Commissioners OK closure of unmaintained roadway

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

An unmaintained goat path.

That is how Leavenworth County Planning and Zoning Director Krystal Voth described a section of 211th Street near Tonganoxie.

“That’s just really what it is,” she said.

County commissioners voted Wednesday to approve of the closure of this section of the roadway, allowing it to become a private driveway.

The section of 211th Street that is being impacted is located north of George Road.

Voth said a gate closing off this unmaintained section of 211th Street has been in place for some time. She believes the gate was put up without permission from county officials.

“It’s not been a problem,” said Doug Smith, chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission.

Voth proposed using the county’s gating policy to officially close the roadway to resolve an issue concerning a past promise made to a property owner in the area.

Voth said the property owner owns about 160 acres. In 2016, he contacted county staff about possibly building on two parcels north of George Road and east of 211st Street.

He was told at the time that if he obtained building permits, a portion of the fees would be used to lay down gravel on the right of way for 211th Street and provide the road frontage he needed.

Voth said the property owner was provided this information in writing even though it did not reflect county policy.

Voth said utilizing the county’s gating policy would allow the property owner to put in a private driveway instead.

“The county will not maintain it,” Voth said. “That will be up to the property owner.”

Voth also requested an exception to the county’s gating policy, which does not allow residential structures on gated roadways.

She said the exception was being requested to allow the property owner to build up two houses.

“Thanks for coming up with a solution for this gentleman,” Smith said.

Voth also asked commissioners to allow staff members to amend the section gating policy that prohibits residential structures on gated roadways. She said this was being requested so staff members can use the policy to address similar situations in the future.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said an updated version of the policy will be brought to commissioners for their approval sometime in the future.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth County Commission:

• Approved a new access management policy.

• Approved an agreement with Benesch, Kansas City, Kansas, for additional survey work for a bridge project in Tonganoxie Township for an amount not to exceed $6,794. The motion passed 3-2. Commissioner Vicky Kaaz voted against the motion and Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said he was abstaining.