February 11, 2016

Gardner, Edgerton councils quibble over boundaries

Danedri Thompson

Although their proposed boundary lines overlap by approximately a mile, Gardner and Edgerton City Council members appeared to be light years away from a compromise after a joint work session in Gardner Monday night.

They’ll face off again during a second work session Thursday night in Edgerton.

Proposed annexation lines graphic courtesy of city of Edgerton

Gardner has proposed using Waverly Road as a western boundary on the southern side of town, but Edgerton council members are adamantly opposed to the idea. Instead, Edgerton proposed limiting Gardner’s western boundary to its current city limits.

Waverly Road is the eastern boundary for the intermodal property, which council member Steve Hale called the premier development property in the state.

“I look at this proposal as a cherry pie,” Hale said. “You’ve got all the fruit. I’d like us to have some of the crust.”

Edgerton members said they would like to use potential development along the east side of Waverly to fund improvements to that road. Gardner council members said the city needed land to Waverly to have some control over how the intermodal affects their residents in the immediate area.

“We have residents who live along that stretch of Waverly,” Hale said.

Edgerton council member Ken Gillespie said when the intermodal was to be built in Gardner, Gardner’s council proposed a western boundary that went as far west as Spoon Creek Road.

“Now that we’re putting the money out, we should have the ancillary development,” Gillespie said. “When you guys had it, you had the whole pie.”

Heidi Wiseman, Edgerton council, said the intermodal process that started in Gardner and ended with Edgerton annexing the property added to what appeared to be decades-long animosity between the two communities.

“I’m a transplant in Edgerton. I can look at it a little differently,” she said. “…Gardner’s residents or council didn’t give us the intermodal. You turned it down.”

Gardner Mayor Dave Drovetta said the decision to let the intermodal go was “a very stupid decision.”

“I would say the residents were somewhat aghast at the decisions,” Drovetta said.

He also noted that he was a transplant to Gardner in 1987, and said almost all of the current Gardner council members are people that don’t have any idea of that long-term history.

“What you see in the Gardner council is not old school,” he said.

Edgerton council members said they’d be willing to make Waverly Road an annexation boundary if Gardner would be willing to pay for half of the improvements to the road.

Drovetta said the city of Gardner would give the excise fees generated from growth on the east side of Waverly to the city of Edgerton. Excise fees are paid by developers to build infrastructure including roads. The city of Edgerton will likely need to make improvements to Waverly Road long before development occurs on its eastern side.

“We’re putting the road in. We would like to have both sides to pay for our road. Plain and simple,” Gillespie said.

Under the existing intermodal contracts between Edgerton and the intermodal and logistics developers, Drovetta noted that Gardner residents as well as all Johnson County and state residents will be helping pay for road improvements on the intermodal property. The county will fund one road – the state another.

Gillespie said the Edgerton zoning requirements and regulations would buffer nearby Gardner property owners from the development if Edgerton maintained both sides of Waverly. He noted the codes Edgerton has adopted for the Edgerton property were created with Gardner residents in mind.

However, Hale took issue with that. Specifically, he said Edgerton’s desire to build a warehouse near U.S. 56 Highway and Waverly Road suggests otherwise. Edgerton is competing with several other metro-area cities for a warehouse for Demdaco near the Gardner-Edgerton annexation border. Hale said trucks to and from that property would travel through Gardner to access the property and the interstate.

“I’m not sure how much you had Gardner in mind when you talked about warehouses in 56,” Hale said. “…It doesn’t set a good precedence.”

Glyn Powers, Edgerton council member, said both cities would likely need to give and take to reach a compromise.

“I said I’d be willing to give on the north and not the east of Waverly,” Powers said. He said he wouldn’t be opposed to Four Corners Road as an annexation boundary.

On the northern edge, Gardner proposed a western boundary that goes as far west as halfway between Edgerton and Sunflower Roads. Edgerton’s council proposed an annexation boundary as far east as halfway between Four Corners Road and Waverly on the northern side.

David Dillner told both councils that once BNSF issues its notice to proceed, which should occur before the end of this calendar year – he expects development interest in the project to increase significantly.

“The northern portion will probably develop first, because there’s access there,” Dillner said.

Within three years, a proposed Interstate 35 interchange at Homestead Road should be completed.

Both councils will meet at a joint work session at 7 p.m. on Sept. 16 at Edgerton City Hall.


  1. I’m sure that was productive.

  2. Judith you’re not being very nice.

  3. Gardner Pride says:

    What’s the old saying: “You attract more flies with honey than you do vinegar”

  4. Judith you need something positive in your life.

  5. Chris Morrow says:

    A quote from a Time magazine piece on Bill Murray:

    “It makes me think of that line—you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. People say this to you with a straight face, and I always say, ‘Who. Wants. Flies?'”

  6. I would suspect the first ammendment that protects your inane ramblings protects him as well.

  7. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Regardless the First Amendment, I personally find Judith’s 3:17pm comment disgusting and have requested the Gardner News delete it. It serves no useful purpose and that kind of vindictive hatred has no place on this community forum.

