Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

Council to review funeral home zoning Monday

August 17, 2006

Jason Gorup is convinced that Basehor is where he wants to open a new funeral home.

But he hasn't exactly been welcomed with open arms, at least not yet.

Gorup remains hopeful that will change.

Gorup would like to build a funeral home in the 1600 block of North 155th Street, between Parallel Road and U.S. Highway 24-40.

Earlier this month, Basehor Planning Commission members turned down Gorup's request for a zoning change that would allow the 6,500-square-foot funeral home and crematorium.

On Monday, Gorup will appeal to the city council.

"If that doesn't work, we do have other property that is available to us that we probably would build on," he said.

Although he didn't identify the tract, he said the land is in the city limits of Basehor.

It appears Gorup isn't alone in viewing Basehor as a prime spot for a funeral home.

Last week, longtime Tonganoxie funeral home owner Calvin Quisenberry and his wife, Susan, purchased the Roy Hill home and a seven-acre tract on the north side of U.S. Highway 24-40, just east of 178th Street.

They say that within a year they hope to have a satellite of their Tonganoxie funeral home at that site, which is about three miles west of 155th Street.

Gorup said he believes Basehor can support two funeral homes. And he said he's heard others are looking in the area.

"I'm not trying to put him out of business, by any stretch," Gorup said of Quisenberry. "There was no funeral home in Basehor, and I saw an opportunity."

Gorup said he's had a funeral director's license for about 15 months. He worked as an assistant director for about three years. He and his father-in-law have an online casket company -- gorupandruskproducts.com -- and Gorup currently is working as an emergency room technician at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

"I've always wanted to have my own funeral home," Gorup said.

Because his wife is from the area and Gorup himself has relatives in the area -- and because the area's population growth is booming -- Basehor was a natural choice, he said.

"I love the area," he said. "My wife and I just bought a house there. We had planned to move to Basehor anyway. We like Leavenworth County."

And Gorup said Quisenberry's plan for a satellite funeral home doesn't change his plans

"They're a great firm," he said. "He's very respected in the area. I've heard great things about him and his family. The way I feel about it is: Somebody's going to put a funeral home in Basehor, just based on the way the community is growing. ... I don't want a corporation to put a funeral home in Basehor, and I know he doesn't want a corporation to put a funeral home in Basehor."

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