Rick Poppitz
Special To The Gardner News
The Gardner Planning Commission met on Feb. 27 to consider development of a new residential subdivision and to consider if the Main Street Corridor Plan is consistent with the comprehensive plan.

Cottages at University Park
Developers propose to build a combination of single family homes, duplexes and four-plex residential buildings on 33.6 acres located on the northeast corner of University Drive and Gretna Street.
Michelle Kriks, planner, gave the staff presentation.
“Overall we’re looking at 160 dwelling units for the project. The project will also consist of open space, which will have walking trails, a central amenity space with pool, a fire pit and a play area. There’s also going to be landscaper buffers between this development and the residential around it,” said Kriks.
The applicant was requesting rezoning from RP-2 (Two Family Residential) to RP-3 (Garden Apartment) and RP-4 (Mixed Density Neighborhood). The zoning change is necessary to allow the four-plex pinwheel residential buildings.
After staff presentation, Adrianna Meder, chairman, opened the public hearing. Todd Allenbrand, representing the applicants Payne and Brockway, came forward to thank commission and offer to answer questions.
Melissa Smith, who lives near the planned development, spoke. She said she felt that plans for this development should have been disclosed to her when she recently bought her house. She was concerned about the properties attracting renters instead of home purchasers and wondered if her property value would decline.
The public hearing was closed, and commission discussion followed. Heath Freeman, commission member, asked Allenbrand if the developer planned to rent any of the properties. The answer was no, they will all available for purchase only, including the duplex and four-plex units.
Tim Brady, commission member, thanked Smith for coming forward to speak. He said he sympathized with her feelings because he had experienced a similar situation. He added that her realtor should have been the one to disclose nearby development plans.
Motion to approve the rezoning was made by Freeman and carried with none opposed.
Following the rezoning approval, the commission considered and approved the preliminary plat for Cottages at University Park.
Construction will occur in five phases, with phase one starting on the south end of the property.

Main Street Corridor Plan
The commission was asked to find that the Main Street Corridor Plan is consistent with the Gardner Comprehensive Plan.
Kelly Drake-Woodward, chief planner, gave the staff presentation. The commission was presented with a final draft of the Main Street Corridor Plan.
The plan is the result of input gained from public engagement efforts and a 19 member steering committee that held numerous meetings in 2017. Confluence, a consulting firm providing landscape architecture, design, and planning services coordinated the efforts. Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) also provided project guidance.
“If you think that the plan is generally consistent with the adopted comprehensive plan for the community and is based on sound data and planning principles then it should receive your support,” said Drake-Woodward.
After presentation and discussion, motion was made by Brady, to adopt the Main Street Corridor Plan by reference as part of the Gardner Comprehensive Plan. The motion carried with none pposed.