Archive for Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Pinehurst moving forward

February 19, 2003

It's an argument that's been heard at several city meetings in the past and will be again in the future: whether to allow multi-family housing in Basehor.

It's importance to the city is such that even City Council candidates were asked their opinions on multi-family housing during the forum last week. (See related story, page 1A)

Basehor city officials have approved multi-family housing in the past at subdivisions such as Prairie Gardens, Falcon Lakes and Creek Ridge on 158th Street.

The one proposal they rejected -- Commercial Group of Topeka -- landed them in a lawsuit in Leavenworth County District Court.

The debate concerning multi-family housing continued Tuesday, Feb. 18 during the Basehor City Council meeting as city officials approved rezoning and preliminary plans for the Pinehurst development.

Pinehurst is a 95-acre commercial, retail and residential area south of Kansas Highway 24/40 across from the Basehor Town Square.

Resident opposition -- the majority of which comes from Cedar Lakes and Briarwood residents -- stems from plans to build a 248-unit apartment complex within Pinehurst.

Opponents said the apartment complex would have adverse affects on their property values and quality of life.

"Your going to have a transient population who's parents are not involved (with their children)," said Wanda Strange.

She also said apartment complexes breed crime such as violence, drug use and drug sales.

Another opponent, Fred Farris, a Lenexa police officer, gave City Council members crime statistics relating to Lenexa apartment complexes.

The statistics indicate a high volume of police calls at apartment complexes, he said.

"I'm not saying every person who moves into an apartment complex is trouble," Farris said.

"(But nearby residents) are going to see the end result as they grow older," he added.

Another resident, Pat Veltman of Briarwood, threatened possible legal action if the development received City Council approval.

"(Your decision) will determine whether we move this to another venue," he said. "I hope you make the right decision."

But despite the opponents' arguments, City Council members approved, 4-1, rezoning of Pinehurst from rural residential to commercial and planned residential.

The City Council also approved, 4-1, the preliminary development plan of Pinehurst.

The lone opponent on both issues was City Council member Chris Garcia, citing that the development is not in total compliance with the city's comprehensive plan or future development plan.

"This plat is not in strict conformance with the comprehensive plan," Garcia said.

"We should look at the high density and see if there can't be some changes made," he added.

Before construction can begin at Pinehurst, a final development plan must be approved by the City Council. There is no timetable for the final plans, city officials said.

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