Debate continues over development projects proposed in Parkville

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- A controversial development in Parkville is moving forward, but three more proposed developments in the same area are the subject of another public hearing Wednesday night.

On Tuesday night, the city's planning commission recommended approval for mixed-use residential and commercial properties at Interstate 435 and 45 Highway. The recommendation came after a public hearing that went on until around 11:30 p.m.

The commission will meet again Wednesday night for a public hearing on three other proposed developments in the same area. The potential projects include houses, hotels, apartments, retail, office, industrial and recreational space.

"The city has been pursuing development at 435 since 2000," said Joe Parente, Parkville's city administrator.

Now, a new developer wants to transform the area.

On Tuesday, the Parkville Planning Commission voted to recommend two of five proposals to the board of Alderman. It was a continuation of a September hearing.

Jason Maki, a member of Citizens for a Better Parkville, hopes his voice is heard at Wednesday's public hearing for the remainder of the projects.

"I don`t think the concerns are being adequately addressed by the city or the developer," Maki said.

He lives near the proposed developments and wants more communication and transparency from the process to meet the citizen's wants.

"Parkville is Parkville," Maki said, "not commerce city, and it feels a lot more like commerce city."

Neighbors who live in the Stonegate subdivison, right across from the proposed development, agree that their concerns haven't been heard.

"I don`t think the natural habitat has been taken into consideration and the preservation of the natural wildlife," Holly Starr said.

Parente said the planning commission had concerns about the project and wants to modify the plans to address as many needs as they can.

"So they placed conditions on the development related to the density of the housing and also to improve the appearance and enhance the development for green space, open it up," Parente said. "So they had conditions associated with that."

Parente also said the developer moved one of the proposed hotels to increase a buffer zone and give residents more space.

But neighbors like Maki say the discussion about the projects isn't over yet.

"We just haven`t seen any action," Maki said, "any compromise."

These are just preliminary plans. The developer will have to come up with a final plan and get approval from the planning commission again if they recommend the plans for approval at Wednesday's public hearing.

The Parkville Board of Alderman will have the final vote.