Although a recent survey of Riverside residents indicated that 23 percent were not sure where they stood on a proposed annexation, only about 20 residents came to the board of aldermen’s public hearing Tuesday night.
“I hear people complain about it, but not here,” resident Gary Young said. “I personally think (the annexation) is a good deal.”
The city will ask voters to annex undeveloped land that is bordered by Highway 9 on its south and Northwood Road on its east, according to a presentation by Brent Miles, director of planning and development.
“The entire city on Aug. 7, by a simple majority, will make a decision on whether or not they want this roughly 133 acres within the city limits,” Miles said.
A proposed housing development, the Montebella Project, plays a direct role in the city’s argument for annexation, according to the Riverside Plan of Intent. The developer, North River Holdings LLC, plans to build homes on Northwood Road. The east side is already within the city limits. The west side is not and is the area of annexation, which will have 289 single-family homes when the project is completed.
“To clear up any confusion, it is sometimes referred to as the North Rivers Holdings Annexation,” Miles clarified.
One benefit of annexation is that Northwood Road needs to be upgraded, and North River Holdings has agreed to foot 70 percent of that bill with Riverside picking up the other 30 percent.
Also, Miles said the city would reap an estimated increase of $151,000 from motor fuel and utility taxes if the developer builds all of the houses proposed. In addition there would be an increase in sales tax revenue that cannot be estimated.
A resident said that some people in the community are using “scare tactics” by saying that there will be an increase in real estate taxes.
“By state statute, a tax on real estate would have to go to a full vote of the people,” Miles said. “I can’t see anybody in Riverside willing to put a tax upon themselves.” He also said that Riverside has a very large budget and is financially sound.
Storm water management is another benefit outlined in the Plan of Intent, but it is an area that Miles said is probably the most difficult to explain to the public.
“What the public needs to understand is that when a drop of rain falls at the airport, it goes down through the Line Creek watershed,” he explained. “Little, innocent Riverside is at the bottom of the watershed. How do we stop it?”
A portion of the annexation land is located within a drainage watershed, and Miles stated that the city would have control over the area for stormwater management.
Community growth is another prediction stated in the Plan of Intent if the annexation goes through.
“Some people would like to have another restaurant or two, but these chain outfits will not come into an area unless the demographics meet their criteria,” said alderman David Hurt.
Only 30.3 percent of Riverside owns a home compared to 67.4 percent in Platte County. In addition, the average age of housing in Riverside is about 32 with 25.3 percent having college degrees compared to Platte County’s average age of 24 and 44.2 percent with degrees.
“These students who are coming here from all over Missouri have a vested interest in Riverside if there are opportunities for them to live right here in the middle of Kansas City,” said alderman Bernie Bruns.
Mayor Kathy Rose said the board’s next regular meeting is on Aug. 7, the day of the election.
“The polls close at 7 p.m., which is when we meet, so we should know the results during the meeting,” she said.