Controversial project APPROVED by city council; residents’ concerns addressed
By Raymore Journal staff
After going back to the drawing board, the Raymore Commerce Center South project has been approved by the city council.
On Monday, July 11, the Raymore City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the Raymore Commerce Center South project. Several residents had spoken out against the project during a previous council meeting in May, forcing the council to table the item.
According to Raymore Development Services Director David Gress, the major points of concern are truck traffic on 195th St. and berming and screening.
Regarding truck traffic, developers and city staff found a way to design the area in a way that will make it “very uncomfortable and almost impossible for a truck to make a right turn coming out of that part of the subdivision,” Gress said.
Addressing berming and screening, Gress pointed out that the tree cover already meets city requirements. However, there is some concern with that screening going away after fall when the trees are bare. “Substantial additional screening” is now included in the project.
To start, there will be a four-foot berm on the west side of the tree line. Additionally, there will be more landscaping and a 10-foot vinyl fence. The fence will shield headlights and potential noise coming from trucks. City staff had to make an exception for the fences due to the fact that city code allows for up to only 8 feet in height.
Another change deals with the roads within the development. Originally slated to be public roads for the city to maintain, all roads within the development will now be private roads. Consequently, the developers will have to maintain those roads.
Although that may not satisfy all residents, it did satisfy the council. The project passed unanimously.
The Raymore Journal reported details on the Raymore Commerce Center South project after the city council held a public hearing on May 23.
VanTrust wants to construct five buildings ranging in size from more than 300,000 square feet to about 1.2 million square feet. Rezoning will pave way for light-industrial development, including manufacturing and warehousing. Raymore is a desirable place for distributers as the city is located off of an interstate and surrounded geographically by major freight hubs across the nation.
However, that likely means an influx of truck traffic moving into the area, something those nearby residents are not too happy about. As of press time, Zubin Talib has acquired more than 150 signatures on a Change.org petition to keep tractor-trailer trucks off 195th Street.
According to Talib’s petition, if VanTrust moves forward with its proposal, 500 additional vehicles will be moving across 195th Street each day. That includes semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles.
Submitting public comments during the May 23 council meeting, Talib also expressed concerns over the draft Memorandum of Understanding. Although the MOU address issues like landscaping, Talib said it does not go far enough to specify exactly what is required.
Other residents are concerned about noise and light pollution. Residents and a few council members proposed building a sound wall. However, VanTrust representatives suggested that such a requirement could be a poison pill.
After about a full hour of discussion, the council narrowly agreed to table Bill 3725 to permit city staff and VanTrust to address council concerns relative to traffic mitigation, berming and landscaping. The public will receive a two-week notice once the bill is removed from the table and reintroduced.
That was supposed to happen on June 27. However, only about half of the council was present. Mayor Pro Tem Reginald Townsend noted that such a hot topic needs the attention of the full council. Consequently, the item was removed from the agenda and will be reintroduced at a later date to be determined.
What about the Whataburger?
Like Council Member Jay Holman, many may be interested in what is going on with the Whataburger on the property that used to be a Golden Corral on Foxwood Drive. Long story short: the project is expected to be completed toward the end of August or early September.
Contracts were awarded for the following:
- 2022 Street Preservation awarded to JM Fahey Construction Company.
- 2022 Curb Project awarded to Terry Snelling Construction Inc.
- 2022 Stormwater Improvements awarded to J. Richardson Construction.