  8. Well, it is disgusting to me, Mr. Kellogg, that you and others would go along with the activities, lies and hate that was spread by Ryan Beasley and his Bunch. Perhaps you need or deserve the same treatment by some person and see how the slime feels for you or how you like it when it happens to you. Stand tall for that type of behavior and it tells all what you stand for.

    I would be glad to pay oodles for a whole bunch of honey if it would get rid of the City Hall and Gardner cockroaches.

  9. Thank you Jerry

  10. Please see that numerous comments from “Judith” have been removed for vulgarity and offensive language. The Gardner News does not tolerate offensive and vulgar comments on our site.

    This forum is for productive and respectful dialog. We appreciate the participation of all. Thanks

    The Gardner News Electronic Staff

  11. I think it’s laughable that Gardner now wants to try and get back some of the “honey” that it so stupidly let go. I live at 183rd & Butternut and can see the intermodal site from my front porch. I can also see the city limits of Edgerton sign at the end of 183rd. To me, Gardner should have no right to try and go back and take what is so quickly and willfully gave away. It would have been nice to have had the tax revenue from this industrial park, but at least we’ll still see property values raise since getting rid of the land didn’t change the proposed site.

    I’m also wondering if “Judith” is a pen name for one Mary Peters :)

  12. @Bryan Way to go !!! Everyone has a right to their opinion .What is the old saying about speak softly but carry a big stick? It doesn’t appear that name calling does any good. Thank you Mr. Kellogg for having those remarks removed. Just my 2 cents worth…..

  13. Agreed Bryan, we’ll quickly find out how nice it would have been to have the project in Gardner as Edgerton builds warehouses right up to the edge of Waverly. We’ve lost the right to a say and Edgerton knows it.

  14. Dave Drovetta says:


    The proposal does not impact the land that was deannexed by the previous City Council. The only land in discussion is land that has not been annexed by either City. The strip of land between your subdivision and the intermodal site is the area of most contention. It is not currently part of the project. We wish to annex that to ensure Gardner has a say in what is built there and how it is buffered and controlled. Edgerton wishes to annex to expand their available industrial property beyond the current 1,100 acres and available land south of the site.

  15. That sheds some light. Gardner HAS to fight for control of that land. If Gardner and Edgerton can’t come to a decision what happens? Does it go to court? Does the county make the decision or do the developers choose? To let Edgerton annex that land would be another blow to the future of Gardner let alone people like Bryan.

  16. Dave Drovetta says:

    There are no legal ramifications if we do not reach an agreement. The benefit of an agreement allows for better planning on the part of cities and it provides potential developers the guidance to know which entity will have jurisdiction. It also prevents developers from pitting one jurisdiction against the other by creating a bidding war. That of course assumes both entities choose to honor the agreement.

    We have an agreement with Olathe that has worked well with both parties honoring the proposed boundaries. It came into play with the Legoland development a few years back. Developers wanted an additional $45 million above and beyond state and local incentives. We said no and they went to Olathe who told them the land was in Gardner’s future boundary. Olathe tried to work with them at a different site, but just like with the proposal to Gardner it did not make financial sense.

  17. I would strongly suggest we not give up anymore potential Gardner boundries than we already have. From your point of view why does Edgerton think they need to push the boundries?

  18. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    For Edgerton to demand an eastern annexation boundary extending out 5 miles northeast of Edgerton City Hall to within less than a mile of Gardner City Hall is outrageous, in my opinion.

    A section of land already annexed by Edgerton for the Allen Group’s Logistics Park extends northeast of Waverly Road and 183rd St (which is one mile southeast of Gardner Municipal Airport) to Poplar Street at BNSF’s southern tracks, just south of Gardner Cemetery.

    Thus, Edgerton city limits are already EAST of Gardner’s Celebration Park, Kill Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant, Gardner businesses located on US Hwy 56 and at Waverly and 175th Street, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bedford Park Senior Living, Meadowbrook Hospital, Westside Park and ball fields, half of Gardner Cemetery and is within 3,735 FEET of downtown Gardner.

    Now, to add insult to injury, Edgerton pleads they need the rest of the land east of Waverly south of Gardner, passing within 2610 FEET of the Shell Gas Station at Gardner Road and I-35, down to 215th Street at the Miami County Line. The residents of this property have historically had a community connection with the City of Gardner since 1857.

    In the game of football, when one team encroaches over the line of scrimmage on the field of play they are penalized. In this political game of establishing fair and equitable annexation boundaries, I suggest the Edgerton City Council members return to their huddle and come back out to play on the field of decency with a more enlightened sense of honor and respectability.

  19. I was not aware that the land in question remained “available”. With that land being available it is absolutely something we must acquire! Gardner has given up so much potential growth and tax revenue & I would hate to see more go away. Let’s go get that tract of land… I’m pleased with our “revised” city council Mayor Drovetta and I’m glad we now have folks that understand what a city needs to thrive, and to a point, survive.

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