Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2007

CR1 building moratorium undergoes revision

May 30, 2007

Tonganoxie city officials were in for a rude awakening last week when a moratorium on development on Leavenworth County Road 1 that was only supposed to go a half-mile north of Honey Creek ended up going all of the way to the southern Tonganoxie city limits on 14th Street.

The Leavenworth County Commission placed the moratorium on an area leading to the proposed interchange at CR1 and the Kansas Turnpike. The moratorium will stay in place while commissioners considers new land-use rules for the area.

"They just land locked us; they caught all of us off guard," said Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal. "I expect it to be Kansas Avenue, but not clear up to our back door."

Vestal said he called County Commissioner Dean Oroke and told him city officials were "pretty damned ticked off," and they "weren't pleased with the communication" between the city and the county.

"We received no warning at all," Vestal said about the moratorium's borders. "And after talking to Dean, he hadn't seen the damn map."

Vestal sent a copy of a map showing the moratorium's borders to the rest of the City Council, City Attorney Mike Kelly and to City Administrator Mike Yanez.

A little communication is what I was asking for and I don't think that's too much to ask," Vestal said.

City officials were concerned with the border because the moratorium was right next to the city's near growth area and within the city's three-mile planning area.

"We weren't notified of the action, which was probably the most disturbing thing about it," Yanez said. "Certainly I believe the city leaders would support a moratorium to make sure whatever growth was to happen down there would be coordinated with proper standard and good land-use principals."

The County Commission revisited the resolution Thursday and approved a revised moratorium, placing the boundary 1/2 mile north of Honey Creek Road.

Even with a new moratorium border, the city of Tonganoxie may not be able assist the county with the cost of improvements on CR1 until 1 p.m. June 27. That's when its expected Leavenworth County District Judge David King will make a final ruling on a lawsuit the city filed on the validity of a petition that would bring the city's participation in the County Road 1 development to a vote.

"If the judge supports existing state law, then the ruling will be in our favor," Yanez said. "A municipal government has the right to make administrative actions. If the judge ruled against us, that will have impact statewide."

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