October 20, 2014

Waverly Pointe residents voice opposition to proposed apartments

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com

Not in my backyard, residents of Waverly Pointe subdivision told the Gardner City Council Monday night.

More than 50 residents packed council chambers during an Oct. 4 meeting to voice their opposition to a proposal to build up to 48 apartments in the subdivision. Apartment residents could not exceed certain income requirements in order to rent there.

Kris Henry, a Waverly Pointe resident, told council members the proposal needs to be stopped right now.

“Call it what it is,” Henry said. “It’s going to be people with income of $25,000 paying rents of $500. Crime will go up. Drugs will go up in this community.”

In early September, council members agreed to issue a letter of support for the developer to obtain tax credits on the low-income apartment complex. Overland Property Group submitted an application to the Kansas Department of Housing in August for tax credits to build up to 48 units in three apartment buildings in Gardner’s Waverly Pointe subdivision in August.

Council’s resolution of support does not guarantee that revisions to Waverly Pointe’s preliminary development, which includes a Home Owners Association requiring that subdivision owners occupy their property, would be approved by the council or by the planning commission.
Overland Property Group only has an option on property in Waverly Pointe.

If they fail to win the tax credits from the state, the development group could re-apply for tax credits a second time next year or let the options to buy from the subdivision’s initial developer expire.

Brian McGee lives in Waverly Pointe and teaches at Gardner Edgerton High School where he coaches track. He said the high school recently joined the Eastern Kansas League – one of the premier athletic leagues in the state.

He said the proposed apartments’ proximity to the high school will create a stereotype of Gardner in the minds of the school’s athletic opponents.

“When those team buses come into Gardner, they will be saying, those are the projects of Gardner,” McGee said. “That will be the stereotype we will have to deal with.”

Diane Keller, also of Waverly Pointe, said the effects of the apartments on the school district would be damaging.

“I was raised in Kansas City, Kansas, in the projects,” Keller told the council. “I have gone to those high schools. I went to Schlagle (High School). I wouldn’t want to raise my kids there. I don’t want to see the drugs come back. I don’t want to see the gangs.”

Brett Johnson, a representative from Overland Property Group, told the concerned residents, that their new apartment neighbors would be upperwardly mobile.

“These are people that in most cases are on their way up,” Johnson told the council. “…Not in my backyard is not a valid excuse.”

He said many of the future residents likely already live in Gardner. He said there is a need for affordable housing in Gardner for hairdressers, teachers and police.

“We’re not bringing people in from somewhere else,” he said.

Dale White and his wife Charlene said they wouldn’t have purchased a house in Waverly Pointe had they known the apartments would be built next door.

He said they purchased a home in Gardner to put down roots – which he feared apartment dwellers would not do. He worried that renters won’t care for their properties.

“I have yet to see an apartment complex get better over time,” he told the council. “…If things like this go through, I can’t say that we’ll stay here.”

Following the public comment session, concerned residents continued to meet and discuss the proposed apartment complex outside council chambers with the current and potential developers.

Council did not take action on the issue. If Overland Property Group is successful in its bid for tax credits from the state, the developers will have to revise existing plat plans and seek approval from the Gardner Planning Commission and the city council.

Comments

  1. This upsets me, it reads to me by the comments posted in the article that only individualsl who are hit with a loss of jobs or illness or those in Johnson County who use to be middle class and recently with the economy are struggling on if you make only $25,000.00 a year you are less important or involved in drugs… remember some are with only one parent and are raised on only one income. I too am from KCK and it depends on the values you are raised with…. look around a pretty car, a beautiful house does not mean they are not doing illegal things… I am very upset with these comments. In regards to the looks it will display to those coming to the High School… look at what is going on in the parking lots at the schools we need to work on assisting with their needs even the ones not in athletics help our children not judge their homes… We have 97 students homeless. So it is better to let them be homeless than provide them with an opportunity to afford a home in Gardner as they deserve to live here just as much as we do. Stay on top of the landlord for upkeep as all homes should be. Remember what is on the outside is not what is always on the inside. I hope some of our students who live in homes that may not be glamorous do not read these comments and think we as a community are stereo typing them and they need not be ashamed. I had a family who needed help and was unable to attend the meeting, boy it would have been good to speak on behave of those who are being judged. Sorry for any typo’s grammar errors etc ….

  2. I miss the mid 90″s Gardner. Before all these stuck on them selves subdivision dwellers came and ruined the town. They are so stuck on themselves that they teach their kids these same ways. That is when they see their kids. They are usually to busy to see that their kids are out breaking just as many driving, drinking, and drug laws in the cars that they bought them. How many times have we either been hit or cut off by some teenager driving a car that their mommy and daddy bought them? I am a former Maintenance Tech for low income properties, and I know first hand that there are no more crimes in this housing than the precious subdivisions. And for a teacher of GEHS who came to Gardner with the rest of these *sses to be discriminating against the low income students is complete BS and should be terminated. What was Gardner before the mid 90’s. it was mostly low income AS IN: Conestoga, Woodstone, Pinewood, few other trailer parks downtown, Where was this Waverly Pointe then? Right – as in many other subdivisions located in Gardner now WAS NOTHING BUT FARMLAND. So to the people of waverly pointe and the other subdivisions get your heads outta your *sses because your sh*t stinks too.

  3. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    @G Allen: Your comment was very well stated and I certainly appreciate what you have to say.

    One of the first complaints made to the Council Monday night concerned the perceived lack of notification to Gardner citizens of the Council’s scheduled consideration of a resolution supporting the application for tax credits for the construction of multi-family housing at Waverly Pointe. The City Council agenda was published on the City’s website http://www.gardnerkansas.gov/council_agenda_minutes/ on September 2nd or 3rd. The Gardner News also published an article online the morning of the meeting on September 7, 2010.

