Despite an attempt by a newly-minted community group to delay it, a marathon meeting of the Parkville planning and zoning commission was held last night (Tuesday, Oct. 9), with another scheduled for today (Wednesday, Oct. 10).
After six and a half hours of presentations, discussions and public feedback, parts of the massive development — the Meadows at Creekside and Old Town at Creekside — were approved and will move forward to the board of aldermen for final approval.
“We have heard a lot of public testimony last month and tonight and a lot of good comments with very good points were made,” vice chair Keith Cary said, stating that many of those comments should be addressed by the full board of aldermen. This he said, was why he voted yes on the portion of the development at the southeast intersection of Interstate 435 and Highway 45.
The commission unanimously recommended approval of a conditional use permit for Meadows at Creekside, but with restrictions, including cutting the number of apartments planned by half. The commission also approved the Meadows at Creekside preliminary development plan, but with several conditions added by commissioners, including a stipulation that the final development plan go back before the planning and zoning commission for final approval. Commissioner Shane Smeed voted no, as he did on a zoning change for Old Town at Creekside. The development plan for Old Town at Creekside was approved on a 7-2 vote with conditions. Smeed and Barbara Wassmer voted no.
The results of the Wednesday meeting will be reported in next week’s Citizen.
The hotly-contested plans have drawn criticism from area residents both inside the Parkville city limits and in unincorporated Platte County. In September, a nearly four-hour meeting of the planning and zoning commission was continued until this month due to public feedback.
Just hours before the meeting, Citizens for a Better Parkville — which formed early this month as an ongoing political action committee — issued a letter from attorney Andrew Alexander.
The letter alleges a conflict of interest for Parkville mayor Nan Johnston, who received a $500 political donation in 2016 from the developer’s attorney Patricia Jensen. The letter also suggests the board of aldermen violated the Missouri Sunshine Law by holding unposted closed meetings.
In the letter, Alexander asked the commission delay its consideration of the development plans until these concerns could be addressed. Chair Dean Katerndahl opened the meeting with a statement from the commission that while the city had received the letter, the commission would move forward with its meeting as planned.
What followed was hours of public hearings featuring sometimes emotional statements from more than a dozen residents concerned about population density and the quality of proposed housing, both in the single-family homes and multi-family units.