July 21, 2002
Regency By The Lake Homes Association has filed a lawsuit against the City Of Overland Park, KS, because the Planning Commission made an arbitrary and caprious decision when they failed to take the health, safety and welfare of the residents into consideration.
The proposed development of this auto repair and paint shop will result in the emission of carcinogenic and other health degrading chemicals into the environment. Overland Park admits that it did not take this into consideration in approving the shop. The excuse was that the property zoning allowed this facility and hence the health and welfare of citizens was no longer a factor to be considered.
The neighborhood, through considerable research into the zoning of this property - research that included obtaining and reviewing minutes of zoning discussions from years ago - found that Overland Park and developers had earlier misrepresented the zoning on this lot. They had inadvertantly changed the zoning to much less intense commercial. Because of this mistake, a subdivision was built next to the lot. Rather than correct this error, the developers and the City this time around simply switched back to the original, intense zoning on the lot and went forward. So now Regency By The Lake subdivision will suffer from noxious, industrial pollutants after having been given no opportunity to present their case to elected officials.
It is clear that many of our elected officials are more interested in enriching developers than protecting the rights and health of their constituents. It is a sad thing that citizens must seek relief from the courts, but it appears to be a fact of life in Johnson County.
Additional information on this is available in an article in the Neighborhood Section of the Kansas City Star for Saturday, July 20th. Unfortunately, that story was not made available in the on-line version of the paper.