Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 27 March 2007 17:22More than 20 persons left the Marion City Council meeting Monday after protesters succeeded in persuading the council to research alternatives to allowing semi-truck parking in the Jex Addition.
City Attorney Dan Baldwin recommended that any new location should be discussed for potential conflicts by planning and zoning.
The decision left some with questions.
Darryl Brewer, owner of seven acres traditionally designated for commercial/industrial usage in the Jex Addition in southwest Marion, said he wondered about the freedom he had to use his property.
Brewer was told by Jex residents that they had no conflict with him using the property for boat and recreational trailer storage. But they didn’t want 18-wheelers on their streets.
Baldwin told Brewer there would be no further discussion of the issue at the meeting.
“You come talk to me about it or have your attorney talk to me,” Baldwin said.
Kevin Steele, a truck driver, asked whether he was free to park his 18-wheeler at curbside until the issue is resolved.
Police Chief Michel Soyez assured him the Council could grant permission that he not be ticketed until truck parking is found.
Brewer said he had 11 truck drivers from Marion interested in renting lot space monthly because an eastside Marion business may limit parking on its lots.
Steele said he needed to have parking for the few days he is home monthly, and the parking must meet his company’s specifications.
Brewer bought the acreage from KC Development, an oil field business. Even though it officially is listed as residential land, records show it’s been commercial use for decades.
Chuck Bredemier, Jex resident, said he had a 17 signatures from residents protesting the truck use, and would have more had he taken additional time to gather them. He said his family has paid 61 years worth of taxes for development of minimal slurry streets and underlying utility lines, and he didn’t want to see heavy truck traffic ruin it all in a short time.
Charles Montgomery said 80,000-pound loaded trucks would destroy streets designed for no more than 15,000 pounds.
Bobbi Strait, a Jex resident who also is county planning and zoning director, said the property shouldn’t have been allowed commercial use if all publications designate it as residential.
Baldwin disagreed with her, saying use of the seven acres has always been commercial, even before KC Development. He said Rex Savage, former part-owner of KC, says the city designated it that way even if it isn’t printed that way.
Baldwin said there is a strong possibility that the property was grandfathered as commercial in the 1970s when Peggy Blackman was mayor.
Linda Meier and Terry Collingsworth expressed concerns for having quiet, safe streets in their neighborhood.
Strait said following recent births of two babies, visiting relatives parked on the streets. The added parking illustrated the problem of getting semi-trucks through without widening streets.
Other comments addressed included inadequate space for trucks to turn on the street and potential damage to utility lines under the street.
Councilman Stacey Collett said his biggest concerns boiled down to legalities of the Council to do anything about the issue.
Alternatives suggested for parking semi-trucks included land owned by Steve Jost next to Markley Service and development of a truck stop in the industrial park.
Steele said even he wouldn’t favor a truck stop “because of the riff raff it brings in. We wouldn’t want our children working there.”
City Administrator David Mayfield received approval from the Council to work with out-of-town promoters to put a statue of Charles Foust, 1911 player with the New York Giants who came from Marion, at the baseball complex.
Clerk Angela Lange received approval to place old city utility bills with the Kansas Set-Off Program so if state debt is owed to delinquent persons, it can be used to pay the City of Marion.
Dorothy Youk and Gary Ewert were reappointed to four-year terms on the Marion City Library Board.
The Council approved the February investment and collateral report.
They approved paying $73,271.86 in warrants and $25,978.94 in payroll.