KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of dump trucks drive up and down the two lane Stark Avenue daily in an otherwise quiet South Kansas City neighborhood, moving dirt from one part of town to the other.
They’re hauling 430,000 cubic yards of dirt from a pair of 80-acre adjoining parcels in Kansas City and Grandview off Longview Road.
The massive project has left neighbors wondering why the developers never looked to access the much wider Raytown Road nearby.
“You could sit out on the patio, drink coffee in the morning, have your windows open. You can`t do that now,” Paul Meents said.
Meents lives directly off the street where he watches as dump truck after dump truck enter and exit a makeshift gravel road that connects Stark Avenue to the former farmland where they are digging 20 feet below.
“Quality of life on this corner has gone down hill quite a bit,” Meents said.
In the time FOX4 cameras were there, we watched a truck roll by at least once every 2 minutes.
And this won’t stop soon, the project is permitted for 3 years.
“Add that up, per day, per week, per year, you are talking over 100,000 trucks in a 3-year project running by when they don`t have to be,” Meents said.
An aerial view of the property along the Kansas City/Grandview border shows just on the other side of a small swath of trees is four-lane divided Raytown Road, running along Longview Lake.
Neither Grandview’s Planning Commission nor the Kansas City permitting department discussed a temporary access road to Raytown Road from the property, but Meents would sure like to see one.
“It would take all the traffic of these trucks instead of running them through this residential neighborhood straight to Raytown Road where they are not going through residential neighborhood. It`s just crazy,” he said.
With the lack of “no parking” signs on Stark Avenue, Meents admits he’s parked on the street, making it more difficult for truck traffic trying to pass one another in both directions in front of his home.
That’s led to police being called as the dump truck dilemma seems to have reached a boiling point.
The land needed for that access road belongs to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Meents has just one question for the developer.
“Why didn`t you call the Corps?” he wondered.
Aaron March, an attorney representing the property owner and developer, Hickman Mills LLC, said they never contacted the Corps because they were pretty sure they’d deny access because of potential damage to the ecosystem or watershed.
A spokesperson for the City of Grandview, which has been promised the potential of future development of the site after digging is complete, said they’re interested in seeing a connection to Raytown Road built both for short-term truck traffic relief — and for long term development.