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Examiner
  • Zoning to change on stretch of U.S. 40 in Blue Springs

  • When David Ward built a group of buildings on U.S. 40 in the 1970s, the area was zoned light industrial, which at the time fit well with his needs.However, sometime in the mid 1990s, that zoning changed, presumably to encourage more retail businesses to the corridor. Those properties were “grand-fathered&#...
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  • When David Ward built a group of buildings on U.S. 40 in the 1970s, the area was zoned light industrial, which at the time fit well with his needs.
    However, sometime in the mid 1990s, that zoning changed, presumably to encourage more retail businesses to the corridor. Those properties were “grand-fathered” in to the new zoning area. However, when a transmission business decided to expand and move two doors down earlier this year, the change in zoning began to cause problems, leading Ward to seek a change in the zoning requirements.
    The Blue Springs Planning Commission approved the zoning change from general business to light industrial on Monday. The change involves 10 parcels of land that Ward owns east of Woods Chapel Road on the north and south sides of U.S. 40. The light industrial designation means businesses that produce finished products from semi-finished materials with little outside storage space can move into the spaces. It could be anything from auto repair to motorcycle sales.
    “The applicant wishes to use the property to accommodate more of these types of light industrial uses,” said Scott Allen, community development director for Blue Springs. “Moving to light industrial is not an inappropriate use for this area.”
    Ken Landes, another U.S. 40 property owner, spoke out against the change during the public hearing, but not because he was against the change. Landes owns properties in the center of Ward’s parcels.
    “I am in favor of his property being rezoned, but I am not in favor of my little doughnut hole in the middle being left alone,” he said. “I would simply like to see a larger area rezoned.”
    Planning Commissioner Lynn Banks expressed concern over rezoning such a small area and suggested that the commission wait for the entire group of businesses along U.S. 40 to join together to bring back the request. However, chairman Ken Billups Jr. disagreed.
    “I have a problem saying no to this zoning, and then having them come back just to say yes to a larger parcel,” he said. “I would rather see us approve this now, and then letting the other owners join together to get the rest (rezoned).”
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