Edgerton city hall was overflowing April 20 with rural residents objecting to the annexation and rezoning of property in North Miami County for the LPKC logistics park. Photos by Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
The City of Edgerton passed several rural land annexations for the Intermodal Logistics Park at their April 22 meeting.
The land had first been brought for a vote at the March 11 meeting and public hearing. Council members had sent them back to the Planning Commission to study for rezoning without a public hearing.
The first two parcels of land passed with council members Josh Beem and Ron Conus dissenting.
The first 59.51 acres of land is located at the northeast intersection of 207th Street and South Gardner Road.
The second 59.499 acres of land is located northeast of the West 207th Street and South Gardner Road.
Katy Crow, development services director, said the first parcel of land had received a protest petition from 33 people and ten were within the statute area. She said they fell short of the required 20 percent to override the annexation.
Crow said 32 protest petitions had been received for the second parcel of land, and three were from within the statute area.
Beth Linn, city administrator, said in order for the city council to override the planning commission recommendations for these land annexations there would have to be a two thirds majority vote.
Conus said everyone on the council was trying to do the right thing for the betterment of the City of Edgerton. “It’s a difficult decision,” he said. “I’ve read all the emails.”
Conus said the right thing to do for Northpoint would be to approve all the annexations, and the right thing to do for people protesting would be to vote against all the annexations. “For me I am somewhere in the middle,” he said.
Don Roberts, mayor, said despite all the rumors of him driving around in Ferrari and taking lavish vacations they were not true.
He said he has only ever wanted to do right by the community.
Conus said council members are only paid $25 a meeting.
“We haven’t received bribes from Northpoint,” he said. “None of us would be here if we didn’t want to right and make decisions we think are fair.”
Conus said he did have some concerns for the Golden Rule criteria’s 1, 2 and 4. These items are for need of the proposed land change, magnitude of the change and effective use of land.
“All three address proximity,” he said. “I understand if it is across the street but the further south and east what point does it become proximity.”
Conus said criteria 7 and 10 referring to the best use of the land is why he had previously voted for annexing land south of Koboda.
“The further east the less and less it becomes the best use,” he said.
Roberts said he had received many negative comments, but also many positive comments from the employment sector.
“In 2009 Edgerton chose to be the home for the Intermodal,” he said. “We would have had more damaging truck traffic in the long run, no economic benefit or control of our roads if we hadn’t.”
Katee Smith, council member, said it hadn’t been an easy decision weighing on her, and even though she saw both sides there would be unhappy people no matter what the decision.
“Part of me understands the use of the land, but if it isn’t your field you have no say of the use of that land,” she said.
Smith said signs had been everywhere for years. “Your neighbor has no right to say how you use your land and you have a right to your property as a property owner,” she said. “Every land owner has rights but not to your neighbors.”
Smith said Covid had changed a lot of things in 2020 especially to the economy.
“Everything isn’t going to revert back to what it was before,” she said. “We are not annexing land land that isn’t being requested, and we are not taking anyone’s land away.”
Clay Longanecker, council member, said change was inevitable and progress was going to happen.
Josh Lewis, council member, said he had thought things through for weeks.
“We were elected by the people of Edgerton to do what we think is best for them as a whole,” he said. “I don’t like it ,and I’m not a fan of development , but I am a fan of growing the community to provide for our children and their children.”
Lewis said a small town like Edgerton doesn’t get a chance to grow by millions every day. “It’s what’s best for citizens,” he said. “My job is to do what is best for the city.”
Lewis said he had spoken with his neighbors, and the majority wanted the Northpoint and Logistics Park developments.
Beem, said he can see where all sides are coming from, and he was split. “I don’t want it in my backyard,” he said. “But I want to see the city grow.”
Roberts said the Thursday council meeting was all about action and not all decisions are easy. “There’s obviously sympathy and there’s going to be people happy and unhappy,” he said.
Longanecker said he was a farmer and the farmers he knew were all for it. “It’s just a matter of happening,” he said.
Other land annexations that passed:
-40.233 acres southwest of West 207th Street and South Gardner Road.
-40.242 acres southwest of West 207th Street and South Gardner Road.
-120.006 acres southeast of the intersection of West 207th Street and South Gardner Road.
Beem and Conus dissented.
-221.334 acres northeast of the intersection of West 215th Street South Gardner Road.
Beem and Conus dissented.
106.132 acres Southeast of W 199TH Street and South Gardner Road were tabled for the August 12 council meeting.
Crow said they had received 33 protest petitions with 18 being inside the area giving the 30.65 percent to override.
Applicant Brett Powell requested a 90 day continuation.
City council members also passed a conditional use permit for an internet pole sign that had been tabled at the April 8 meeting.
Phelps Engineer Judd Claussen handed out drawings showing line of sight from the pole sign to the nearby home.
Cliff Cole, Edgerton resident, spoke against the pole sign at the April 8 meeting. He had said the light would shine directly into their second floor windows.
The Interstate Pole Sign is to be installed at 32501 W. 200th Street.
Moussa Sobaiti, owner of the On the Go Travel Center located at that same address applied for the pole.
Longanecker said he appreciated the drawings illustrating the line of sight from the residence to the sign.
Claussen said Homestead Lane sits higher than the interstate.
Longanecker said he wanted to know if they had met with the Cole family.
Claussen said he hadn’t personally, but Sobiati had met with the Cole family and agreed to not have flashing lights on the sign.
Roberts said no blinking lights was just a minor change.
Lewis said at some point new things are going to be built between the Cole residence and the interstate pole sign.
Roberts said every truck stop has a highway pole sign, pole signs drive traffic and Sobiati had done a good job with the facility.
Conus said he wanted to know if the sign was being reoriented to face I-35.
Claussen said it faces perpendicular to maximize the view and they aren’t trying to turn the sign.
Conus said the code states the sign has to be 300 feet distance and this one would be 1100 feet from the Cole residence.
Linn said the City of Edgerton doesn’t have a requirement related to residents for distancing of interstate pole signs.
The Coles were not in attendance.