Miami County homeowners work to create new city to avoid warehouse development

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MIAMI COUNTY, Kan. — Concerns over increasing industrial development have pushed some people in Miami County to petition to create a new city in Kansas. People in northern Miami County are working to incorporate their land in an attempt to preserve their agriculture-centric lifestyles.

Jennifer Williams filed a petition on April 9 with the Miami County Clerk to incorporate land in the northern portion of the county. 

Several of the properties in the proposed area butt up to annexed portions of the city of Edgerton. Williams said area homeowners are concerned their property will be annexed by a nearby community and the rezoning of the property will be handled without the homeowners’ consideration.

She said creating a new city with a new government will give people in the area a voice when it comes to deciding on future developments. 

“We realized that if we want to preserve who we are, then it’s time to do something now so that we can seal up those borders and incorporate our unincorporated status,” Williams said. “So that we can’t be annexed by someone else who has different interests than what we have. So that we can continue to have a vote and a voice.”

With help from neighbors, Willaims said nearly 300 signatures were collected in support of establishing the city of Golden, Kansas. Per state statute, only 50 signatures are required for the consideration of incorporations.

Tim Dye and his wife Lee live within the proposed city boundary and helped collect signatures from their neighbors. 

“It felt like they were climbing out of their windows to come sign this thing. That’s how passionate people are about keeping the warehouses out,” Tom Dye said. 

The couple said they signed the petition to protect the property value. Lee said when the latest warehouse development is complete, they will be able to see the building from their property line. 

“We’ve been married for 42 years and even before we were married, we were looking for a place almost exactly like this. It’s been a dream of ours forever,” Tom Dye said. “We’ve scrimped and saved most of our lives just for this purpose. We could have taken nicer vacations and things like that, but we worked everything we could. This was always our lifetime goal.”

“We’re not against development. They seem to think we’re against warehouses. We’re all for them if they stay where warehouses belong, in an industrial area. They’re wanting to plop them down in the middle of residential areas,” Tom Dye said. 

Proposed Golden, Kansas, city boundary

If approved the city of Golden, Kansas, would cover roughly 9 square miles. City limits would span from the county line at 215th Street south to 239th street, and from Cedar Niles Road to the Hillsdale Lake property managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Dennis Koch lives on Moonlight Road within the proposed city limits. Koch said he has owned the property since 1982.

“I really didn’t want to be in a city, but I think we are forced to by the intermodal coming this way being pushed from the west, from the north. We see that maybe that’s the only way to protect our lifestyle,” Koch said. 

Williams said if the community incorporates, the proposed city would have a population of over 700 people. Residents would maintain utility service from the Johnson County Rural Water District No. 7. Johnson County Fire District No. 2 would provide coverage to residents in Golden, as it currently does for the unincorporated land.  

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Williams said families would continue to send their children to the same school districts they are currently enrolled in. 

“It’s not about changing anything that we are doing. It’s about preserving what we already have,” Williams said. 

Golden, Kansas, would be considered a third-class city and would have an estimated population of roughly 700 residents.

The Miami County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing for the establishment of Golden, Kansas. If the commission approves incorporating the community, 

The city of Golden will hold an election to appoint a mayor and five-person city council.

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