Planning and Zoning to proceed with reconsideration of amphitheater request

DAN FIELD
Lake Sun Leader

The Osage Beach Planning & Zoning Commission will re-start the process of considering a controversial rezoning request that could bring an amphitheater to near Backwater Jack’s when it meets in regular session Tuesday.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the City Hall. 

The request was sent back for re-hearing by the P&Z Commission at a special meeting June 25 called to reconsider its June 9 decision to deny the request. 

Applicant Arapaho, LLC, is owned by the Gary Prewitt family, which also owns Backwater Jack’s. Arapaho’s request is to rezone 14 acres of land up the hill from Backwater Jack’s from C-1/C1b (Commercial Lodging) to C1 (General Commercial) with an E-3 overlay. 

The issue was sent back for re-hearing after city officials received letters from Arapaho, LLC, and Tom Hand, a local citizen and owner of TNT Solutions, LLC, asking the P&Z Commission to reconsider and rescind its original vote to deny based on two points:

•Poor acoustics and sound system in the Board Chambers that possibly prevented commissioners and others in attendance from hearing all of the dialogue.

•Possible conflict of interest by two of the P&Z Commissioners. One of the commissioners cited for possible conflict of interest has since resigned.

Letters

In his letter to city officials dated June 11, Hand suggested that Commissioners Don Sturn (who later resigned) and Alan Blair should recuse themselves for possible conflict of interest. Hand claimed that Sturn had “obvious bias” toward the applicant based on a decade-long grudge related to no-wake and commercial enterprise issues of the applicant. Hand said he believes Blair has a conflict because his family owns a business (Main Street Music Hall) that would be in competition to the amphitheater.

Hand threatened legal action on behalf of “disenfranchised taxpayers of Osage Beach for economic damage caused” if the sound system and recusal “deficiencies” were not corrected.

In a June 12 letter to city officials, Rachael Orr of Armstrong Teasdale Attorneys (representing Arapaho) also claimed potential conflict of interest on the part of Sturn and Blair for reasons similar to those offered by Hand.

For a complete text of materials that will be considered at the hearing, go tohttps://www.osagebeach-mo.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2464