Major development in Parkville gets initial green light despite residents’ concerns

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- Parkville leaders have given the initial green light on a major development project that's been a hotly debated issue.

It means new hotels, restaurants, a housing subdivision and a baseball complex could soon be coming to Parkville, and some nearby homeowners said they weren't given a voice during this process.

"I don't think the natural habitat was taken into consideration and the preservation of the natural wildlife," Holli Starr said.

The Parkville resident lives in a subdivision that overlooks the Interstate 435 and 45 Highway interchange. Right now, that area is basically empty land. But developers have big plans for it.

"In 2006 there was a master plan development approved by the city, similar to this type of development, but with the economy and other reasons, the plan was never carried out," said Joe Parente, Parkville's city administrator.

Now it looks like those plans will likely be carried out.

Wednesday night, the Parkville Planning Commission approved most of the project -- but not without a lot of debate. There were three public hearings in Parkville that, when combined, went on for about 20 hours.

Nearby homeowners like Starr and Jason Maki, who started Citizens for a Better Parkville, said they weren't given a proper voice in the debate.

"We would really love to see open government, and from what we've seen so far, there`s not a lot of it going on," Maki said.

The Parkville Board of Aldermen still needs to sign off on the planning commission's approval of the project. But generally speaking, unless there are major changes, the aldermen usually approve the commission's recommendations.

Once that happens, construction on the development is set to begin next spring.