Rural residents voice opposition to city
City officials won't have a say in the rural development around the Baldwin City limits any time soon.
Monday night the Baldwin City Council tabled all discussion indefinitely regarding the expansion of the city's territorial zoning to a three-mile radius around Baldwin.
City Administrator Larry Paine said the idea behind expanding the territorial zoning was so the city would have some say in the building of commercial developments and large-scale residential, or subdivision, building.
"These subdivisions and commercial developments would have to fall under city direction," Paine said. "They would be using things like community water, community sewer. The city would want to have some say in that."
But not everyone agreed with the idea of expanding the territorial zoning. Around 25 landowners, all who own land under the proposed three-mile radius, were in attendance at the council meeting.
Steve Baldwin, who lives two miles west of Baldwin, said he was against the proposal.
"As a non-resident, I wouldn't have any political influence on the decision makers. I have no voting rights," Baldwin said. "I chose to live in rural Baldwin for a reason. I don't want to live under the umbrella of the city."
Glen Rockers said he didn't like the idea of rural residents having to buy building permits from the city.
"Farmers and other people will have to buy permits from the city to build ponds or build fences," Rockers said. "I can see it as a hassle."
As of now, he said the rural residents follow county building standards, which he thought was sufficient.
"I think the county has strong enough standards," he said. "So I don't see it as a problem."
Council member Ted Brecheisen said he agreed with the comments he had heard.
"Everyone here seems against this and I'm against this," Brecheisen said, "so let's just forget this thing and let these people go home."
Mayor Ken Hayes said the city just wanted to know what people thought about the proposal.
"I agree with Junior. I think we heard it pretty loud and clear," Hayes said. "But that's why we wanted to do this, to get some feedback."
In other business, the city council:
Approved 4-0 to charge Sprint an annual fee of $5 for each utility pole the phone company shares with the city.
Approved 4-0 the membership of Baldwin in the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency Mutual Aid program. Paine said this would allow the city the opportunity to be reimbursed for work and materials when it assists other cities with problems concerning their electric utilities.
Tabled a decision on changing the penalties for under age drinking and driving. The new ordinance discussed would change the loss of license time to 30 days suspension and 90 restriction and an imposed fine of $500. Currently any under-aged person who is caught driving with a blood alcohol level between .02 and .08 would have a drivers license suspension of one year and a smaller fine.
Accepted a $650 check from the Baldwin City Lions Club to be used for improvements to the playground on Third Street.
Heard a Maple Leaf Festival update from committee members Star Novak and Betsy Kaplan. Novak and Kaplan also thanked the city for all the help it has provided for the festival.