Concerned neighbors of the land proposed for a new MidwayUSA headquarters filled the commission chambers and spilled out into the hallway during the Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission’s meeting Thursday.
The commission opposed MidwayUSA owner Larry Potterfield’s request to rezone 192 acres at Route J and U.S. 40 from agricultural to planned industrial use after around 50 neighbors attended the meeting to oppose the continuation of the project.
Including the 23 neighbors who live within 1,000 feet of the proposed property, 260 people signed a petition against the development, Gary Frisch, who lives across the street from the property, said. About 150 signed a Change.org petition against the development.
Potterfield wants to expand the MidwayUSA headquarters to the Route J and U.S. 40 plot, according to previous Missourian reporting. The new plot is about 171 acres larger than the current headquarters property at 5875 W. Van Horn Tavern Road.
The plan proposes a 1 million-square-foot warehouse, which would be built in phases, principal engineer Tim Crockett said during the meeting. It also includes multiple parking lots, office space, distribution space and possible industrial use and would be built to employ up to 1,200 people.
Eight neighbors shared concerns about the potential for lower property values, safety and constant noise and light from the property.
Dennis Stephenson, who lives directly behind the property, said during the meeting that he fears the headquarters would threaten the way of life in the agricultural area. Many of the people who live around the property have lived there for most of their lives, he said.
“Everyone whose property touches the property requesting zoning has livestock,” he said. “Try to find that anywhere else in Boone County.”
Frisch fears the consequences on the value of his property and house, which he plans to sell in a few years. He said he had his house appraised and then was informed afterward that the appraisal would decline because of the development.
“My wife and I feel very strongly that you should not approve this,” Frisch told the commission.
No one spoke in support of the rezoning, but Thad Yonke, county senior planner, said the resource management office received an email of support before the meeting.
Potterfield can appeal the Planning and Zoning Commission's rejection to the Boone County Commission within three days. If he does so, the three-member county commission would consider the request during its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 in its chambers at the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center.
Crockett couldn’t confirm whether they will file an appeal.
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