Thursday, September 06, 2007

An Odor in the Air

When I left Monticello Road the other day I detected an odor in the air.

It was a very bothersome odor. Ironically I could not determine what the source was, nor what it actually smelled like. I do know that it had something to do with the proposed changes to Monticello Rd. These changes will apparently cause two families to completely lose their homes and many others to lose parts of their properties.

Admittedly, I am not very knowledgable about zoning laws, eminent domain, capital improvement planning or any of the myriad procedures to develop a city. What I do feel I have though, is a reasonable amount of common sense.

With that in mind, there is an item in the 8/6/07 minutes of the Shawnee Planning Commission that caught my eye:

"The City contracted for a traffic study for the Hodgdon property late in 2006, and the recommendations were presented to the Governing Body in February, 2007. The area included in the study is generally located between I-435 and Ogg Road and between Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway. The study makes recommendations for street improvements in the area to handle the commercial and office designations on the Land Use Guide.Modified location of the 71st Street and Monticello Road intersection from approved plans for the project.

Modified location of the Midland Drive and Monticello Road intersection as development occurs south of the current Midland Drive and Monticello Road intersection.


As requested during review of the Shawnee Mission School District Softball Complex, the location of schools and school related properties will be identified in a different shade of blue than the current public/quasi-public designation.

Review of the west side of Pflumm Road in the 6100 and 6200 blocks (north of the AT&T service center) to include the potential for some office/retail development.

Review of a wedge created by the new alignment of Monticello Road between 75th Street and the 7900 block of the existing Monticello Road to include office and retail development"

I was always under the impression that it would be developers that would pay for road improvements that created commercial zones. Maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, I now have some questions:

1. Why is the city paying for this road expansion and not the developers that would benefit from the office/retail development?

2. Who owns the "wedge" ?

3. Is the owner of the "wedge" going to be doing the developing or has the owner made arrangements to partner with, sell or otherwise transfer the property to another party?

4. Why is this residential area being chopped up for commercial reasons?

5. Will the folks developing the retail/office space reimburse the city for any of the road improvements?

6. What is the cost of this road work? (I have heard anything from $10 million to $20 million)

7. Who benefits from this?

It is my understanding that the property owners affected were wondering why Monticello Rd couldn't be upgraded to only a two lane road. Similar to Mission Rd, complete with the curves to follow the exisiting line of travel.