Owner seeks help selling Basehor service station property

The owner of an old service station building on 155th Street hopes to sell the property to a prospective business operator, but city zoning regulations are serving as an obstacle. Enlarge photo

April 14, 2011

An old downtown Basehor service station may come alive again before long — but first the property’s owner must clear some regulatory obstacles, with the help of the Basehor City Council.

Greg Douglas, who owns Douglas Brothers Construction of Kansas City, Mo., appeared at last week’s city council work session asking for help selling the property, a move he said was prompted by a divorce.

“I'm at your mercy to get me out of this,” Douglas said.

Douglas said he had owned the building at 2705 155th St. for more than 20 years, and it was formerly used as a gas station and auto repair shop. He has spoken with some potential buyers interested in operating a repair shop or perhaps a used-car lot on the property because of the car-repair equipment still left there.

But current city zoning regulations prevent such a business from being operated there, according to documents prepared by the city staff. The property is zoned as “CP-1,” a designation that allows only for businesses that will blend in with nearby residential areas and prohibits businesses that may cause loud noises or require storage of chemicals or construction equipment.

“I just feel my hands are tied,” Douglas said.

Douglas asked the city to re-zone the property to a “CP-2” designation, which would allow for more possibilities, including a repair shop or a used-car lot. But the Basehor Planning Commission unanimously voted against re-zoning the lot.

Planning commission chairman Ed Bush, speaking at the city council work session, said the commission opposed the re-zoning because it could allow other, unforeseen businesses to move into the space in the future, causing disruptions in nearby residential neighborhoods and a possible future downtown area.

“Having that property zoned at CP-2 at a later date could bring in other type of businesses on that property that we would not want in a downtown area,” Bush said.

Douglas said he had no interest in what kind of business would be operated on the property, as long as he could find a buyer.

“I just need to do something to sell it,” he said.

City council members at the work session said they agreed that re-zoning the property would be the wrong move, but they suggested an alternative option that might allow Douglas to sell the property and for a business to operate there: a special use permit, which could allow a repair shop or car lot on the property but prohibit other uses.

Member Jim Washington suggested that the council deny the re-zoning request and send a request for a special use permit to the planning commission. On the agenda for next week's full council meeting is an ordinance that would deny the re-zoning request.

Also at the work session, the council discussed a potential agreement with the Pepsi Beverage Company to provide beverages at the Field of Dreams athletics complex. Under the agreement, Pepsi would pay the city $2,500 per year and provide rebates on beverages served at the park.

The beverage agreement is also slated for a vote during next week's council meeting.

Originally published at: