City council signs off on CR1 agreements
Despite one sharp exchange, the spirit of cooperation prevailed Monday as the Tonganoxie City Council signed off on two interlocal agreements regarding Leavenworth County Road 1.
Last month, the Leavenworth County Commission approved the agreements and forwarded the city the documents, which define the city’s financial contribution for CR1 improvements and and one calling for a study to recommend land uses in an overlay district along the improved CR1.
Councilman Jason Ward said the county commission approved agreements reflected discussions at a March 23 meeting of the council and commission. But he said overlooked was the consensus Tonganoxie would get extra-territorial planning and zoning authority in Area 1, a nearly-four square mile section south of the city that is home of the city’s 237-acre industrial park.
Ward suggested the council amend the agreement to call for a side agreement giving the city planning and zoning jurisdiction in Area 1.
Leavenworth County Commissioner John Flower, who was at the council meeting, said he didn’t think his fellow commissioners would object to entering into negotiations on such an agreement.
But there is potential for disagreement on timing issues. When Ward suggested a 60- or 90-day deadline for the side agreement, Flower said he didn’t know if county staff would complete its work in that period.
Also problematic was City Attorney Mike Kelly’s assertion that the side agreement had to be in place before needed revisions to zoning maps and ordinances, subdivision regulations and development standards were initiated. Those procedures would require actions and public hearing by both the city and county, Kelly said.
In response, Flower said he wouldn’t agree to that procedural timeframe because it would subject his current county constituents in Area 1 to city regulations without first knowing what those regulations were. When pressed by Kelly why he would object to city jurisdiction in Area 1, Flower cut off the conversation by saying he refused to negotiate at the meeting.
Recalling the spirit of cooperation at the end of last month’s joint meeting, Councilman Burdel Welsh suggested the county commission be given six months to approve the agreement.
Councilwoman Paula Crook opposed the agreements, saying city had given away promised extra-territorial jurisdiction in the southern section of the overlay district.
She was joined in opposition by Councilman Jim Truesdell, who objected to spending city money on CR1 when the Fourth Street project was put on hold.
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