County denies industrial park rezoning
Area residents opposed to a nearby project got their wish Wednesday, Jan. 8, when the Leavenworth County Planning Commission denied rezoning, 7-1, of a proposed industrial park development.
The petition for rezoning was submitted by Miles Excavating.
The company owns a 95- to 97- acre tract at 150th Street and Kansas Highway 24/40.
The company wanted the land use changed from residential to business and industrial use.
However, Planning Commission members denied the rezoning request for two reasons, said John Zoellner, Leavenworth County planning and zoning director.
"Number one, the land use is not industrial, it's low -density residential," Zoellner said.
"And the second reason is that it's located in Basehor's urban growth area," added Zoellner, citing that the area should be annexed and developed under Basehor's regulations.
"I don't think that's a good area to (place an industrial park) but that's a determination that should be made by the city of Basehor," he said.
But other problems persist within the development, county officials said.
Problems such as filling in a flood plain and diverting a stream channel without a permit.
"The applicant continues to fill without the permit. We observed lumber and other materials that should not be placed in this type of fill. In addition, we have received a complaint of the dumping of undetermined liquids within soils," according to a county report.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture cited Miles Excavating for at least three violations -- no permit to discharge storm water runoff, unlawful channel alteration and unlawful levee.
Darla Miles, Miles Excavating treasurer/secretary, said the violations "have been satisfied and permits have been filed."
She also said the company did not know they were in violation and proceeded with the actions for the "betterment of the area and this piece of property."
In a letter to the Planning Commission, Basehor city officials asked the county to deny the request and require "the developer to initiate all future actions on this property to the city of Basehor."
Gus Fasone, Miles Excavating human relations director, said the company was not prepared for the meeting and asked that the hearing be continued.
Bill Schulte, Leavenworth Area Development director, spoke in favor of the industrial park.
"We feel that this development is well done and it will accommodate the potential for job development," Schulte said. "The economic impact could be substantial."
But praise for the development ended with Schulte's comments.
Approximately 10 to 20 nearby residents spoke in opposition of the development Wednesday night, saying the development adversely affects their property.
"I am highly opposed to this zoning because of the smoke, the fumes, the air and the water," said Joe Nick, who lives across the highway from the development. "We can see the dust in the sunrays now."
Joe Hotujac, who also lives across the highway, also spoke in opposition of the development.
"I have a pool in my backyard and I have ashes all over the pool," he said. "I called Miles and told them what was going on. They stopped for awhile. (They) are burning tires, fuel, everything, it stinks. It is hard to breathe when he is burning. He has buried more wood under that ground than there is dirt."
Residents have begun circulating a petition against the development.
In December, the Basehor City Council hosted a work session to discuss annexing the industrial park. City officials said there is no timetable for the annexation.
The industrial park could next appear before the Leavenworth County Commission. Zoellner said a meeting was scheduled for the end of January but the hearing has been postponed indefinetly.