Lee’s Summit and Raymore are working on plans to stay good neighbors as they look toward the future. The cities are working on a memorandum of understanding about what kind of annexation might make sense for unincorporated areas of Cass County lying between their borders.
Lee’s Summit, which is primarily in Jackson County, extends into a portion of north Cass County. Raymore, which is in Cass County, extends to the Jackson County line just west of Lee’s Summit. Between the two cities, land is unincorporated.
While there is no timeline or specific plans yet for annexation, the City of Raymore City Council asked staff members to initiate the project.
Raymore is looking at the possibility of annexing an area along Missouri Highway 58 extending from current city limits east to Missouri Highway 291. Assistant City Manager Mike Ekey says the area is a major entry point for the city.
“Our goal is to be able to have a little more control, but also be able to partner with Missouri Department of Transportation on future projects when it comes to improvements,” Ekey said.
One of the possible future improvements would be to expand the two–lane road to a four-lane road along a stretch of highway near the Raymore-Peculiar School District’s East Middle School. The school sits on unincorporated land, but Raymore bought and paid for the sewer line serving the school. The situation is one reason Raymore is seriously looking at the possibility of annexation.
“We would want to avoid another city coming in and annexing over that sewer line,” Ekey said.
While small subdivisions have expanded Raymore city limits in recent years, the last time Raymore took a non-voluntary annexation to the voters was in 2006. At that time voters rejected a proposal which would have annexed a much larger swath of land.
Ekey says Raymore aims to be more narrow in focus in terms of annexation. The city is studying an area south of 179th Street, north to 155th Street and east to Missouri Highway 291. Ekey says residents in that area still have a lot of questions, but seem positive about a potential annexation.
“They still have concerns about how this would affect their homes, being a part of the city, or they didn’t understand the annexation process, but county zoning laws are not that much different than the cities,” Ekey said.
Agricultural land would most likely be grandfathered in, allowing those with land there to keep operating under current conditions.
Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird, says the discussion is still in its preliminary phases. City staff is analyzing the request from Raymore and working with that city’s staff on what kind of an agreement makes sense for Lee’s Summit.
“This matter is under discussion internally with our departmental leaders who would ultimately be responsible for extending municipal services,” Baird said.
Lee’s Summit City Council will not make any final decisions on the issue until staff has finished analyzing what makes best sense for future planning.