PARKVILLE, Mo. — A Parkville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to approve the next plat up for development in the Cider Mill Ridge subdivision in The National turned into a nearly three-hour forum for unhappy area residents to vent.
Approximately 40 people attended the regular meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Parkville City Hall. The preliminary and final plats for the seventh plat of the Cider Mill Ridge development were on the slate for approval with city staff recommending just that despite some resident objections.
The nearly 35-acre development application would add 58 new homes to the area, and open up a cul de sac on South National Drive, making it a through street.
Not only were residents of the cul de sac worried that this would increase traffic, decrease property values and threaten the safety of children living in the dead end on South National Drive, but also residents of Limestone Road turned out in force to oppose additional traffic on their already busy street.
Faced with the large crowd, Parkville planning and zoning commission chair Dean Katerndahl moved the matter up in the commission agenda. While the plat application approvals were not slated for a public forum that night, Katerndahl said he would allow public comment with a time limit for each speaker.
After more than two hours of sometimes tense exchanges between neighbors, commissionerss and general members of the crowd, the commission agreed to postpone further consideration until the October meeting. The delay will allow the city to investigate allegations of dangerous speeding in the area and allow developer Dale Brouk of FiveStar Lifestyles to look into alternatives to extending the cul de sac.
Cul de sac resident Carol Broadway presented the commission with a petition signed by herself and other residents. She and other neighbors said they were not told their cul de sac was temporary and could someday be converted into a through street.
Broadway said residents knew there would be additional development, and the construction of more homes, but not a reconfiguration of the cul de sac. Parkville director of community development Stephen Lachky said the 50-foot easement for potential future road construction had been approved by the city in 2011.
“If it’s going to be a through street, we’re all going to move,” Broadway said.
Ed Havermann, another resident, said his home at the end of the cul de sac was built at an angle to the street, making any extension awkward. Additionally, he said he paid a premium for the location.
“It sounds like your complaint is with the builder,” Parkville Planning and Zoning Commission vice chair Keith Cary.
Havermann said he had no recourse with the builder and attended the meeting hoping to address options, such as building another cul de sac back to back with the existing one.
Brouk said he had discussed that option with residents and has asked his team to investigate options. The primary concern would be cutting off an access point for emergency responders to get into the subdivision if entries were reduced to only Barnhill Road.
While realigning the subdivision could address the concern on the commission’s agenda, some of the most vocal residents present were there to speak about another problem entirely — speed and volume of traffic on South National Drive and Limestone Road.
“We have become a road to Price Chopper,” Havermann said, summing up the opinions of much of the audience.
Some audience members jumped at Katerndahl’s joking suggestion to gate the community, yelling, “Now you’ve got it.”
“We’re a public entity, and we can’t just put up gates,” Katerndahl explained.
From the audience, several residents complained that they paid higher taxes to live in the area and were unhappy with people from other neighborhoods driving through theirs.
The National resident Keith Phillips asked if this was the appropriate format for this sort of discussion to which the commissioner responded it was not. The placement of traffic signs, speed bumps or deployment of police officers was not under the control of the planning and zoning commission.
“You need to start with your aldermen,” Katerndahl said, acknowledging he was sending the group on to the higher board. “I’m sure they won’t appreciate that, but that’s who you have to talk to.”