To the editor:
For more than 1.5 years, an ongoing issue has plagued our community which has been, for generations, a peaceful, serene area with a pleasant, rural atmosphere. We enjoy the status quo.
A farm near my property was sold early last year. The deal was made with a developer before surrounding property owners were aware of its availability, denying them an opportunity to purchase all or part of the acreage.
This was the first disappointing treatment of the property owners within our neighborhood.
Next, early last year, the Leavenworth County Planning Department was presented with a request to change zoning from R-5 to R2 1/2.
The planners recommended against it and the request was denied.
The item was then sent to the county commissioners to be reconsidered.
By this time, word reached many county residents, who appeared en masse to voice opposition to this change. Many took off work to attend.
It was announced at the beginning of the meeting that the mayor of Basehor requested that the item be removed from the agenda.
When I attended a Basehor City Council meeting not long thereafter, I expressed my concern on behalf of other area residents our disappointment that we were unable to speak against it. The mayor denied having been there.
He and I had a conversation in the County Commission office prior to the meeting.
Search the Leavenworth County Commission video archives for the meeting which took place on May 29, 2018, to hear the first announcement delivered at the podium.
The property in question is not within the boundaries of the city of Basehor. Why would the mayor of Basehor insist on removing that item from the agenda regarding a property outside the city limits of Basehor?
The request was again presented to the County Commission early this year. The planners again advised that, in their opinion, it should be denied.
At first, the commission hesitated. The attorney said the commission did not need to heed the recommendation of the planners.
Why do we need expert planners if the attorney states their recommendation need not be accepted?
Thankfully, the county commissioners voted to deny the request.
We, the county residents, who continue to stand in opposition, will remain steadfast in our demand to expect our neighborhood remain as is.
The property is listed in county records under the company name, Eagle Crossing LLC. This company is owned by Dan Lynch, a realtor and developer in Tonganoxie.
He has demonstrated his desire to place high-density developments wherever he desires.
After the zoning request was denied the second time, one of my neighbors called him and asked if he planned to farm the property.
I was told that his response was, allegedly, (paraphrased) “I’m not a farmer. I will get a zoning change and put 150 houses on that property.”
Today, I received notice that the request for a zoning change from R-5 to R 2 ½ will again be presented to the planning department Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.
Please, all interested county residents, attend this meeting.