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Apartment area rezoned; skate park discussed

by Shana Haines
Landmark staff

Platte City Board of Aldermen agreed Tuesday evening to rezone two tracts of land.

Following a public hearing which had no opposition or support from the crowd, aldermen approved the rezoning of The French Studio Apartments just off of Main Street across from Tony Martens Dodge from commercial conservation district to R-3 multiple family dwelling and Ferrin Accounting from CCD to C-2 general business district.

According to City Administrator Keith Moody, three lots would be affected by the rezoning.

Martin House Realty, owner of the apartment complex, wished to rezone the property to add two additional buildings with four units each.

According to Moody, the property was not zoned R-3 because in 1999 when rezoning was completed there were not two tracts at the location, there was only one. Moody also added that the tract couldn't be established R-3 then without spot zoning.

Also affected by the rezoning was Ferrin Accounting.

Ferrin Accounting's property was rezoned in order to prevent the creation of spot zoning, according to Moody.

In other action, aldermen voted to change the city's supplemental insurance provider.

AFLAC has been the city's supplemental insurance carrier since Jan. 1, 2000. The city has experienced problems with service provided by AFLAC.

Aldermen approved to enter into an agreement with Dan Beach of Allstate Insurance Services.

According to a report from Julie Pennington, city finance officer, there will be no budget impact to the city. With AFLAC, the city pays $285 per month per employee for insurance. If the employee purchases more than $285, the difference is payroll deducted.
The change will be effective July 1.

Aldermen also reviewed a resume letter from the Patterson Law Group. The law firm represents other municipalities on Tax Increment Financing Issues (TIF).

In previous meetings, aldermen have requested more information on TIF. During Tuesday's meeting Moody gave several information items to aldermen concerning TIF.

In a letter to aldermen Moody says that if aldermen intend to move forward and establish a TIF Commission, special counsel to help with the formation should be obtained.

Aldermen requested Doug Paterson of The Patterson Law Group, attend the April 22 board meeting to answer any questions.

TIF redirects an approved portion of certain local taxes caused by the project to reduce project costs. The purpose of TIF is to stimulate redevelopment of a project or a designated redevelopment area that otherwise would not occur.

Discussion was also made by aldermen for developing a skate park in Platte City.

The idea of a skate park has been brought up at several meetings by Alderman Gary Brown.

A proposed site adjacent to the Civic Center had been an idea for the park, but according to Brown the property was not satisfactory to the parks board.

The city had asked representatives from HNTB to give them the pros and cons for placing a skate park on the facility.

City officials say they have hit a wall with funding for the park.

"We have talked about this a long time. We are not against it. We have to keep looking to find a place where we can do it. The next thing is to find the funding," Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks said. "The whole question is where we are going to put it. The next question is can they afford it."