Commission to consider rezoning residential area

By Corene Brisendine

City commissioners plan Tuesday to consider a developer’s request to rezone property at 1845 College Heights Road from a two-family and multiple-family residential district to a university overlay district in order to build a high-density apartment complex.

But the proposal will face a higher-than-usual hurdle because it has already been rejected by the Urban Area Planning Board. That rejection, which came on a 5-0 vote earlier this year, means commissioners must approve it by a “super-majority” 4-1 vote or better in order for it to take place.

Planning board members recommended denial based on concerns expressed by city staff members related to parking and drainage questions.

The proposal is also controversial within the neighborhood itself. Several residents wrote letters asking the planning board to reject the rezoning due to the large volume of tenants the complex would house. The residents claimed this would “be detrimental to the neighborhood properties,” as well as diminish public safety and welfare. They also cited concerns about inadequate parking, and the potential for storm drainage problems.

The developer’s proposal states that the 300-apartment complex would have 1.1 parking spaces per bedroom, a number it believes would be adequate and consistent with previous practice. It also asserts that due to the proximity to Kansas State University campus, vehicle traffic would be diminished. At the planning board meeting, Chris Elsey, representing the applicants, said the storm drainage and water capacity have also been addressed. He also said the characteristic of the neighborhood is to house multi-family tenants, and this project would align with that characteristic.

Other items on the Tuesday night agenda include Chamber of Commerce year-end reports and contract renewal applications for fireworks displays, cereal malt beverage licenses, tree maintenance licenses and merchant guard agency licenses. An executive session has also been scheduled at the end of the meeting. Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Commission Room in City Hall, 1101 Poyntz Ave.

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