The Planning & Zoning Commission met September 14th, approving site plans for a new Culver’s restaurant on the north side of I-70, approving an amendment to change parking regulations to aid in the City’s plans to sell three parcels of land within the Downtown Overlay District, and struck down a zoning regulation amendment which would have required conformity in the fences along major collector and arterial streets.
Following a public hearing and extended debate on the issue, the Commission voted down a proposed zoning regulation amendment which would have required six-foot privacy fencing on side and rear yards adjacent to designated collector and arterial streets in the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Commissioner Craig Shelton was the lone ‘yes’ vote on the proposal.
The second public hearing involved a recommendation to amend an ordinance to change the parking regulations in the Downtown Overlay District to allow an exception to an area south of Harris Street, allowing for parking between buildings and the street. The City currently owns three vacant parcels south of Harris Street and east of Main Street, and is looking at options to sell the parcels. The City requested the change in an effort to make the parcels more desirable for economic development in the area. Following the public hearing in which no resident voiced an opinion on the matter, the commission approved the change to the ordinance.
The commission also approved site plans for a Culver’s restaurant to be located in the Mercado Plaza, located on the west side of Buckner Tarsney Road between Woodbury Drive and Jefferson Street. The restaurant will be located north of the Starbucks Coffee site currently under construction.
Representatives for Culver’s reported to the commission that construction would begin in the fall, with an opening planned for late March or early April 2023.
The next meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission will be held October 12, 2022 at 6:30pm.
Front right view of the approved Culver's location, scheduled for a spring 2023 opening.
Image credit: City of Grain Valley
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The City of Grain Valley is looking for public support regarding three 2025-2026 Transportation Project Grant applications submitted by City Engineer Dick Tuttle. Public comments must be submitted to the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) by Friday, September 23, 2022.
According to Tuttle, the three grant applications cover work Eagles Parkway (Route AA) Road Improvements from Buckner Tarsney Road to Cross Creek Drive, a shared trail along SW Eagles Parkway from Buckner Tarsney Rd to Blue Branch and a shared trail on South Buckner Tarsney. Project types range from recreational trails, roadway capacity, and non-motorized facilities and/or Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure.
The project on Eagles Parkway is designed to provide a ten-foot wide paved shared trail on the south side of Eagles Parkway from Buckner Tarsney Road to Blue Branch Creek Trail. The project purpose is to improve pedestrian/bike trail traffic. The current pedestrian route to the schools is a sidewalk from the east - with no pedestrian access provided from the west. No bicycle access is provided with connection to existing shared trails to either the east or west. This proposed project will provide connectivity to existing trails, safe routes to schools and connectivity to existing major roads within the city.
The second project submitted includes expansion and improvements to SW Eagles Parkway from Buckner Tarsney Road to Cross Creek Drive. This project includes curb and gutter work where missing, sidewalks on the north side of the street, bicycle/pedestrian shared path on the south side of the street, Stormwater improvements, intersection improvements at Kirby Road/High School entrance and Cross Creek Drive.
The grant application explains, “The intersection improvements [will be designed to] include left hand turn lanes and a right-hand turn lane into the high school. With the growth of Grain Valley and the expansion of the Grain Valley High School has come increased traffic at the intersection causing long delays during the morning rush of students arriving, afternoon rush of students departing and evening school sporting events.”
The final project application calls for construction of approximately 3,630 feet of 10-foot-wide paved trail connecting Nelson Drive, Sni-A-Bar Blvd to the existing Blue Branch Trail along Buckner Tarsney Road. Currently, Buckner Tarsney Road is a two-lane road without curbs or sidewalks. This proposed trail will provide that safe pedestrian and bike access.
According to MARC, comments received will be provided to the committees and incorporated into the process of determining funding recommendations.
For more information on the three grant applications or to submit a public comment, visit https://gis2.marc2.org/suballocated/PublicCommentListing.html.
