December 19, 2014

Zoning board recommends asphalt permit approval again

A photo of an asphalt plant given to members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board. Photo courtesy of Johnson County

A photo of an asphalt plant given to members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board. Photo courtesy of Johnson County

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Despite a request from Edgerton officials to table discussion of a proposed asphalt and concrete plant near Edgerton city limits, members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board forwarded a recommendation to approve a conditional use permit for the plant to the county commission. It was the second time members of the zoning board considered the conditional use permit, and for a second time, the board agreed to recommend its approval during a July 23 meeting.
The decision was not without controversy. More than a dozen Edgerton residents and officials, including Mayor Don Roberts and city council woman Cindy Crooks voiced their opposition to the project.
City administrator Beth Linn told the zoning board that Edgerton officials had just received some information about the plant, including a traffic study related to the project, that day.
She asked that the zoning board continue the conditional use permit hearing until Edgerton officials had time to examine the traffic study and conduct a site visit to the rock quarry.
Under the proposal, Bettis Asphalt & Construction would lease portable plants to be located on 16 acres in the 160-acre Mid-State Ventures’ rock quarry at 20125 Sunflower Road. The location is just beyond the city limits of Edgerton.
Roberts went one-step further suggesting that the zoning board deny the permit unless Bettis Asphalt agreed to a stipulation to close the current street entrance to the rock quarry and create an entrance further south on the property.
However, the zoning board and county officials noted that the conditional-use permit was for Bettis, a company leasing from the property owner. Bettis would not have authorization or the ability to move the rock quarry entrance.
City council member Cindy Crooks said she was concerned about additional trucks on Sunflower Road. Edgerton and Johnson County governments split the cost of maintaining the road.
“My largest concern is traffic and wear and tear on our roads,” she said.
Crooks said the asphalt plant was kind of a third strike in Edgerton. She listed the train traffic and the rock quarry as the first two.
“We all know the theory – three strikes, you’re out,” Crooks said. “We’ve got trains. We’ve got the rock quarry. No asphalt plant. We don’t want it.”
Blake Brooks, Edgerton, said the three things will affect real estate values.
“Who is going to want to move here? No one,” Brooks said.
Intermodal officials voiced concerns about the plant as well.
Patrick Robinson is a vice president at NorthPoint Development, the developer of the logistics hub adjacent to the intermodal. He views the plant as the equivalent to putting a batch plant in front of Leawood City Hall on 87th Street.
He said the logistics hub development uses its own temporary concrete batch plants for construction.
“We already have the intermodal and 80 trains a day. I feel if this was by a Blue Valley School or a Shawnee Mission School we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”
Brooks’ wife, Liz Brooks, worried that the research that determined asphalt plant emissions are safe was conducted on healthy, adult males.
“That’s not my kids,” she said. “Can you prove to me that it’s safe for my 6-year-old and 3-year-old to play outside?”
A consultant told the zoning board that the dust is regulated. Joe Desery, Leawood, said the amount of pollutants from the asphalt plant will be less than the amount that are present when a person pumps gas into their car.
John DeGrande, member of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board, said Edgerton welcomed the intermodal.
“In the end, maybe half or more than half will be less than happy,” DeGrande said.
“…It is a conditional-use permit. If there are problems, there’s a process for complaints.”
The board will recommend the approval of a five-year, conditional-use permit for the asphalt plant. Bettis Concrete initially requested a 10-year permit.
The debate now moves to the county commission. Members of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners will consider the conditional-use permit during the Aug. 28 board meeting. That meeting will start at 9:30 a.m. at the county administration building in Olathe.

Comments

  1. Kevin Collins says:

    Who are the members of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board ? Are there any members from Edgerton?

  2. Walter H. says:

    http://lims.jocogov.org/sirepub/boardresults.aspx?return=positions|boardinfo&boardid=451

    Kevin, I believe you can find the members. It appears that at least 3 of the members reside in McCamish township with includes Edgerton.

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    I think it is interesting that Bob Hubbard, who used to be Gardner’s city attorney, is representing this asphalt company, Bettis. I also just loooooove Patrick’s Robinson’s statement – talk about the pot calling the kettle black……….

    The citizens of this area have just started to feel all of the adverse affects from being in an industrial wasteland brought to you by politicians and bureaucrats and the thieves…….it is not going to get better and it is going to cost you an arm and leg to live in the mess and if you own a house, forget about coming out ahead – that is, if you could sell it……..

  4. Kevin Collins says:

    I don’t believe any of the board live that close to Edgerton. I believe if this was going to be put in the Gardner area it would not be passed. “John DeGrande, member of the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board, said Edgerton welcomed the intermodal.
    “In the end, maybe half or more than half will be less than happy,” DeGrande said.” I think what John DeGrande stated is probably the mind set of the board, they wanted the Intermodal so give it all to them! The Intermodal is between Gardner and Edgerton the the plant would be in Edgerton! Does anyone know if the minutes from the last meeting have been posted anywhere? I would like to see which board members were present.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    Mr. Collins: Contact the Jo. Co Planning Dept. at either 913-715-2200 or 913-715-5000 and that department will help you in getting answers to all of your questions, except perhaps why the Board members voted the way they did. Sometimes I have to wonder if games are being played between this Board and the County Commissioners – quite often in our political world they transfer hot issues back and forth between themselves it seems to me and, of course, I don’t ever think it is to the benefit of the citizens. I say this based on my experience when Paul LiCausi was trying to get the zoning he wanted for the Coleman warehouse – I learned a lot on that one and it certainly was not to my liking when I saw and heard one lie after another and with all of the conniving, manipulation and dishonesty. Citizens cannot be apathetic – they have to stand tall for their own good and to avoid higher costs and adverse affects. I believe the politicians, bureaucrats and the thieves get by with what they do because they know citizens won’t be providing the needed oversight and involvement – cronyism government thrives if those jokers are never held accountable. The voting booth is one tool the citizens better be using to the fullest extent and they also have to work to find decent people to run for office and then enable and support them but citizens have to attend government meetings such as City Council Meetings on a regular basis or review the videos of those meetings and then clearly and regularly communicate to Board members, Co. Commissioners, City Council members, etc., etc. what your thoughts and opinions are on important issues and let them know what you EXPECT from them. I say you have to constantly remind these “public servants” who brought them to the dance and who you expect them to work for and protect.

    Citizenship is not an easy job but one well worth the effort – the alternative is not beneficial to citizens in any way.

  6. Judith Rogers says:

    Mr. Collins: I have to disagree with you on the statement that this operation would not pass if it was in the Gardner area. All you hear with politicians, bureaucrats and others is “we need to broaden our tax base” which entails money and greed talking and getting certain entities what they want in so many instances regardless of the cost or the adverse affects to the citizens. Get in there and know how your county and city where you live ACTUALLY OPERATE by fully informing yourself – time consuming but when you do become more familiar with all aspects of your government entities, then you will be in a better position to protect yourself and your fellow man in many different ways. Just a hand full of citizens cannot get the job done – it takes a village, a town, a city, a county, a state and a nation of citizens doing their jobs.

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