Lee's Summit business man raises safety concerns about nearby planned development

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Lee's Summit business owner, Scot Blankenship of All About Trees, voiced his concerns about a planned development near I-470 and Highway 50 near Pryor Road. 

Blankenship is concerned about safety because the land sits on a mine. He's worried that eliminating the mine will put some nearby homes and roads at risk.

Bill Brown is with The Family Ranch, LLC, and development team. Brown said their plan is to develop 400 acres along I-470 from View High Drive to Pryor Road with a sports complex, hotels, office space and restaurants.

Right now, 70 acres near Pryor Road cannot be developed because it sits on a mine.

The Family Ranch is planning to reclaim the mine and have received approval from the Missouri Public Safety Commission and demolition experts to blast-away pillars. The surface will fall, creating a level surface clearing the way for construction on the land.

The  blasting will take place on vacant land, but is near several homes and a road. That's why Blankenship said he's concerned.

"There are school buses that drive up and down there every day, so what happens if they take out the wrong pillar and that road collapses while a school bus is driving down the road? We don't feel the city is addressing this," Blankenship said.

However, Lee's Summit City Manager, Steven Arbo, said safety is a huge priority.  He explained that there will be large buffer areas around homes and businesses and roads to protect them.

"The Missouri Public Safety Commission and demolition experts have all signed off on the safety of the project and they wouldn't do that if it wasn't safe," Arbo said.

There have been two public hearings explaining the project and safety plans.

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