Public comments must be submitted by Friday, September 23. If you have any questions regarding the 2025-2026 Transportation Project Applications contact Public Information Officer, Tiffany Lor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grain Valley Police Department invites residents to their National Night Out Against Crime event in the field behind the Community Center, on Tuesday, September 20th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm.
During this free event, families can enjoy free food and drinks, K9 demonstrations, Bomb Squad demos, helicopter landing, and security raffle prizes.
The City of Grain Valley is requesting residents' support of three transportation project grant applications submitted through the ConnectedKC 2050 Regional Transportation Plan for the 2025-26 Transportation Project grant cycle. Public comments are now being accepted via the ConnectedKC 2050 website.
The three projects submitted by the City include:
* A 10 foot wide paved shared trail on the south side of Eagles Parkway from Buckner Tarsney Road to Blue Branch creek side trail. Pedestrian/bike trail improvements at Eagles Parkway Phase A. Total budget: $531,630'
* Expansion and improvements to SW Eagles Parkway (AKA Route AA) from Buckner Tarsney Road to Cross Creek Drive. Project includes curb & gutter where missing, sidewalks on the north side of the street, bicycle/pedestrian shared path on the south side of the street, Stormwater improvements, intersection improvements at Kirby Road/High School entrance and Cross Creek Drive. Intersection improvements include left hand turn lanes and a right-hand turn lane into Grain Valley High School. Total budget: $2,383,450
* Construct approximately 3,630 feet of 10 foot wide paved trail connecting Nelson Drive, Sni-A-Bar Blvd to the existing Blue Branch Trail along Buckner Tarsney Road. Total budget: $441,650
To learn more about the proposed projects and submit comments, visit: bit.ly/3Qf1Mup
The Board of Aldermen met for its regularly scheduled meeting on August 22nd, approving a resolution to enter into an agreement with Confluence Inc. to update the City's comprehensive master plan and develop a parks master plan.
Under Ordinances, the Board approved the first reading of an ordinance to approve the final plat of Eagle Ridge Estates and the first reading of an ordinance to renew the City's contract for water purchase with Tri-County Water Authority.
Following a number of residents expressing their concern during public comments for a proposed multi-family development east of NW Sni-A-Bar Parkway where NW Sni-A-Bar Blvd. dead ends to the east, the first reading of the ordinance to change the zoning to allow for the development of the Lofts at Creekside Landing was approved after a tie-breaking vote from Mayor Mike Todd.
The ordinance would change the zoning on approximately 7.53 acres from District R-3 PUD (multi-family residential district-planned unit development) to District R03P (multi-family residential district-planned overlay district). The proposed development will consist of four apartment buildings containing 24 units in each building; three four-plex buildings, and one duplex, with a total of 110 units on the property.
Alderman Skinner expressed his approval of the proposed project, citing the need for affordable housing for those who cannot afford single family housing at current market prices.
Alderman Arnold expressed concern over the project, citing the number of units planned and concerns for the impact on local schools.
Reached for comment following the meeting, Todd explained his reasoning behind the tie-breaking vote.
"I went back and forth on where I was at with this one. Had it not already been zoned R3 over a decade ago, I would have voted differently on it. The fact is when looking at the two plans I believe the apartment layout is better than the fourplexes that were part of the 2006 plan. With it being a parking lot and not a city street we won’t face the parking issues like we do in other parts of town where we have mostly duplexes and fourplexes. Parking on the street has been something we have struggled with in several of these locations," Todd said.
"Additionally, our vacancy numbers show that we are in need of this type of housing option. We don’t have a lot to offer residents who are not ready or who don’t want to spend northwards of 250 grand on a starter home. Unfortunately, at this time that is where the starter home market is at. We have young professionals, empty nesters, and newly married couples who are looking for this type of housing with the amenities that are going to be offered. With the already approved fourplexes you don’t have the amenities."
The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held September 26, 2022 at 7:00pm.
