Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2001

City, developer lock horns

Sides differ on events surrounding commercial development’s progress

June 14, 2001

The quarrel between the city of Basehor and developer David Scott has been going on since 1999, city officials said.

City officials and Scott have been debating during the past several weeks about the submission of street and drainage plans, water service and other utilities that would allow businesses in Scott's development to open.

It is the city's contention that the blame for the development's lack of progress belongs to Scott and not the city.

City officials said Scott has done the least amount possible in trying to complete the development.

"It appears that he always tries to take the heapest way out," Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said.

The conflict has come into focus in recent meetings because of the affect it has had on a business trying to move into Scott's development, Highview Industrial Park located on 150th Street.

Gail Innis, owner of the All About Dreams gymnastics studio, has said she was considering opening her business without the city's consent because of the financial strain the delay in opening has placed on her.

Last week, Hooker and City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper delivered a cease and desist order to Innis because it appeared she had opened the studio without any water service.

City officials said they are sympathetic to the problems Innis is dealing with in the opening of her business, but the developer is at fault and not the city.

"The city could have rolled over and played dead," Hooper said. "It is all a result of Scott and his lack of following guidelines to do what was needed to complete the project."

Hooper has a chronological list of events that date back to October of 1999 which lists the problems that the city of Basehor, the Leavenworth County Planning and Zoning Board, and various other departments have had with Scott's development.

Scott said the list of events Hooper has chronicled is false and that he has done everything he is required to do in order for the development to move forward.

"The city has delayed the whole project," Scott said. "They are trying to pressure us to develop more than what we agreed we would."

Scott said several businesses have backed out of coming to his development because of problems with the city.

"Other businesses in the city have had problems too," Scott said. "It's not just us. We are doing everything step by step the way they should be. We are not doing anything wrong or illegal."

Although the two sides have conflicting accounts of the latest submission of street plans for the development, Scott has asked to address the Basehor City Council at its meeting this month to push the approval of his street plans.

Hooker said although there have been numerous problems with the industrial park he still wants the development and the businesses along with it to come to the city.

"We have told him we want him here," Hooker said. "We want 100 percent occupancy in town. We want to help in any way, but we can't bend the requirements because if we do it for him, we set a precedent for the next guy."

"We want to be able to protect the existing tenants and future tenants at all the developments."

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