files suit against Platte City
Area development company Sunflower Midwest LLC has filed
a six count lawsuit against Platte City alleging that
certain city officials "acted arbitrarily, capriciously
and in excess of their authority" by denying them
a building permit.
In court papers filed by
the developer's attorney, Bob Shaw of Platte City, the
plaintiff alleges that the city planning and zoning
commission approved a proposed final platting for lot
#148 in Platte Valley Estates but then refused to issue
a building permit. The lawsuit goes on to allege that
similiar lots had been approved, and that by failing
to approve this particular lot the city had "effected
a taking of the (plaintiff's) property without just
Shaw declined comment for
The dispute centers around
the proposed setback for a single occupancy dwelling.
City zoning regulations say that a dwelling must be
setback 30-feet from the street. According to court
papers, Lot #148 is a corner lot adjacent to Fox Run
Trail and Ensign Hill Drive. The proposed building would
be setback 30-feet from Fox Run Trail, but only 21-feet
feet from Ensign Hill Drive.
Plaintiffs allege that
the final plat was approved by Platte City Planning
and Zoning Commission in May of 2001, and subsequently
approved by the Platte City Board of Alderman in June
of that year. Failure to issue the building permit cost
the developer the chance to sell the property to Ernst
Brothers Construction, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit, which names
City Administrator Keith Moody and Platte City Code
Enforcement Officer Tom Wooddell as defendants, is for
unspecified damages plus attorney and court fees.
Both Moody and Wooddell
are being sued only in their official capacities and
not as individuals.
Moody said the code enforcement's
decision to deny the permit was upheld by the planning
commission (the commission voted 2-2 on Sept. 30, 2003
to uphold the decision) and said the developer had other
options besides the lawsuit.
"They can submit a
site plan that complies with the zoning regulations,"