The Board of Aldermen met August 8th for a brief regularly scheduled meeting. Up first on the agenda, the Board approved a resolution to allow for roof repairs to the Public Works maintenance building. The Board also approved the establishment of a policy for public comment during meetings, including a 3-minute time limit, which can be extended for an additional 3-minutes through a motion by a board member.
The Board also approved the sale of Series 2022A General Obligation Bonds for the site development and construction of a new police facility approved by voters. Representatives from Baker Tilly, the City's financial advisor, and law firm Gilmore Bell, PC, who facilitated the sale, reported the sale went well, resulting in a 2.43% interest rate and sale to JP Morgan Securities.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held at City Hall on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 7:00pm.
by Jake Hipsher, Grain Valley News Intern and Valley News staff
Grain Valley’s Board of Aldermen met for a regularly scheduled meeting on July 25th in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
In its first item of business, the Board approved 5-1 the rescission of a vote taken during its last meeting on July 11th, which concerned a zoning change for The Lofts at Creekside Landing. Two members were absent on July 11th, and the vote on the motion was 3-1. City attorney Joe Lauber explained that the ordinance requires four votes to pass. In order to reconsider the ordinance, the Board would need to vote to rescind the ordinance so it could be placed on a future agenda.
Alderman Arnold mentioned counsel he had received from unnamed parties indicated the City Attorney’s recommendations are in error. Arnold requested an interpretation by a registered parliamentarian to ensure the Board is “doing the right thing by this particular motion”.
Lauber succinctly responded to Arnold’s comments, dismissing them as incorrect.
“Alderman Arnold is incorrect in that a motion to rescind can be a motion to repeal or annul an action taken altogether, so you can annul a vote. Alderman Arnold also mistakenly mixes apples and oranges because the rule that would say that an ordinance cannot be passed with less than four affirmative votes is a rule that is set by statute, not by rules of parliamentary procedure,” Lauber said.
“A motion to rescind is absolutely in order. It was previously notified. It was put on the agenda, and therefore a motion to rescind would require only a simple majority vote of the Board of Aldermen.”
Arnold continued to raise procedural questions, and Lauber suggested Arnold make a motion to have the Board consider consulting a parliamentarian on the matter. The motion was raised; no aldermen would offer a second, so the motion did not move forward. Mayor Mike Todd then asked for a vote to rescind the motion, and the motion passed 5-1, with Arnold as the ‘no’ vote.
The Board welcomed Nicholas W. Jeffries, a new officer to the Grain Valley Police Department, who took the oath of office during the meeting.
Under New Business, the board reviewed citizen participation guidelines. Mayor Mike Todd suggested the addition of a time limit for each citizen, as well as a more detailed sign in for each participant.
“It's really important from a clerical standpoint, because we don't always get the full names or addresses necessarily... Just so we have that record and make sure we get all that documented correctly,” Todd said.
On the time limit topic, Alderman Cleaver suggested a three-minute timeframe for each participant. With the board’s approval, the present city attorney recommended flexibility with that amount depending on the scenario.
“In my opinion we should have some sort of digital clock timer up front,” said Alderman Bass.
Mayor Todd agreed, expressing the need for a visual countdown for the benefit of everyone involved.
The board agreed with these revisions and went on to approve the two recommendations for citizen participation.
The Board approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the Grain Valley Municipal Code to include stop sign locations for recently completed subdivisions.
The second ordinance on the agenda brought up changes to Section 400.230 of the city’s Code of Ordinances. This section pertains to residential garages and accessory buildings.
The proposed ordinance would prohibit a wheeled trailer, portable storage container or roll-off trash container or similar container as an accessory building.
Several members raised issue with language regarding the styling of accessory buildings.
“It's just a little bit intrusive government control,” said Alderman Arnold.
“I think the language needs to be cleaned up. It's kind of all been lumped together, and I just think it's overreaching… We are just overreaching our boundaries,” Alderman Knox said.
“If someone builds a brick house, does the shed have to be brick too? If somebody goes to Home Depot and buys one of those nice Rubbermaid sheds, is that really an issue?” questioned Alderman Skinner.
