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Blue Springs City Council votes down proposed gated community

Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross
Posted at 10:43 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-15 23:43:38-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Leaders in Blue Springs voted down a huge housing development on Monday night.

Going into Monday's city council meeting, a two-thirds vote was required to re-zone a piece of land on South Litchford and East Wyatt Roads from agriculture to residential.

It didn't shake out that way despite the developer making his case.

For the last few months, the talk of Blue Springs was developer Steven Hooks' vision of putting in a gated community on the piece of land.

"The need? Lack of single-family residence available for purchase in Blue Springs," Hooks said during the meeting. "The solution is to build sustainable single-family housing community in high demand areas in Blue Springs."

The "Proverbs Estates Villas and Townhomes" plan called for 221 town-homes and 41 villas. The town-homes would start at $300,000; the villas at $3 million.

But almost from the beginning, neighbors didn't want it. Traffic was a chief concern.

"Adding traffic to our narrow under-maintained, underdeveloped and therefore dangerous roads," Mary Anne Wiley, a Blue Springs resident who opposed the development, said.

Jean Harris was another resident who also spoke against the proposal.

"They're not just not made for that. They are main country roads. They’re rural roads. The way we like them," Harris said.

Other than the developer's team, only one Blue Springs resident, David Mann, spoke in favor of it.

"It's a higher quality development, more compact, efficient, sustainable and these are the types of things that young professionals and the next generation of Blue Springs residents I think are looking for," Mann said.

In the end, the opposition won.

The council voted against the development 6-1. Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross was the sole person in favor of it.

"It's not that we're against development, we're 5, 10, 100 acres out there and so we're looking for something that fits around us," Jay Ryan, who opposed the development, said.

Hooks said he's moving on and for the time being won’t be looking at doing any future projects in Blue Springs.