Despite vocal opposition from neighboring residents, a planned mixed-use development off of K-10 Highway in western Lenexa will move forward.
A crowd of about 40 people, many clad in red clothing, turned out for the two-and-a-half-hour meeting Monday night.
A handful of residents gave public comment to the commission, voicing unease and disdain with the proposed Canyon Ridge Apartment Homes, a planned development near the northwest corner of K-10 Highway and Canyon Creek Boulevard.
That site has been targeted by developers for years in a mostly undeveloped corner of western Lenexa.
The commission ultimately approved the proposal 8-0, with Commissioner Brenda Macke absent.
“The city is going to expand. It’s going to keep going to the west,” said Chris Poss, planning commission chair, on Monday. “That’s the reality.”
The project includes three components
The planned site is on a roughly 46-acre tract of undeveloped land that was annexed by the city in 1989.
Oddo Development is the developer and Klover Architects is the applicant on city documents. Both firms are based in Lenexa.
The plan includes:
- A multifamily residential development with 28 “mansion-style” buildings containing 346 units total. Most of the buildings are two and three-story structures. The complex will also have a clubhouse and a pool.
- A nursing home, contained in a three-story, 68,800 square-foot building with 80 residential units.
- A separate gas station and convenience store in a one-story, 6,100-square foot building.
The original project proposed for the site, Vistas at Canyon Creek, was higher in density and was ultimately rejected by the Lenexa City Council in 2018.
Neighbors are opposed to it
While developers said they held a meeting with neighbors before Monday’s planning commission meeting, residents still came with a number of issues.
In a Powerpoint slide presentation, Tracy Thomas, a resident at the neighboring Canyon Creek Point subdivision, listed the problems that he said he and others had with the project.
“What I would indicate to (the planning commission) is that I speak for all these residents here dressed in red that would also speak in strong opposition to what you heard about tonight,” he said.
Four other people addressed the commission expressing worries with the project’s effect on the environment and surrounding neighborhoods.
Their concerns included:
- The negative effect the project could have on wildlife and vegetation on the land.
- The potential increase in traffic accidents near the neighborhood on K-10 Highway.
- The potential increase in noise from the highway.
- Deviations in the project, including the square footage of the convenience store (from a maximum of 5,000 feet to 6,100 feet), the freeway setback (reducing it from 100 feet from the property line to 28 feet) and reducing the gas station pump queue space (from 50 feet to 25 feet).
The commission voted unanimously in support
After presentations from the city staff and neighbors, the commission came to the conclusion that changes coming to the area were inevitable.
“For a lot of your neighborhoods, there was opposition to your developments for a lot of the reasons that have been stated here tonight,” Poss said.
Poss said that as a lover of nature, he empathized with those in opposition. He said the reality is that the land is going to change regardless.
“When you look at western Lenexa, you think it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere and there’s nothing there,” he said. “That is not going to be the truth for many more years.”
Before casting his vote, Poss offered the only solution he saw to stopping projects like these.
“If you don’t want anything to be built on this piece of property — buy it,” he said. “A person who owns a piece of property has the right to develop a piece of property.”
What’s next for the project
The commission’s decision is not final.
The proposal will now be heard by the Lenexa City Council at its meeting on Feb. 20, where the council could give its final approval for the plan, reject it or send it back to the planning commission for more review.