Mark Taylor
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Johnson County Commissioners rescinded a public hearing and vote they had scheduled on June 14 for an island annexation request from the city of Edgerton.
Commissioners said the property’s owner — who wanted to build a container storage facility on the property to serve the intermodal —  withdrew the request.
The Johnson County Planning Commission voted unanimously May 31 to recommend that the board of county commissioners not approve the island annexation request.
County planning commissioners said they were concerned about the effect the island annexation would have on Gardner’s ability to grow to the west, the impact on nearby residential properties, and traffic.
The property is located about one-half mile from Gardner’s city limits and about eight-tenths of a mile from the intermodal logistics park, which Edgerton had previously annexed.
“If I had a residence anywhere near there, I certainly would be alarmed about the possibility of having container storage (nearby),” said Chris Iliff, county planning commission chairman. “…This just seems to me to be an ill-advised island annexation.”
Commissioner Glenn Bonar said he was familiar with the property and was concerned about traffic, among other things.
“I can’t think of a worse place in that area (for a container storage facility),” he said.
Commissioner Roxanne Morse said approval would likely trigger additional island annexations in the area surrounding the intermodal logistics park.
“I think it’s just opening a can of worms,” she said.
The county planning commission was asked to make a recommendation on the annexation rather than county planning staff, because Edgerton has previously contracted with the county for planning services.
Although county planners were not involved in the island annexation request, they said they wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest and recused themselves from the process.