Williamsburg property stays commercial
mayor's veto, aldermen switch decision they had made
After initially voting last month to rezone some property
in Williamsburg Plaza to multi-family, the Platte City
Board of Aldermen reversed that decision at a meeting
The board's latest vote will keep the property zoned
During a December meeting, aldermen voted for the rezoning
of the properties. Platte City's Planning and Zoning Commission
had recommended against the rezoning. The commission wanted
to keep the area attractive to businesses and not use
the property for residential purposes.
One tract of land in question lies south of Running Horse
Terrace and West of Prairie View Road. The tract is a
lot that has not been platted. The other tract is lot
1 of the Williamsburg Plaza plat.
On Dec. 18, Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks vetoed the
aldermen's decision to rezone the property from C-2 to
R-3 and returned the issue to the board.
Alderman Lee Roy Van Lew said he didn't have all the information
during December's meeting that he did during Tuesday's
"The information I have got here tonight is information
that I didn't have last time we voted," Van Lew said.
Tanya Bates, Platte City clerk, told Van Lew he did have
the same information at both meetings.
"I did not realize when we were talking about this
at the last meeting the (county's) community center would
be constructed on the same land. It is only fair that
the rest of the property be restored as it was originally
zoned," Van Lew added.
In December, Van Lew had voted for the rezoning.
During Tuesday's meeting, Aldermen Gary Brown, Shelle
Browning, Lee Roy Van Lew, Billy Knighton and Jim Palmer
voted to keep the property zoned commercially. Ron Porter
voted to rezone the properties to multi-family.
In December, Aldermen Browning and Knighton were the
only two wanting to keep the property zoned for commercial
The aldermen were provided with a pro/con checklist from
Tom Wooddell, the city's codes and inspection officer.
City Administrator Keith Moody said some elements of the
rezoning appear to be appropriate, others inappropriate.
"There are more inappropriate (effects) than appropriate,"
Moody said, adding that "it's not a black and white
Several members of the city's planning and zoning board
spoke at Tuesday's meeting. All indicated they prefer
the property to stay zoned for commercial uses.
Ken Brown, zoning board member, pointed out that commercial
property is taxed at a higher rate than residential, and
that the city will also benefit from sales taxes collected
from commercial properties that it won't get from residential
It was also pointed out that roughly 48% of the land
in Platte City is already zoned for multi-family, and
some observers feel that's an excessive amount.
Doug Bohi, a representative of Crystal Rivers, the developer,
said his purpose for seeking the rezoning was to build
$110,000 to $170,000 townhome-type dwellings.
During December's meeting, Bohi addressed concerns from
aldermen that thesubdivision would overcrowd area schools.
Bohi told alderman again on Tuesday that previous similar
developments he has been involved with have not overcrowded
Supporters of the project used rooftops as a pro for
the project, stating more residential units will bring
in additional businesses.
Scott Laderoute of the Williamsburg Plaza Apartments
stated in his opinion the Platte City area doesn't have
enough rooftops to "support the businesses that it
has now." He pointed out some businesses in that
Running Horse Road corridor have closed.
Attorney Jim Farley spoke on behalf of the applicant
and said the project investment would be near $15 million.
"It would be built in the immediate future so tax
benefits would be realized in the immediate future,"
While commercial development is needed, "for commercial
areas you need people," Farley said.
In other agenda items, aldermen approved a Cable Code
which reflects the implication of Senate Bill 369 passed
last year by Missouri Legislation.
The Cable Code is designed as a new chapter to the City
Code. The code requires the city to treat cable providers
in a competitively neutral fashion. Unite has indicated
a desire to become a cable operator in Platte City.
A representative of Time Warner was at the meeting. He
said there were approximately 50 areas of the code Time
Warner had issues with and asked the board to table the
Despite the request, the item was approved by aldermen.
In another matter, Mayor Brooks told aldermen that he
has been talking with Don Soper about the possibility
of Soper donating 6.93 acres of property to the city.
The property is located north of Platte City Cemetery.
Although nothing is finalized yet, Brooks said the property
would be a great addition to the city and offers a good
noise barrier for the north side of town.
Brooks added if the city owned the property it would
be left as is and possibly house a walking trail at a