Blasting…the experts? Development?

August 23, 2013 

Last week we heard from elected officials and homeowners in Lee’s Summit at a city council meeting regarding proposed blasting in an area that could be developed.

Although, after four-plus hours of testimony, long, drawn out questions and more examples of how we are not operating on true policy governance, I’m sure the local business leaders that brought the proposal forward are the ones that truly felt blasted.

Fortunately, the good guys prevailed on this project.

Let’s back up, though.

What our city council was to consider was an economic development project, first and foremost. A local, Lee’s Summit businessman, Flip Short, was asking the council to approve a special use permit for rock reclamation on Quarry Road (off of 470 and Pryor Road).

In other words, he would like to extract the rock from the underground mine that hasn’t been in operation there for years, sell it and then eventually plan a series of commercial and/or residential developments on that site.

There is so very precious little land left in Lee’s Summit to develop on, this should have been a no-brainer.

And by looking at the 6-2 vote in favor of the special permit, it was.

It just took us a lot of pain and paper-wielding attorneys to get us there.

Short, Bill Brown and attorney Christine Bushyhead brought an army of experts to the meeting to counteract those in Bent Tree Bluffs and others that opposed the blasting.

As a homeowner, I can understand concerns about foundations, resale value and other issues.

But we are talking about a major development pad here. One that could be the legacy of this council, city staff and those involved in the project.

This is the kind of development the council has been asking for.

The area falls within the boundaries of council members Brian Whitley and Allan Gray. Whitley took the applicant down a long and winding road about blasting, effects, alternate proposals (which were shot down, so to speak) and many other topics.

I think if the explosives expert had to stand up one more time to answer some of these concerns I would have been concerned about him opening up his briefcase.

All joking aside, maybe this is the sausage making that none of us like, but is necessary. Or, perhaps, we spent way too long asking way too many questions of people that have clearly done everything in their power to make sure all areas are covered.

These are Lee’s Summit business people trying to develop Lee’s Summit land. Why would we think they were trying to pull this sinister plot on us that would destroy homes and property values?

By the time the long night was virtually over, Bushyhead made her point loud and clear.

“We’re not kidding around here. We’re professionals,” she said, noting the team was comprised of credible, knowledgeable and competent expertise in this type of development.

The good news is, six of our council members – Rob Binney, Bob Johnson, Dave Mosby, Ed Cockrell, Derek Holland and Gray – didn’t jump down the rabbit hole, approved this development and, hopefully, sent a message about the importance of these projects.

John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail jbeaudoin@lsjournal.com.

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