May 25, 2019

Mallory Herrmann

The retail village at the Paragon Star sports complex and mixed-use development has been recommended for approval by the planning commission.

The preliminary development plan for the 36-acre project near View High Drive and Interstate 470 will now go to the city council for consideration. But as the lengthy discussion at the planning commission illustrated, there are many steps still to go before construction of the project could begin.

Though the planning commission made their recommendation with a unanimous vote, big hurdles like approval from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Army Corps of Engineers are still required to ensure developing the flood plain won’t cause damage to the surrounding areas.

One complication of the project is that part of the development plan includes property in Kansas City, meaning the developer is juggling approval processes with both cities. While Lee’s Summit city staff said they’ve been coordinating with Kansas City for the duration of the project, the development structure agreement for which received approval from Lee’s Summit in 2014, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

Several Kansas City residents spoke during the public comments portion to voice their concerns about the potential for flooding, light and noise pollution, and increased traffic – particularly on View High Drive and Bannister Road, which were not fully included in the scope of the traffic study performed by the developer.

As Michael Park, city traffic engineer for Lee’s Summit, explained, the scope of the traffic study was approved by both Lee’s Summit and Kansas City. Once the study was complete, all interested parties reviewed and verified the findings. But now Kansas City is looking for an update.

The residents, who also pay taxes in Lee’s Summit and are within the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District boundaries, are worried their voices aren’t being heard.

“We feel it’s been handled carelessly,” said Will Dyson, president of the Silvertooth Fahey Farms homeowners association, which represents a neighborhood located near Noland Road and 94th Street.

The commissioners were careful to reiterate that the plan they were considering at the May 23 session was strictly regarding the plan for the structures themselves: the architecture, aesthetics, layout. Approval of the plan from city council would still be subject to getting the necessary permits and approvals from FEMA, Kansas City and other stakeholders.