| Updated December 19, 2001
Worth Harley Davidson's first attempt to relocate its Belton, MO facility to Johnson County, KS failed. A list of related articles is below. The facility would have included a retail new and used dealership, repair shop, and warehouse. Its first try was to 161st and Metcalf, which is near Steck Plantation and Blue Valley Riding neighborhoods. The Johnson County Planners recommended to the Oxford Township Zoning Board that the application be denied and the dealership withdrew its application.
Probably the key thing to know about a Harley Davidson dealership is not that it sells, repairs, and performance tests motorcycles (it does do all of that), but that by its franchise agreement it must sponsor one or two major events each month. These attract hundreds of motorcycles. It also sponsors a customer appreciation event every Saturday that draws 50 to 150 motorcycles. The design of its facility reflects this: there is a space for tables, a trellis, and grills for its outdoor events. These include at a minimum music over loudspeakers and sometimes live bands.
The second most important thing to know is that Harley's generate so much noise that when running on a lot, they will violate the Johnson County noise ordinance which measures sound levels at the border of the lot.
Neighbors in the immediate surrounding area did a massive amount of research. They visited the Belton site on several occasions, ran sound studies, talked to other motorcycle dealerships, found out some of the requirements of a Harley franchise agreement and some of the details of the operation.
Neighbors worked with Johnson County Planners, who were receptive to input from both the developer and the neighbors. Neighbors asked the planners questions, some of which were then asked of the dealership. Neighbors studied the answers provided by the dealership and responded in detail. One of the articles details how Worth Harley Davidson phrased its answers in very misleading ways to avoid providing useful answers.
Worth Harley Davidson continues to look for a place in Overland Park and is currently looking at a lot near 151st and Metcalf.
The following articles document the research done by neighbors, so any other neighborhood facing a motorcycle dealership will have a starting point.
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