    I would encourage all concerned citizens to register online to receive automatic email notices from the City regarding pending meetings, road construction updates and other community events. Sign up at the bottom of the left-hand menu at http://www.gardnerkansas.gov/.

    My wife and I attended the Oct. 4 Council meeting and afterwards left City Hall shaking our heads in disbelief at we heard. You are correct, G Allen – Gardner is a much better community than what I saw represented by the folks from the Waverly Pointe Homeowners Association who spoke during the meeting. I felt like I was witnessing a bizarre high school pep rally, with the speakers’ comments seemingly addressed more to each other than to the members of the Governing Body. After each speaker, the crowd broke out in wild applause and cheering. I even glanced back into the City Hall lobby expecting to see cheerleaders, flag girls and a band playing the NIMBY Fight Song come marching into Council Chambers.

    Many speakers referenced how they overcame humble beginnings, grew up in lower-income environments, survived attending older schools, and were progressively able to work their way up until they could afford desirable well-built housing, such as Gardner offers. They then incongruently turned around and stated with, in my opinion, a sense of hypocrisy tinged with bigotry, that they did not want people with backgrounds like their own to become neighbors.

    Astonishingly to me, some of these speakers proudly announced they were faculty members of our school district. I would certainly hope (and seriously doubt) that USD231 supports the type of discriminatory thinking these folks espoused.

    As I understand it, the proposed multi-family housing would consist of 3 two-story buildings, each with 16 apartments, which would provide rental homes for 48 families with incomes restricted to 60% of the local average. These proposed buildings would be constructed of the same high quality materials and with similar appearance as the existing homes at Waverly Pointe, which currently consists of 43 single-family houses and 5 two-story townhome buildings containing 26 residential units.

    For the current residents to claim that the new apartments will represent, with absolutely no uncertainty, a “project” inhabited by “undesirables” who will conduct illicit drug dealing, import gang warfare, allow unsupervised children to run amok in the streets and cause trash to be strewn about the neighborhood is just an outrageous stretch, in my opinion. I foresee no hoard of unemployed, homeless, heroin-addicted indigents being bussed into Waverly Pointe from heaven knows where.

    I contend the proposed housing will be occupied largely by upwardly-mobile families, many of whom already reside in Gardner, work here, attend our churches, have children flourishing in our schools and who contribute positively to our community, just like the folks in any other neighborhood. Moreover, just like many who were complaining Monday night, some of them could eventually become the new family moving into the house right next door to any of us.

  4. Gardnerite says:

    I’m pretty sure that the people of Waverly Pointe are just upset because what sold them on building a house in Waverly was the Plat Plan….on that Plat they had more townhomes that were going to be “purchased” not rented and seperate entrances. Now who knows what’s going to be there….
    I’m sure they are upset because when the county does their next appraisal they will lose 20-30 thousand…because of the apartments.
    There will be not be enough parking so cars will be lining streets … even worse than they already are…..
    I think it was just poor planning on the builders part to begin with……
    Even though our sh@$ stinks, it still isn’t right to change the plans without the approval of those who live in the subdivision and pay HOA’s to keep it looking nice.
    No need to correct my misspelled words and typos…..

  5. Waverly Pointe had a master plan that was sold to the home buyer along with the house. Nothing arrogant or high and mighty but a nice community feel. That is now a lie, and they are most likely not mentioning this apartment plan to prospective home buyers.

    What does low income apartments do for Gardner? There is very little tax base that grows but the schools have to account for the kids. The roads and other infrastructure has to improve as well. Very little in taxes come out of such a complex. If Gardner changed it’s mind on the Intermodal for tax reasons, then why approve this?

    Where do most of the crimes happen now in Gardner? I’m guessing of a couple of places, like the trailer courts and the apartments to the north of Price Chopper and the few west of New Century. Am I wrong?

    Where is the map of this apartment complex that shows where the streets and entrances will lay?

    WHO VOTED FOR THIS? I will vote against any council member and the Mayor if they were for it.

  6. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Gardner City Council Special Meeting October 9, 2010

    The Gardner City Council will hold a Special Meeting on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 9:30 am to discuss Community Vision. This Special Meeting will take place at:

    KU Edwards Campus
    12600 Quivira Road
    Overland Park, KS 66213
    Regnier Hall, Room 152

  7. What’s so special about Waverly Pointe? Just another beige, Johnson County subdivision. They go up by the dozens in this county.

  8. GardnerPride says:

    You’re right Wendy, it is a fairly typical JoCo subdivision. That might not make it special to you, but what about the home owners in Waverly Pointe? I’m certain their home is very special to them. They are only trying to protect their investment.

  9. Based on their comments, they’re trying to “protect their investment” against someone like me. I work every day. No handouts. But my income is what they are so afraid of. Now I know what they think about me and my family.

  10. Wendy,

    If the apts are their own entity with their own entrances & exits then all may be well. You may be a great, hardworking, honest individual. Not everyone that will live in such a complex will be. Facts are hard to argue when you look at where crime and issues arise, and low income housing is where it happens the most. I doubt that you can’t see that.

    Yes we are wanting to protect our investments against a drop in value that could occur and the crime that could arise from it. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. I bet you want to protect what you have as well.

    Like I said above, this was not the plan that we bought into and the builder is not being open and honest about this new use of the land.

Comments do not necessarily reflect those of The Gardner News, or staff. By posting, commentators assume all liability. Please contact webmaster to report comments that infringe on copyrights, or are of a profane or libelous nature. Webmaster reserves the right to edit or remove content deemed offensive.


 

Speak Your Mind