This is a summary of the meeting.
All three commissioners were present.Virtual Nathan did not attend the meeting but there was a large crowd present. I correctly assumed they were there for the first agenda item:
P&Z case PZ21-0040-Legett-Pier 31 Rezone from R-1 to B-2.
It was proposed to rezone 18.3 acres for an RV park and a canteen. The surrounding properties are R-1. Larry’s On The Lake is also a restaurant in the area.
The first person to speak for approval of the change was Michael McGill. He stated they intended to build a Christian RV park. The project would include a natural swim pond next to the restaurant. He intended to use the area to host youth camps and give work to the homeless. He seemed a bit vague about what his specific plans were and was giving more of a general description of what his vision for the development of the property was.
The second person to speak for approval was Tom Hughes who I believe is the owner of Larry’s On The Lake. He stated he met with McGill in Kansas City (McGill is from KC). He feels that McGill is genuine and wants to be part of the project. His impression of the development plans is that it will be an RV park intended for use by youths and youth camps.
The third person to speak for approval was Darryl Leggett. He owns the property. He said that there is a lot of confusion among the surrounding communities concerning how they intend to develop it. He is trying to enhance the property value of the surrounding neighborhood. He owns additional property next to the proposed rezone site. Leggett stated he is keeping 3 acres along Tuscany Road to retain the residential look of the area. Camelot Estates is willing to let them join their sewer district.
McGill was asked some additional questions by the Commission about the property. He wasn’t definite about whether some RV coaches would be allowed to stay at the park year-round. He admitted that some RV coaches might stay year-round. He stressed that this would be a “high-end” RV park.
Approximately a dozen parties got up to speak against the rezoning. I’m not going to list what points each person made, but I will summarize the points they made in opposition to it since many of them touched on the same issues:
They had not been shown an actual site plan which details specifically what will be built on the property so there is a lot of confusion about what will be done to the property.
The roads to the residential areas are poorly maintained and narrow. There were concerns about what impact the additional RV traffic would have on the roads.
There was skepticism about why the project was a collaboration between Larry’s and a Christian youth camp. People asked why the two projects weren’t being presented as two separate proposals.
The current residential development is high-end homes and condominiums. There are no RV parks in the vicinity and at least one of the associations doesn’t even allow short term rentals. The homeowners were concerned that the development might have a negative impact on their property values.
Some of the homeowners were upset they had just heard about the rezoning request the night before. Kim Willey said that Camden County sends out mailings to everyone who lives within 1,000 feet of the property. They don’t post notices on the property. Commissioner Hasty said that this notification process is by statute.
There was concern that an RV camp would bring in a transient population that would increase congestion and have the potential to increase crime in the area.
Michael McGill returned to the microphone to address some of their concerns. He stated that God is working in his life. He sold his million dollar home in Kansas City. He started out living in a treehouse and has worked his way up. Now he is focusing on this project. He mentioned that he originally wanted an ice cream shop (Not sure where that was going). He seems to be a very religious person and frequently mentioned that his relationship with God was an important part of why he wants to develop this property.
As he was speaking, he was facing the homeowners and addressing them directly. This was not well-received. He asked why they weren’t at the P&Z Board meeting? Many of them responded out loud that they didn’t know about the meeting. It was an uncomfortable exchange and McGill started to smile and laugh. I don’t think he intended to laugh at them but it didn’t seem to help the mood at all. He apologized to the homeowners.
I’m going to try to explain this part a bit. McGill definitely seems like a man who has had a very personal experience with God and he talks about it quite a bit. Unfortunately, this isn’t very comforting for people who don’t know you and are concerned that your plans might significantly impact their own lives and futures. Hopefully, the applicants can come up with a site plan and road improvements that can satisfy the neighbors who currently aren’t willing to just assume everything will turn out okay.
One gentleman suggested the Commission table the matter until they can see plans for the development.
Tom Hughes (Larry’s On The Lake) said he has shown some members of the Trinity Association the plans for the pool at his restaurant.
Having heard the agenda discussed, it seems to me that there are two aspects to what is planned for the property. The intent appears to be that a small portion of the lot will be sold to the restaurant so they can build a swim-up bar attached to it. The remainder of the lot will be used to build the RV campsite. The two areas will not be connected to each other.
Commissioner Gohagan suggested the Commission table the agenda item for two months to give the applicants a chance to share their site plans with the neighboring homeowners and associations. Based on the residents’ complaints about the current condition of Pier 31 Road, he also stated Road and Bridge should look into improving the road surface. The motion to table the agenda item for two months passed unanimously.
The second agenda item was the COVID insurance policy update for Camden County’s medical plan. It was mentioned at a prior meeting that this would reduce the deductible for COVID-related medical treatment. The motion to approve it passed unanimously.
The third agenda item was for a Library Board appointment. I couldn’t hear who it was but she was appointed unanimously.
The fourth agenda item was for the Tax Statement Mailing Proposal. They haven’t received any bids for the mailing. Charles McElyea, Legal Advisor to the Commission, stated they can pick a vendor since they received no bids. This item was tabled so the requestors can talk to the vendor who did it last year and find out how much it will cost. Tabled unanimously.
The fifth agenda item was for the Temporary Private Driveway on Summit Drive. Since the road washed out, traffic has been diverted to a private road. The owners are concerned about liability for the detour. According to Mr. McElyea, Camden County can indemnify the owners in the event of an accident. McElyea will draft a document for the commissioners to review.
The sixth agenda item was for changes to the Uniform Land Code. There will be a meeting scheduled regarding these changes. Commissioner Hasty stated that most of the changes are going to relax restrictions in the existing code. There was a question regarding how people would be notified about the meeting. It was agreed that there would be a public advertisement and they would put it on the county website. The methods of advertising for the meeting passed unanimously.
The seventh agenda item was for tax abatements. After reviewing the abatements, they were approved unanimously.
The eighth agenda item was the DSSSF Grant. I believe this grant provides supplemental pay for Missouri sheriff departments to raise the minimum pay for deputies.
This did make me wonder how many of our CCSO deputies are currently benefiting from this funding. I assume that if the deputy salaries were raised, we could lose some of this money. I hope we can get to a point where all of our deputies make at least $42,500 annually. Maybe Sheriff Helms could address this with his sales tax proposal. Rather than giving an across-the-board raise, he could make sure that the minimum salaries for the newest deputies are raised. This would definitely help with recruiting and would ensure we can compete with other local departments for the best candidates.
This item passed unanimously.
The ninth agenda item was the Horseshoe Bend Road District Security Agreement. A representative from the Sheriff’s Department told the Commission that this agreement was the same as last year’s agreement. It passed unanimously.
The final item was for the Tax Assessor’s GIS Eagle contract. It sounded like this is the service that does the flyover images for the GIS system. This vendor does much more accurate imaging of the properties and provides greater detail and resolution. There were discussions about whether it should be paid using general revenue or “stimulus” money. Commissioner Williams said that the county should avoid using stimulus money for recurring annual expenses. The Tax Assessor presented the costs to the Commission for informational purposes and they will review it.
And that was that.