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Your Opinion: Development plan exemplifies problems

Your Opinion: Development plan exemplifies problems

January 26th, 2012 by Kevin Thompson and Liz Lehmann, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Election day is coming up and as we consider the merits of the proposal to enact a new sales tax to Transform Jefferson City, it's worth reflecting on the job the city fathers are doing with respect to development generally. We don't think they're doing so good. There does not seem to be a master plan designed to enhance the welfare of all the residents of Jefferson City. Instead, we see piece-meal, hodge-podge development aimed at making a buck.

An example of the wrong sort of development is the Hayselton-East Circle project that the Planning and Zoning Commission has just given the go-ahead despite near universal opposition from the people who actually live there.

Developer Dick Otke wants to cash in on a land-locked tract on the Missouri River bluffs behind the St. Joseph's Home. The sticking point is that there's no easy way to get there. Rather than build an access road from West Main, Otke wants a variance to turn an existing driveway into an access road. This road would connect to Hayselton Drive at a dangerous hairpin curve. In addition to creating a safety hazard and increasing traffic in an area with high pedestrian use, the plan requires the seizure of portions of the property of two unwilling neighbors in order to have enough room for the new street. This property seizure will seriously compromise their privacy and the value and enjoyment of their property.

The members of the Planning and Zoning Commission don't have to live there or drive there and clearly didn't listen to the people that do.

Given this evidence that city government can't be trusted to direct development into channels that actually serve the public welfare, rather than the profit-seeking of the few, why should we give them extra sales tax money?

Who is going to make a bundle off of Transform Jefferson City? And who is going to get stiffed? Finally, all of you Jefferson City homeowners had better realize that the City Code is meaningless.

There is no protection for either your property values or your way of life in Jefferson City.

If it can happen to us, it can happen to you!