Opposition to Chapel Ridge subdivision files appeal

The opposition to the Chapel Ridge subdivision is again back in court, this time going to the Western District Court of Appeals. In early December, attorney William Quitmeier filed the appeal of the dismissal order submitted in July by Vernon County judge Gerald McBeth, who was assigned to the case by the Missouri Supreme Court after all Platte County judges recused themselves from the case. Earlier this year, Quitmeier told The Citizen that under the precedent set by a 2010 case, he believes an appeal will remand the case back to McBeth for a merit consideration.

The move aims to stop the proposed subdivision from being built.

“This is an administrative appeal from a rezoning of land in violation of Platte County’s own ordinances and adopted land use plan,” the appeal document states. “Seven planning commissioners unanimously voted to deny the rezoning application. This unanimous decision was then reviewed by the Platte County Commission. One of the three commissioners recused himself and another voted against the rezoning. The presiding commissioner voted for the rezoning and mistakenly thought his vote prevailed.”

The case, which features more than 40 plaintiffs, 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, Mo.

In the appeal, Quitmeier states the county and the developer were both aware of the court action as soon as it was filed in late December 2013 despite McBeth’s finding that they were not properly notified.

“On March 24, 2014, Judge McBeth, announcing at the beginning of the hearing that he had not read any of the pleadings, heard oral argument on the county’s motion to dismiss,” the document states.

Quitmeier believes McBeth’s decision is faulty, bbased on technicalities and a failure by Platte County to file proper paperwork.

In July 2013, developer Brian Mertz of PC Homes LLC filed a rezoning application for the 143 acres off Highway 45. In September, the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission heard the application before a packed house and unanimously voted 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 first district commissioner Beverlee Roper ultimately voted no. Brown cast one vote and in Soper’s absence, carrying the weight of two and 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. He said he felt he wasn’t needed on the Planning and Zoning Commission due to the actions of the commission.

In the petition, Quitmeier calls the PR zoning “arbitrary, unreasonable and capricious,” and said material amendments to the plan Brown presented at the commission session were in violation of the open meetings law. He also contends that the modification of the plan was not reviewed by the planning and zoning commission as required under Platte ordinance. He states the rezoning is in violation of both the established PR district ordinances and the Platte County Future Land Use Plan.