I recently received the following letter from the developer of Parkway Place.  It is addressed to the residents of Blue Springs and I provide it here for your viewing.

LtrtoCitizensconcerningParkwayPlaceandParkwayWest.pdf (8.44 mb)

To contact your Mayor and City Council please click on the following link:

http://www.aboutbluesprings.com/page/City-Council-Contact-Info.aspx

The text of the letter follows:

January 27, 2009

To: All Blue Springs Residents

Re: Parkway Place and Parkway West

As many of you may know, Adams Dairy Investors, LLC has been working with the City

of Blue Springs for over 15 months to bring a much needed office and retail development to the

Adams Dairy Parkway. In a blatant political maneuver aimed at thwarting the democratic

process, City Councilman Ron Fowler jeopardized both the Parkway Place and Parkway West

projects.

Parkway Place is a planned mixed use development of upscale office space and retail

establishments located on Adams Dairy Parkway between R.D. Mize Road and Napoleon. Once

completely, the development will include two three-story office complexes, a separate office

building, and several retail sites including a possible bank and sit down restaurant, which Blue

Springs sorely needs. The centerpiece of this development is a fountain on scale with the grand

fountain at the Plaza in Kansas City. Parkway West will be a market complex that offers upscale

wine and liquors, cheeses, made to order breakfasts, gasoline, and other amenities and

convenience items those travelers of the Parkway desire.

This letter addresses many of the inaccuracies that Mr. Fowler has included in his reasons

for abstaining from voting on the Community Improvement District to fund the road, traffic

signal, and infrastructure improvements necessary to keep traffic moving on the Parkway and the

rezoning of Parkway West for construction of BT’s Market. Mr. Fowler abstained from voting

on these two issues because he felt that Adams Dairy Investors did not follow the proper process

by bringing both projects, and all requests, before the City Council at one time and that he did

not have all of the information he needed to make an informed decision on the developer’s

requests.

Since the January 5, 2009 abstention by Councilman Fowler, Adams Dairy Investors has

provided substantial information about the process it followed, and who dictated that process,

and provided Councilman Fowler with all information he requested regarding the projects.

Unfortunately, Councilman Fowler refuses to acknowledge that Adams Dairy Investors did

follow the process set forth by City Staff and that he has sufficient information on the projects so

that he can now vote yes or no on the project requests. Instead, he continues to stand by his

abstention and thwart the developer’s due process rights. By abstaining, Councilman Fowler has

exercised one-man veto power over the entire City Council thereby depriving them of their right

to vote as their constituents would have them vote on these issues.

The developer began working with the City on these projects in November 2007 by

proposing a site plan that included a curb cut on Adams Dairy Parkway to provide access to the

office and retail buildings. In December 2007, the City informed the developer that it needed a

traffic study done for Parkway Place and Parkway West to support the request for the curb cut

and so City Staff could evaluate the traffic impact of the two projects on the traffic flow of the

Parkway.

The developer had the traffic study done, turned it over to City Staff for review, and City

Staff, through the Public Works Department recommended several traffic improvements at the

intersections of the Parkway and R.D. Mize Road and Napoleon to facilitate the increased traffic

for these two projects.

Following receipt of the traffic study, the developer met with City Staff on the planning

for both Parkway Place and Parkway West. City Staff informed the developer that it needed to

remove BT’s Market from the Parkway Place site plan because Parkway West was already part

of an existing, approved, and constructed concept plan. Accordingly, City Staff stated to the

developer that it would not need any rezoning for BT’s Market, only a conditional use permit for

the gas pumps and canopy.

During this same time period, Parkway Place and Parkway West were included in a

global Transportation Development District with the Adams Landing project that would generate

funds to pay for all of the traffic, road, and infrastructure improvements along the Parkway,

including the improvements that the City Staff mandated for Parkway Place and Parkway West

as a result of the traffic study. In March 2008, the City Administrator, Eric Johnson, informed

the developer that the City would support Parkway Place and Parkway West in its own TDD

rather than participating in the Adams Landing TDD because that TDD was further along in the

process and needed to move forward. The City Administrator also requested that the developer

table its discussions regarding tax incentives for these two projects until the end of April 2008, or

after the City elections. During these discussions, and others, the developer was very clear with

City Staff that the developer would need to be a part of a TDD or CID to cover the costs for the

City-mandated road and traffic improvements for the projects in order to make these two projects

competitive in the retail marketplace. City Staff told the developer that it could bring these

requests at a later date.

At a pre-application meeting with City Staff in June 2008, City Staff told the developer

that all it had to do to finish Parkway Place planning was to present the final site plan, rezoning

of the office space to include retail, and obtain a conditional use permit for the drive through

lanes planned for a fast food restaurant and a bank. In Spring 2008, City Staff recommended that

since the Mayor will no longer allow discussion items on the Council agenda, the developer

should proceed to the City Council with only the curb cut request so that if the Council denied

the request, the developer would not expend additional finances on these projects due to

infeasibility. The curb cut was necessary for the developer to make Parkway Place a viable

project.

With these recommendations, the developer proceeded with the curb cut request before

the City Council during its July 21, 2008 meeting. During that meeting, Greg Grounds, former

Blue Springs mayor and the developer’s representative, stated that the developer would not seek

any tax increment financing for these projects. During his conclusion, Mr. Grounds mistakenly

stated that the developer would seek no tax incentives for these projects. Mr. Grounds,

immediately recognizing his mistake, contacted Council members and stated that he misspoke

about the developer’s intent to seek assistance with the traffic and road improvements for these

projects. Mr. Grounds also sent out emails and other forms of communications to the Mayor and

the Council members about this mistake.

Subsequent to the July 2008 Council meeting, City Staff informed the developer that the

City had made a mistake on its representations about the zoning for BT’s Market. City Staff told

the developer that Plaza West was not zoned for gas pumps or a canopy, and, therefore, the

developer would have to seek rezoning for the location. During this period, City Staff also

worked with the developer to establish the Community Improvement District for the road and

traffic improvements for these projects.

The developer, after hearing the criticisms of Council members Fowler, Solon, and

Shaver concerning the "process," which they defined as not bringing both of the projects forward

on the same timetable and with all elements, brought the CID Petition and the rezoning for BT’s

Market at the same time to the City Council on January 5, 2009. It was at this meeting, after

fully participating in the discussion concerning both issues, that Councilman Fowler, when it

came time to vote yes or no, abstained from voting thereby depriving the entire City Council and

the Mayor, if Councilman Fowler had voted no, to meaningfully cast their votes on these two

important issues that affect all residents of Blue Springs.

If you have any questions, please contact Dave Zeiler at 816-229-8262 ext. 313.