Kansas City Council votes to oppose a potential new landfill that's already causing concerns
Many of the cities and counties surrounding Kansas City have already passed legislation objecting to the construction of a new landfill on Route 150, citing threats to economic development, noise and odor pollution, and proximity to homes.
After mounting pressure from residents and neighboring municipalities, Kansas City Council has passed a resolution opposing the construction of a new landfill within city limits.
Thursday's vote was 11-2, with members Brandon Ellington and Lee Barnes voting against.
The measure puts a moratorium on the approval of any permits, zoning changes or reviews for any landfills or transfer stations, and directs City Manager Brian Platt to conduct an evaluation of Kansas City’s trash needs and provide alternate solutions. A report back to the council is required within six months.
Jackson County, Cass County, Raymore, Grandview, Lee’s Summit and Belton have all passed legislation in the last two months objecting to the still-theoretical landfill on Route 150, citing threats to economic development, noise and odor pollution, and proximity to homes.
KCUR reported last month that, despite the rumors, Kansas City officials said they had not heard anything official about a landfill proposal.
“The City is not part of any conversations regarding possible development of a landfill,” city press secretary Sherae Honeycutt told KCUR in late January. “The City has not been formally approached about the possibility of such a project. There is no submission to the city for a project of this kind.”
Behind the scenes, though, some moves have already been underway.
Colleen White, who has lived on Peterson Road for almost 30 years, told a Kansas City Council committee that she received a letter from a developer asking her to sell her house and sign a non-disclosure agreement.
“We have home repairs and projects to take care of, but we are not about to spend any funds on our home that could be taken away from us down the road,” White said on Wednesday.
In January, the potential developers, Aden and Jennifer Monheiser, went to Jefferson City with their lobbyist David Willis to discuss the landfill with state representatives, who told KCUR they believed an application was coming soon.
The landfill rumors even impacted home sales and development projects in Raymore.
On Feb. 9, afterspeaking withRaymore Mayor Kris Turnbow, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced legislation with Council members Andrea Bough and Kevin McManus intended to slow the landfill’s development.
At a Wednesday meeting of the council’s transportation, infrastructure and operations committee, before members voted to advance the measure, Jackson County Legislator Jalen Anderson said Kansas City had a chance to work collaboratively to protect residents.
“The amount of pollution that this would cause in this specific area, the amount of affected families, the amount of children that would be affected by a landfill in this area is something that I’m sure many of us are against,” Anderson said.
During Thursday's council meeting, Ellington said he believes the city is overstepping by blocking individuals and companies from applying for transfer stations and landfills around the city.
Barnes said he agrees with conducting a waste study, but wants to hold off on voicing opposition to a landfill until that report is complete.