Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2001

Council rushed decision to annex golf course


April 19, 2001

It seems some De Soto City officials want to grab as much land as they can before the new city administration takes office.

With the De Soto mayor and city council president set to leave office in May, the council last week approved the annexation request of golf course developer Bob Hill.

Hill is developing the 54-acre, nine-hole course in Leavenworth County.

Leavenworth County officials would not issue Hill a permit for his septic tank, instead demanding that he build a mound system. De Soto officials agreed the septic tank system would be adequate for the site.

Hill said he also wanted the fire and police protection the city could provide.

The council decided last month to table Hill's request until members had a chance to review the city's comprehensive growth plan. As Council member Linda Zindler pointed out, the city's plan did not include property north of the Kansas River.

"This is a whole new area for us," Zindler said at the time. "If we consider that part of our growth area, we need to consider future infrastructure."

The council agreed and put the issue aside.

Two weeks ago, some council members had a change of heart, deciding the most important thing was to get the deal done quickly.

Despite objections from Zindler and council member Tim Maniez, the council voted 3-2 to approve the annexation request.

Outgoing council member Duke Neeland said he didn't realize when he voted to table the request that it would take months to update the comprehensive plan.

It seems more likely that what Neeland failed to realize when he voted to table the request was that he would soon be leaving office.

If annexing the golf course is a good idea today, it will be a good idea in a few months. Such an important decision should not be made in haste.

We're all for continued retail development. Broadening the tax base will allow for infrastucture improvements. Our concern with this issue is how quickly the decision was made.

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