Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
In the March 22 meeting, the Gardner Planning Commission approved a plat extension for the Olathe Ford RV property and the site plan for expansion of Gardner-Edgerton High School, subject to specified changes being met.
A staff presentation reviewing the site plans for the GEHS expansion was given by Chadwick Bahr, Gardner planner.
Bahr displayed property photographs and conceptual artwork to illustrate issues that might not meet current city design standards.
Most of these issues concerned aesthetic values, such as the color of a rain gutter downspout and the height of a fence that conceals the building’s mechanical equipment.
The most critical issue at present appears to be the location of the sewer line servicing the new building to be constructed on the east side of the high school. The current proposed line routes to the Willowbrook lift station at 355. W. Sunset. However, city engineers have yet to determine if that station will be able to handle the additional flow.
John Glessing, architect with the DLR group, expressed concern about the uncertainty of the sewer line location.
“We certainly would want to ask for some help in establishing a timeline for that. The further we go, it can possibly affect our ability to have the building complete in time for students to move in for the 2017 school year,” said Glessner.
Larry Powell, business and economic development director, said he would bring the issue up the following morning in a DRC meeting he was attending and would let the utilities department know that time was of the essence in this particular matter.
It was determined that the question would be resolved before March 31. Glessner said a decision by that date would enable the construction schedule to be maintained.
Heath Freeman, commission member, made the motion to approve the site plans, subject to changes in items that need to be agreed upon by contractors and submitted to planning staff prior to the issuance of a building permit.
The motion also noted that approval was subject to the city determining if a change to the proposed sewer line was necessary or not by March 31.
The motion was approved with those stipulations.
Other Business:
Olathe RV extension granted
The Olathe Ford RV property at I-35 and S. Gardner Road totals 33 acres. About 23 acres of that property are currently unused.
The commission approved an 18 month extension to allow Olathe Ford time to determine what they want to do with that portion of the property.
Land Development Code discussion postponed
In the latter part of the meeting, the commission began review of the new draft version of the Land Development Code.
Some local businesses are interested in the code regulating sign standards, particularly sidewalk signs; however, the commission adjourned at 10 p.m. and did not get to that section. It is to be reviewed at April meeting.
The draft version, which is still subject to committee review and revision, covers portable pedestrian signs in section 10.05B.
In current proposed form, the code allows for A-frame, sandwich boards or T-frame type signs in the public right of way for retail uses with the following conditions:
• the sign must be within 20 feet of the business entrance;
• no larger than 8 square feet and no taller than 4 feet high;
• must be on or near sidewalk, maintain at least 6 feet of clear passage for pedestrians and cannot create visual obstruction or safety hazard;
• must be removed during non-business hours;
• must be made of durable materials and quality aesthetics.