To the editor:

Regarding efforts of officials of the city of Basehor to enact its version of the Comprehensive Plan or Basehor Urban Growth Management Area or under its present title, Interlocal Cooperative Urban Growth Agreement, we, the directly affected county tax-paying property owners, still have concerns and questions which must be addressed prior to any decision by the city to pursue further action to pass this plan.

The city introduced, for a vote, this item in its July 24 council meeting. Many county residents attended, expressing concerns. Questions and comments were respectful and controlled. It was appreciated that individuals were allowed to speak.

I think it is premature to consider enactment at this time.

The Leavenworth Times published an announcement in the May 4-5 issue in which Leavenworth County requested county residents to attend a series of meetings which will be held periodically throughout this year.

The county hired a consulting firm to gather information from the citizen volunteers in order to compile data to create a new Leavenworth County Comprehensive Plan. Much information has been gathered. It may be accessed by searching Leavenworth County Comprehensive Plan, then select Download the Summary.  

The word “Cooperative” contained in the present title for Basehor’s plan presents a question. What cooperation and with whom? Those of us directly affected were not notified by mail. We learned of this on our own.

The state statute clearly addresses the importance of communication with the public.

Where is the cooperation with the consulting firm hired by the county? Where was the communication to alert us that this vote was about to happen?

Are we county residents wasting our time attending these meetings which are being held for the purpose of achieving a plan which addresses our concerns?

Will the city of Basehor ignore the findings and recommendations of the consulting firm?

Attendees of these meetings prefer that Leavenworth County continue to enforce its own issuance of building permits and collection of fees. Further, it was requested in these meetings that the county create its own building inspection authority.

The most concerning part of Basehor’s interlocal agreement appears in Section 3. “The County hereby delegates to the City its zoning authority under state law, over land designated as the Growth Area.”

This should never, under any circumstance, be allowed to happen.

In previous letters I have explained the attempt of a developer to rezone a parcel of land in our community. It failed twice. He then told my neighbor he would secure a zoning change and build 150 houses on that property.

Despite what I have been told, I don’t want the city of Basehor controlling the zoning in our neighborhood.

I believe that certain city officials want as many high density developments as possible. If rezoning to high density happens in our community, sewers would likely follow. Who pays for them? Will we be burdened with unavoidable assessments for something we neither want or need?

The real estate broker/developer whose company name appears in county records as owner of that property doesn’t care about us. Allegedly, he told my neighbor he understands not wanting a development on the adjoining property, after which he allegedly said, “the farm next to mine was available for sale so I bought it to prevent a development next to my farm.” This is a prime example of hypocrisy.

The surrounding property owners in our neighborhood did not have the opportunity to purchase all or part of that property. Apparently the deal was made before they were aware it was being sold. The person, who has addressed the city of Basehor at least twice, explaining the interlocal agreement, sees only more growth and control. His only reference to us in a previous presentation was, (paraphrased) “The only thing which may hinder the enactment of the plan would be property owners who may object.” Are we that unimportant?

There is much to be concerned about with this attempt to control our area.

I ask all concerned county residents to strongly but politely let the city of Basehor know, without a doubt, how strongly we object to and do not want the interlocal agreement to be implemented. Also, please attend the Aug. 28 Basehor City Council meeting with as many questions and concerns as you may have.

Another concern deals with conflict of interest, which may be the topic of a future letter.