The controversial Van Trust project in Independence's Little Blue Valley is not dead, but it's not moving forward, either.
The city's planning development schedule, sent via email Friday afternoon to members of the City Council, Planning Commission and various members of city administration, shows the rezoning for a business park/planned unit development at the corner of R.D. Mize Road and Little Blue Parkway to be on hold.
Van Trust Real Estate had been scheduled to present a revised industrial development plan at the Jan. 14 Planning Commission meeting.
“At this point we do not have a date for its return,” Jordan Ellena from the Planning & Development Department said in a message to city officials about the on-hold development.
Representatives from Van Trust hosted a crowded public forum Wednesday and for the third time heard plenty of concerns from area residents. As before, citizen concerns ranged from traffic congestion and safety, noise and air and light pollution and setting an undesired precedent for the area.
In October, the Planning Commission voted down Van Trust's rezoning proposal for two speculative warehouse and distribution buildings across 36 acres between Jackson and Little Blue. The land west of Jackson, where a third building would be built, is already zoned industrial and would not go before the commission. Last month, the council voted to send a revised Van Trust plan back to the Planning Commission.
In the revised project, Van Trust shrunk the size of the square footage of the three buildings from more than 961,000 square feet to 782,500 and dropped the number of the docks for tractor trailers from 242 to 128, moving all the docks to single sides of a building. That design allowed for more buffer and landscape areas and improved drainage through stormwater retention.