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Public Hearing on OP Annexation Plan

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners holds a public hearing Tuesday about Overland Park's proposal to annex land south of its current border. If approved by the board, it would mark the city's largest expansion in its 47 year history. But opponents say it will be at the expense of the rural lifestyle. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Officials in Overland Park say the plan to annex approximately 15 square miles, or just over 9,500 acres, will help the county control future development and reduce property taxes. But Lynne Matile, chairwoman of a new group called the No to Annexation coalition, argues it will speed up development. Matile says the proposal calls for landowners and developers to pay a one-time fee, an excise tax of more than $9,000 an acre.

Lynne Matile: "If you come and look at our 15 square mile area, there's only 1700 people living in that area. And it's still a lot of rural and farm area. That won't happen if Overland Park requires that excise tax, it will become real high density housing."

In August, the Overland Park City Council approved the annexation plan, which requires a public hearing. County Commission Chair Annabeth Surbaugh says it's likely there will be more than one to allow all interested residents an opportunity to address the board. At the end of the hearing process, the board will either approve or deny the annexation during a future public business session. Laura Spencer, KCUR News.

The public hearing takes place Tuesday, October 30th at 7pm at Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kansas.

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