Archive for Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Developer seeks to join lawsuit

October 29, 2003

A developer, whose land is at the center of a controversial rezoning in northwest Tonganoxie, wants to join in a lawsuit to help protect his interests.

Greg Ward is asking a Leavenworth County District Court judge to allow him to intervene in a lawsuit filed several weeks ago against the city. Residents who live near Ward's proposed development are suing the city because in August the city council rezoned 27.5 acres Ward owns from rural residential district to single-family district. Rural residential zoning allows for lots that are a minimum of one acre in size, while single-family district allows for lots as small as 6,000 square feet in size.

In a motion to intervene, Ward said he wants to intervene because neither the city nor the property owners would protect his interests.

"An adverse decision by the court would limit Ward's ability to develop its property pursuant to the property's approved zoning," the motion said.

City attorney Mike Crow said he has no objection to Ward's request.

"As far the city is concerned, we don't have any problem with it," Crow said. "I don't think it will muddy things up for us."

In the lawsuit, local residents Ernest L. and Ruth A. Edmonds are appealing the city's decision this summer to rezone Ward's property, which is on the west side of Smiley Road, north of Hatchell Road. They cited what they say were procedural errors by the city, and their lawsuit said development of Ward's land at the new zoning density would adversely affect the area and would drive down property values.

Ward has said he plans single-family garden homes for empty-nesters and senior citizens.

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