Lynne Hermansen
Two rezoning development plans recommended by planning commission were passed by Gardner City Council at the Monday, August 15 meeting.
The first is for 30 acres known as Plaza South near New Life Community Church.
Dave Knopick, community development director, said it includes a commercial site and indoor climate controlled personal storage facility for 3.78 acres at the northeast corner of Vivian Street and 187th Terrace.
The significant change, he said, is the land no longer includes a 130 unit four story Senior Independent Living Center and will be for a two story self-storage site.
“It’s quite a change for the lot,”Knopick said.
There will be nine conditions the developers have to meet from maintenance, sidewalk easements, storm water plans, traffic studies, landscaping, bicycle parking, sign standards and more.
Steve Shute, council vice president, said what was the difference of the land being developed for storage versus retail.
Jeff Claussen, Phelps engineering, said it cuts down on height.
“We feel it fit in better with the area,”he said. “We designed with safety and commercial needs in mind.”
Claussen said they felt having the unloading indoors was a great improvement and the retail space would be for independent businesses.
“It might be a hair salon, insurance agent, someone looking for space, etc,”he said.
Claussen said the unloading for the storage wouldn’t be a drive up except for an area in the back with a small parking lot.
Phelps Engineering felt they had success with the car wash and bank development on Center Street by the recently built QuickTrip, so this development would also be successful for the community.
“It helps move forward the progress made the last few years,”Claussen said.
Knopick said the final development plan was coming to the Planning Commission soon and because of the nature of the development with needed sensitivities for landscaping and pedestrians it would be brought back to City Council for final approval.
The second preliminary development plan is for the rezoning of 28.86 acres from Commercial Office and Planned General Business Districts to Mixed Density Neighborhoods at the northeast corner of 167th Street and White Drive.
Knopick said the vacant lot is for a duplex development of 112 units with 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms.
“It’s a little different than you typically see,”he said.
Knopick said no one spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing in July.
“We are sensitive to the traffic in that area,”he said. “We are working with consultant teams on a traffic study. The storm water flow is also a unique situation passing through drainage.”
Knopick said they should have the issue underhand by the time they present the final development plan.
Kacy Deaton, council member, said her biggest concern was the traffic in the area.
“It’s not a great intersection now,”she said.
Knopick said there were safety improvement recommendations and they were sensitive to coordinating between the developers and city projects and a design consultant.
“It’s a coordination effort,”he said. “There’s a lot of discussion about traffic.”
Shute said could there be traffic signals put in at the intersection with pedestrian access to sidewalks.
Kellen Headlee, public works director, said it had been looked at.
Knopick said the trail would be 10 feet wider and the sidewalk pulled across to connect the greenway.
“The difficult part is utilities and small tight spaces,”he said.

Other business:
Four consent agenda items passed.
-The city is executing a contract with USD 231 for three school resource officers for the 2022-2023 school year. The school board approved the contract at their July 25 meeting for July 1 through June 30, 2023. SROs will be paid $30.30 per hour and $45.45 per overtime hour.
-Roadway deicing salt for the 2022-2023 winter season will be purchased from Independent Salt Company for $49,568 with a 10 percent contingency.
-8,000 gallons of fuel at market price from Hampel Oil Distributors for the Gardner Municipal Airport self-serve station was approved for purchase. The station has two 10,000 gallon underground fuel storage tanks, two fuel pumps and a credit card reader. Hampel Oil is the local Phillips 66 representative for the Phillips 66 fuel station.
-Gonz Garcia, utilities director, was appointed with voting rights as the director on the Kansas Municipal Gas Agency Board of Directors for a two year term through August 31,2024. The agency holds two meetings a year in the Wichita area.
A 10 minute executive session for the preliminary discussion of property acquisition wasn’t voted on.