Residents are looking for a new town in Kansas to protect the rural lifestyle

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EDGERTON, Kans. (AP) – Residents on the edge of a sprawling industrial park southwest of Kansas City hope that starting their own town will protect their rural lifestyles from further development.

Opposition to the huge intermodal logistics park facility in Kansas City has been brewing for months, but it boiled over after Edgerton City Council approved earlier this year to rededicate 700 acres to make way for more industrial real estate south of Interstate 35, the Kansas City Star, making reports.

That brings development closer to the rural homes that residents say they bought to be surrounded by fields and pastures – not warehouses and semi-trailers. They hope that the incorporation of their own city will give them a greater say in their fate.

“Our area is too beautiful, it’s too important to the environment, and it’s our right,” said Jennifer Williams, who leads the effort. “So we wanted to find out what we could do to seal this border so that decisions could be put back in the hands of the residents.”

Williams filed the petition on behalf of approximately 300 residents of Miami County to start the new city of Golden. If approved, Golden would be south of the Johnson County border, with a population of more than 770.

Incorporation of the new city requires a unanimous vote from the Miami County Board of Commissioners. About 200 people gathered for a four-hour hearing on Wednesday. Miami County Commissioner Rob Roberts was unable to provide a final timetable for further public discussion or decision.

Subdivision developer Jerot Pearson said the new city would allow residents to protect their property rights over the long term, saying citizens now have no control over development.

Paola’s attorney Darcy Domoney said he represents about 100 local residents who oppose Golden’s incorporation.

“They’re not necessarily for or against warehouses or commercial development. What they’re there for is individual property rights, ”Domoney said. “They want these property rights to be preserved as they are today. They don’t want another level of government to tell them what they can and can’t do on their property and property. “

Only five new cities have been added to Kansas since 1980, according to the Kansas League of Municipalities. The last one was in 2017 Highlands, just outside of Hutchinson. In recent years it has become more common for small towns like Freeport and Frederick to break up.