Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner’s Planning Commission met on July 25 to consider preliminary plat renewal for a 78 home subdivision and four proposed text amendments to the Gardner Land Development Code.

Plum Creek Manor
Michelle Leininger, principal planner, presented staff review of Preliminary Plat for Plum Creek Manor II, a 21.5 acre piece of land north of 183rd Street and east of Center Street.
Original preliminary plat dates back to 1996 and preliminary plat from 2004 has expired.
The vacant land is surrounded by existing residential neighborhoods on the west, east and north, with Fire District 1 Station #122 and a city water tower on the south at 183rd.
Access to the new subdivision would be via East Willow Street on the north and S. Mulberry to the south.
City code now requires five foot sidewalks in new development, but Leininger said the city engineer and director thought an exception could be appropriate in this case.
“The surrounding properties have four foot sidewalks, so to have sidewalks go from four foot to five foot to four foot, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense” Leininger told commission.
July 28, commission only considered renewal of the preliminary plat application, which they approved by a vote with none opposed.
Final Plat and site development plans should follow and if approved by commission and council, Plum Creek Manor II would be developed into a subdivision of 78 single family homes.

Add CIE to LDC
Commission considered proposed text amendments to the Gardner Land Development Code (LDC).
Gonzalo Garcia, utilities director, gave the staff presentation.
The amendment would add a new chapter 12 – Capitol Improvement Element (CIE) to the LDC.
The CIE is a longer term plan that addresses projects that are considered essential to maintaining electric, water, wastewater, recreation and transportation services and facilities. It looks at existing and projected needs on five, ten and ten plus year schedules.
A public hearing was held followed by commission vote with all in favor of recommendation to the governing body.

Public utility and aviation facilities
Michelle Kriks, planner, presented staff recommendation to approve text amendments TA-16-10 to the Land Development Code pertaining to public facilities uses, airport facilities and associated standards.
Proposed was addition to Section 17.05.030 that provides definitions of public utility facilities and aviation facilities.
Additions to Section 17.05.050 defines standards for public utility facilities including setback, height, buffering and fencing.
Standards addressed for aviation facilities include building types, street design, frontage design, landscape design, off street parking, above ground storage tanks and lighting.
A public hearing was held followed by commission vote with all in favor of recommendation to the governing body.

Massage Businesses
Kelly Drake-Woodward, presented proposed text amendment TA-16-12 regarding massage establishments as a home business.
In October 2016, an amendment was proposed to add massage establishments to the list of home businesses prohibited by the LDC. Commission forwarded the recommendation to city council, where it was considered in May 2017 and remanded back to commission for re-evaluation.
Council expressed desire to treat this occupation consistently and fairly, and without undue stigma.
Research has been done since them to see how other area cities regulate massage businesses. It is permitted as a home business in Lenexa, Merriam and Overland Park. It is prohibited in Spring Hill and Leawood. Ottawa includes massage as an ‘adult business’ which is not allowed in residential districts.
This item did not require a public hearing, however Adrianna Meder, chairman, offered time for public comment.
Greg Chapman, a local massage therapist, came forward. He said the original language and prohibition was insulting to massage professionals and he was glad it was being reconsidered.
Chapman said he often goes to clients homes to provide services because it is difficult for many of them to get out, and he knows many other therapists do the same. He wanted to make sure that was part of commission’s consideration.
Chapman said he was pleased with tonight’s recommendation, but wanted to know if the previous language that associated massage therapy with adult entertainment had been removed.
Commission voted to recommend to council to not add massage establishments to the prohibited home use list.

Review and process
Drake-Woodward next presented proposed text amendment TA-17-02, pertaining to review and processes for land uses.
The main intent is to ensure review processes and standards are consistent in language and approach.
With the exception of two amendments directed specifically towards In-Home Day Care business use, the amendments are additions to existing general zoning standards and regulations.
Commission approved and forwards recommendation to council