Lee’s Summit sued over Wal-Mart zoning

rpulley@lsjournal.comApril 19, 2013 

Lee’s Summit is being sued by a couple who contend their property values were harmed by the rezoning of about 25 acres for the Wal-Mart Supercenter near Missouri 150.

Richard W. McMillin and Paula A. McMillin said in the suit that their property will “experience problems of usability on their property and a decline in property values.”

Also named in the suit is Mitchell, Kristl & Lieber, the law firm which filed for the rezoning on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The suit was filed April 5 in Jackson County Court.

The couple is asking the court to void the zoning as unlawful, pay their attorney fees, order the city to “take additional acts as ordered by the court” and “such other and further relief as the court might deem just an proper.”

Douglas J. Patterson, the lawyer representing the McMillins, did not return a call for comment.

Christine Bushyhead, the attorney representing Wal-Mart for Mitchell, Kristl & Lieber, said they were aware of the suit but not prepared to make comments.

Lee’s Summit’s policy is to not comment on ongoing lawsuits, said Melissa Bedford Fears, public communications coordinator for the city.

The Wal-Mart site is at 3410 SW Market St. which is about two miles from the property owned by the McMillins.

In the suit they contend that at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting because an initial vote on whether to raft an ordinance for the Wal-Mart rezoning failed, it constitutes a denial that was final according to the city’s Unified Development Code.

When the City Council discussed the issue in subsquent “round table” that night it voted to reconsider. The council approved the rezoing on March 7, but the McMillins contend it wasn’t valid because Mitchell, Kristl & Lieber nor Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had filed a new zoning application and followed the procedures for a new application in the development ordinance. The suit says the failure to process a new application violates state law concerning rezoning of property and the mandatory procedures.

It further says that filing a new application can’t occur for a period of 60 days ad then zoning has to go through the procedures required by the ordinance and state law.

The council on Feb. voted on a motion to draft an ordinance, not the actual zoning ordinance, but then reversed itself during under its rules for conducting meetings, to have staff draft an ordinance which was to be read and voted on later.

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