Does Lee’s Summit want to be business friendly and increase the number of employers willing to locate in our city? The Lee’s Summit 360 plan indicated that Lee’s Summit being a business friendly community as an important goal. However, the city leaders and planing commission seem to have some confusion in terms of how to strike a reasonable compromise between maintaining Lee’s Summit as a community with good standards for quality of life and being open to business opportunity.
I attended the planning commission meeting last week and witnessed the grilling of Mr. Grider and his application to replace an eyesore downtown with a professional building. While design standards are important to keeping downtown a great place to visit, adding tens of thousands of dollars of cost to a business owner in a soft economy in the name of standards is over the top. His application was denied on the grounds that it was not up to standard.
On Sept. 5, Hy-Vee’s request to utilize trailers for temporary storage was called “blight” by councilman Ed Cockerell, accusing them of lazy business practices and he led the charge to deny their request. Hy-Vee has been a pillar of the Lee’s Summit community, with involvement in community and school projects for almost 20 years, including recent mention of their supply One Good Meals’ at below costs in the (Sept. 4) Journal.
Lastly, while I applaud the process of having a long term vision for the 150 corridor, and especially recognition of the effects of storm water runoff for new development being especially critical, the devil is in the details so to speak. The effect of the regulations and restrictions on the number and kinds of developments does appear to be daunting and would certainly not fall into anyone’s category of business friendly. I do understand that we don’t want Lee’s Summit to resemble Noland Road, and I appreciate the efforts of the many who have worked to develop these standards, I think residents who would like to see a more business friendly environment in Lee’s Summit will be wise to pay more attention and get involved.