By the end of the discussion, the board amended the ordinance to remove language regarding the styling of accessory buildings. The board then approved the first reading of the ordinance to not allow certain accessory buildings.
During Mayor comments, Todd mentioned an event hosted for Grain Valley’s business owners on August 2nd from 4:30 to 6:30pm at Iron Kettle Brewing. The event’s purpose is to create more connections between local businesses and the rest of the community.
The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for August 8th at 7:00pm, located in the Council Chambers of Grain Valley City Hall.
Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) has announced this year's Citizen of the Year honorees, selected by area mayors. Grain Valley Mayor Michael Todd has selected Robert (Bob) Headley as the 2022 Citizen of the Year.
Todd's nomination of Headley emphasized his impact on the City through his service as Alderman for eight terms:
"Robert (Bob) Headley selflessly served the City of Grain Valley in many volunteer capacities over his sixteen years as an elected official. His time as an Alderman for Ward 3 consisted of eight terms ending in April 2022. He was part of the board that steered and provided input that pushed the I-70 interchange project to completion, including securing funding for nearly $20 million in improvements. In 2022, before his final term expired, a $14 million bond issue for a new Police Station was approved, which was ultimately approved by voters. Bob believed in growth and preparing the city for future needs. Bob has been a big proponent of Parks and Recreation and has served as the Parks Board liaison for the Board of Aldermen for numerous years. Bob's presence and thoughtful decisions will forever be a part of Grain Valley's story."
The recipients will be recognized at the 27th Annual Toast to Our Towns Gala, presented by Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Company, on Saturday, September 24, 2022, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.
Area mayors chose these local philanthropists and volunteers because they lend their time, talents, and position to promote their communities. Although their areas of impact are varied, all of the Citizens of the Year honorees are united by a common goal, improving and enriching their local communities.
For more information about Toast to Our Towns Gala sponsorship opportunities, table reservations, tickets, or those being honored, please visit https://www.thcf.org/Toast-to-Our-Towns-Gala/2022-Sponsorship-Opportunities or call 816.836.8189.
Grain Valley’s Board of Aldermen met for a regularly scheduled meeting on July 11th in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
During the citizen participation portion of the meeting, resident Scott Shafer voiced his concern regarding a recent vote taken on the door buzzer and building access system installed at City Hall.
“I’m glad that the rest of the board approved keeping the buzzer on the door, but again I'm disappointed that one of my aldermen would vote no on it, especially a retired first responder that should know safety first. I hope in the future Alderman Arnold will keep staff safety in mind over the small-town feelings when he makes a vote,” Shafer said.
A public hearing regarding a zoning change for The Lofts at Creekside Landing was held to allow for the development of four apartment buildings containing 24 units in each building. The development is located east of NW Sni-A-Bar Parkway where NW Sni-A-Bar Blvd. dead ends to the east.
Alderman Dale Arnold voiced his doubts on the development, stating that there would be a “significant congestion issue.”
Bryan Roly, a representative from the multi-family housing development, claimed that he understood the doubts. Roly assured the board that there will be a final plan to be reviewed before moving forward.
“So these are definitely things that we've gone through, we've considered, as we've pulled this project together. So we think that we can come up with the best fit that can both work for the project, to make the project viable, and to address those concerns,” said Roly.
The next item in the public hearing dealt with the Zoning Regulations Amendment towards Chapter 400 of the city’s Code of Ordinances. The changes made would prohibit the use of certain accessory buildings and would change how automobiles could be parked in resident’s yards. The board was quick to discuss how these changes would be met with public resistance.
“It’s taking the government reaching a little too far,” said Alderman Dale Arnold.
The Board also approved a resolution authorizing the sale of nearly $14 million in general obligation bonds to allow for the new police station facility. Jack Ryan Feldman, a representative from Baker Tilly municipal advisors reviewed plans for the sale, and the resolution passed unanimously.
