Steve otto, Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner
Most of the landowners near by are farmers. There are a few businesses in the area. It’s not hard to see why landowners would oppose this. Besides the ugliness of piles of trash near by, there are also concerns about drainage, pollution, reduced groundwater contamination and property values. One of the main concerns is groundwater contamination. Board members of the Greenwood Cemetery District have opposed the zoning request. They are afraid the noise from the plant will interfere with those who visit the cemetery.
Because of the opposition, four out of five commissioners must vote in support of the landfill for it to be approved.
The Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Commission recently approved the plan, and planning staff has recommended approval. In the past the city has rarely cared what citizens want when the Planning Commission gives an approval. Such an approval was granted by the county a few years ago for a sand digging operation north of Maize, even though local property owners came out in droves to oppose it. Those property owners were ignored and the planners have gone ahead. Rarely has the Planning Commission ever been turned down. They are backed by local developers so the city and county listen to them. The city often does what it wants and ignores common people’s feelings or opinions on many of its plans.
Since this is the first time they have 100 percent opposition, they may actually have to listen to the people for a change and not just rubber stamp what developers want.