Council approves rezoning for apartment complex
Though about 15 residents attended to stage a silent protest, the Bonner Springs City Council unanimously approved a rezoning to make way for an apartment complex at its Monday meeting.
With two property owners of record filing valid protests with the city, the ordinance for the rezoning and change to the comprehensive plan for The Village at Deerfield complex required at least seven “yes” votes to pass, and anyone in opposition needed to identify what factors the rezoning didn’t meet when voting no. But all eight council members and the mayor voted in support of the new development, which is planned as a 232-unit, gated apartment complex.
Council member Jeff Harrington assured residents present that the comments they made at the planning commission meeting were reviewed by the council members.
“It’s been quite a topic for this whole neighborhood, and I appreciate all the concern the whole community has had,” he said. “I want to compliment them on how that has been done… The whole community has been most appropriate in manner in which they participated in this process.”
There wasn’t enough room in the council chambers when came before the planning commission Jan. 24 in a public hearing. While the council’s consideration of the matter did not include a public hearing Monday, some residents still attended the meeting, showing their opposition with large “no rezoning” buttons.
The apartments are proposed by Bonner Springs developer Guy Tiner at Kansas Avenue and 132nd Street. The northern portion of L-shaped development — which on the east would wrap around the commercial development containing Nuts and Bolts True Value hardware store — is already zoned for multi-family development. But about six acres on the south side needed to be rezoned from single-family residential to multi-family.
At the planning commission meeting, residents said the proposed project was not a good fit for their neighborhood and would cause property values to drop and traffic safety issues. The planning commission added a traffic study as a condition of approval for the developer.
Daniel Foster of Schlagel and Associates answered some questions from the council, including concerns about Section 8 housing being allowed in the complex. Foster said Tiner did not want to have it in the complex and added that Tiner had just one Section 8 tennant in his existing complex in Bonner.
Foster also told the council that the complex would be constructed one building at a time, and it would be completed in a maximum of five years.
Council member Racheal Haas expressed concern that an apartment development of lesser quality could locate on the land if this development did not move forward.
Now that the council has approved the rezoning, the development must obtain approval of a preliminary plat, a final plat and a site plan before construction can begin. The final plat is the only one of those items that would be approved by both the planning commission and city council.
In other business, the council also discussed directing the mayor to write a letter of support for the city to join in on applying for a grant for Operation Green Light to coordinate traffic signals along Kansas Highway 7. The item was the topic of a workshop prior to the regular meeting.
Beginning in 2015, participation in the project would cost the city $1,055 more than its current costs for the traffic signal operations, but the signals would be monitored by Operation Green Light, saving city staff some time.