Tonganoxie City Council puts hold on rezoning vote
The Tonganoxie City Council again is asking its planning commission to take a vote on a rezoning issue on the east side of town, but this time it would be whenever an RV resort company also issued a special use permit.
About 50 people attended Monday’s City Council meeting at which the council was potentially going to vote on the rezoning of about 32 acres from rural residential to commercial.
But after lengthy discussion and debate, the Council opted to send the decision back to the planning commission.
The Tonganoxie Planning Commission recently reviewed a request from KC RV Resort to rezone about 32 acres from rural residential to commercial, but came to a 3-3 vote twice.
Because a decision wasn’t made, per city code, the vote was to go to the City Council where a 2/3 majority vote, including the mayor, was required. However, residents circulated a successful protest petition, so a super majority, or five of six members, including the mayor, then had to vote in favor of the rezoning.
On Monday, Council Member Andy Gilner suggested sending the vote back to the planning commission because Commission Member Steve Gumm was absent at the last meeting and would have been the deciding vote either way. Fellow Council Member Curtis Oroke, though, was adamant about moving forward. He continued to cite the city’s comprehensive plan calling for such development and that the Council needed to move forward with a vote.
Gilner said the Council holds off on some votes if someone is absent. Oroke, however, said that wasn’t always the case, as the Council voted on the police station’s current site without a full Council.
The vote to send the decision back to the planning commission passed, 4-1, with Oroke voting against.
The rezoning request is part of a larger proposed project of an additional adjacent 122 acres for a luxury RV resort that eventually would be home to 400 custom RV lots.
Now, when the resort company submits a special use permit application to the planning commission, it also will again decide on the rezoning. Acting City Manager Jamie Shockley said the earliest she saw the developer submitting a special use permit was March.
Residents near the proposed rezoned area and potential resort had various concerns about the plan, such as future traffic issues. Some also thought the rezoning decision was putting the cart before the horse, as the resort plans weren’t yet approved.
If the Council would have voted against the rezoning, the resort company would have had to wait another six months before the developer could apply again.
Ward said he didn’t think it made sense, no matter what final decision is made on the properties, to delay the process that long.
Council Member Chris Donnelly didn’t plan to vote on the rezoning if the Council took a vote because he owned land that could be affected by the decision.
City Attorney Mike Kelly said the abstaining vote would have counted as a yes vote based on previous cases. Residents at the meeting questioned the interpretation based on general parliamentary procedure.
Shockley said a special use permit requires a public hearing and public notice at least 20 days before the meeting.