May 23 City Council meeting recap
Raymore Commerce Center South? ‘Not in my backyard’ say nearby residents
By Raymore Journal staff
The city council meeting ran a little long on Monday, May 23, after several residents expressed concerns over a proposed rezoning request for a commercial development south of 195th Street and east of Interstate 49.
Raymore Commerce Center South back to the drawing board
Perhaps the most contested rezoning proposal so far this year, Bill 3725 would reclassify the zoning of 262 acres located south of 195th Street “Business Park District” to “Planned Unit Development District.” Several nearby residents are concerned about noise and light pollution.
In a 5-3 vote, the city council decided to table the request until the developer, VanTrust Real Estate, can address resident concerns. Council Members Sonja Abdelgawad – Ward 4, Kevin Barber – Ward 3 and Joseph Burke III – Ward 2 voted against tabling the rezoning request.
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 that nearby residents are not too happy about. As of press time, Zubin Talib has acquired nearly 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 Monday’s 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.
Other new items
The council unanimously approved two other new items: another bill dealing with the Raymore Commerce Center and a contract for fire hydrant replacement.
Bill 3724 approves the final plat for Lots 2 and 3 of the Raymore Commerce Center. Building 3 is already near completion. Meanwhile, construction on Building 2 is imminent. The approval simply allows the remaining land to be split into two separate lots.
Bill 3726 awards a contract to Hettinger Excavating to remove and replace 21 fire hydrants in Raymore. Hettinger Excavating’s bid was substantially lower than the other seven bidders.
Mayor Kristofer Turnbow signed off on two proclamations during the May 23 council meeting.
May 23, 2022, was proclaimed Arbor Day in Raymore. In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees. More than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska when Arbor Day was first observed. The proclamation encourages all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree in support of efforts to protect trees and woodlands for future generations.
Mayor Turnbow also proclaimed June 10, 2022, as Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) 50–Forward Day. According to the proclamation, local governments in the Kansas City area have come together through MARC to partner on regional initiatives and develop innovative solutions. MARC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.