Mark Taylor
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The Johnson County Planning Commission voted unanimously May 31 to recommend that the board of county commissioners not approve an island annexation request by the city of Edgerton.
The city sought county approval to annex property at 17800 Four Corners Road at the request of the property’s owner, who wants to build a container storage lot to serve the intermodal logistics park.
County commissioners will have the final say on the island annexation during their June 14 meeting.
The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on the third floor of the County Administration Building.
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 Bonnie Givens agreed.
“The desires of the (neighboring) residents need to have a great deal of priority,” she said.
Commissioner Glenn Bonar said he was very 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.
Commissioner George Lund added, “I’ve been desperately trying to find something good in this (island annexation request).”
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.