we were here, when Dan Erickson keeps saying this is generally consistent with the Land Use Plan,” she said. “I think that’s really stretching it. Why can’t we just follow the rules?”

Pakula said allowing Barth to build a development she believed was in violation of the Land Use Plan would set a precedent for further development. She also questioned the validity of a traffic study conducted that stated K Highway could support the additional traffic.

“I guess we just want somebody to listen to us,” she said. “We elected you, and we want you to listen.”

West Point Plaza will consist of approximately 85 acres.

The property was rezoned from agricultural and single-family to neighborhood commercial and planned residential zoning. A planned residential district plan for a 62-acre housing development and a preliminary plat for the remaining 23 commercial acres was also submitted. In the residential section, the plan indicates construction of 10 four-plex housing units, 14 three-plexes, 23 duplexes, 95 single-family home lots and a pool and clubhouse. The homes would be sold to private owners and not rental properties, and outside grounds maintenance would be provided through a homeowner’s association.

The commercial development would contain 10 retail or office buildings of various sizes. A small grocery store, restaurant, bank and possible drug store is suggested in the plan, although developers admit all of it is preliminary. The housing development would come first, with commercial development added slowly during the phased construction.

Full build-out of the project could take up to 20 years.