The next ordinance, B22-21, revisited the zoning change for The Lofts at Creekside Landing. With the concerns voiced earlier in the meeting, the board was hesitant to move forward with the ordinance.
“I would entertain a motion to table this bill with the caveat that it would go back to Planning and Zoning for further discussion,” Mayor Todd said.
With two members absent and a majority vote of four needed to pass an ordinance, the ordinance failed to pass.
The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for July 25th at 7:00pm, located in the Council Chambers of the Grain Valley City Hall.
by Jake Hipsher, Grain Valley News Intern
Grain Valley’s Board of Aldermen met for a regularly scheduled meeting on June 27th, with the presentation of the annual audit a part of a busy agenda.
The Board approved a series of 2022-2023 liquor license renewals, and approved a temporary catering liquor license for MO Country to operate a beer garden at the Grain Valley Fair. The beer garden will be located under the pavilion area behind the Grain Valley Community Center.
“MO Country graciously volunteered to do that for us [host the beer garden]. We’ve had a really good working relationship with the current owners,” Mayor Mike Todd said.
Butch Beeman, Managing Partner of Troutt Beeman & Co., presented a review of the recently completed audit.
“I will tell you that from our perspective, it was a very clean audit, it went well,” said Beeman.
Under resolutions, the Board authorized the City Administrator to submit an application for an ARPA grant, with the respective funds going towards replacing the box culvert on Duncan Rd, just east of Rust Rd.
The Board also approved the City's Capital Improvements Plan. Richard Tuttle, the city engineer, presented the features included in the plan. It includes significant improvements to roadways, trails, and other various points of infrastructure. It also detailed the addition of new vehicles, machinery, and equipment towards Grain Valley Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and the police department.
Reached for comment regarding the Capital Improvements Plan following the meeting, Todd said he was excited to review the completed plan.
"A lot of the projects on there are ones that I talked about before the election and they really resonated with our residents. Especially sidewalks and trails along Eagles Parkway and Buckner Tarsney and of course the Duncan Road/Buckner Tarsney intersection as well. All of these projects dramatically improve quality of life and safety of our residents and in some instances make it a lot easier for them to even get into town. Such a thing as the crosswalk improvements on Ryan Road leading to South Middle School/Stoney Point might not seem as big as some of the others, but that is still a much needed improvement. I’m extremely proud of city staff for moving forward with the plans for all of these needed items."
The Board also approved a resolution to enter into a 48 month lease agreement with GFI Digital for all printing and copying needs.
“Over the next five years, it should actually save $18,000. We’ve been testing it out for the past three weeks to a month probably, to make sure that it did everything we needed it to. The results have been good with that, so we’d like to move forward with that agreement at this time,” City Administrator Ken Murphy said.
Additional resolutions approved addressed the replacement of fencing at three of Grain Valley’s water stations, located at Sni A Bar Pkwy, Royer Ln, and Cross Creek Dr. , and a resolution authorizing an agreement with McCown Gordon Construction to complete the new design and construction of the future police facility.
“We ended up interviewing three firms. After going through their RFQ submittals, the interview, and the cost side of it, we made the decision to go with McCown Gordon for that project,” said Murphy.
During staff reports, Tuttle went on to highlight the Public Works event that took place on June 23rd.
“I want to thank everybody for coming out and the sponsors. The weather was great, we had approximately 160 people come to the event. Papa Murphys [of Grain Valley] provided 56 pizzas to feed the folks who showed up,” said Tuttle.
Todd gave more praise to the event by saying, “It was a nice turnout, everyone enjoyed the evening. The kids loved honking the horns on the equipment. I think I heard horns in my sleep for two nights afterwards.”
Todd also discussed recent meetings with local developers to determine what Grain Valley can do best to contribute to the growth of the community.
“The developer who does a lot of work in other cities did say that ‘Grain Valley was the easiest city to work with,’” Todd said.
The next Board of Alderman meeting is scheduled for July 11th at 7:00pm, located in the Council Chambers of the Grain Valley City Hall.