Special to the Gardner News
Plans for a Hampton Inn Hotel and Conference Center near the southeast corner of Cedar Niles Road and East Santa Fe Street were approved by the Gardner Planning Commission last week. The proposal by Gardner Hospitality LLC calls for an 82-room hotel and 8,200 square feet of meeting space, with a targeted opening in the fall of 2018.
Staff had recommended approval of the truck plaza plat, pending a couple of conditions being met. Chad Bahr, planner, gave the staff presentation Jan. 24.
The conditions are,
-that the applicant/owner shall meet specifications or requirements from a storm water drainage report, and
applicant/owner shall meet specifications or requirements from a traffic impact study.
Both studies have already been performed; however, reports are pending.
Judd Claussen, project engineer from Phelps Engineering in Olathe, spoke to commission about project details and introduced members of project development team and development owners who were in attendance. Some of the representatives traveled from Louisville, Ky, to attend this meeting.
The commission approved the preliminary plat for Gardner Truck Plaza with a unanimous vote.
Next up for commission consideration was the site plan for the Hampton Inn, also presented by Bahr who reviewed the details of the site plan. Including landscaping, tree diversity, lighting scheme, parking lot, driveway entrances and a number of other details.
Staff recommended approval pending conditions to be met.
Conditions include exterior lighting be in compliance with code, correct any items that may be noted in the final traffic study report, update the landscape plan to reflect the number and diversity of trees on the property and that a building permit shall not be issued until final plat for the truck plaza is recorded.
Bahr also mentioned that the traffic intersection at Cedar Niles Road would be reconstructed.
Heath Freeman, commission member, asked about the number of parking spaces. Bahr responded that the requirement was 134 parking spaces, and the site plan provides 143.
Tim Brady, commission member, stated that he hoped the owners would become active members of the Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce. From the audience, the owners nodded.
Freeman noted that he supported the project but said he would abstain from the vote because, due to a medical emergency, he had missed a previous meeting that reviewed proposals.
Motion to approve was made by Brady, with second from Karin Livella, commission member, and was passed with a unanimous ‘aye’ vote.
In a press release last week, Chris Morrow, mayor said, “Gardner is the geographic center of an exploding employment base in Southwest Johnson County, and this hotel project is being proposed in just the right place at just the right time. Located along I-35 with easy access to New Century Air Center to the north and Logistics Park-KC to the south, this project is well positioned to meet growing demand for quality hotel and meeting space.”
“We chose this site in Gardner because of recent and expected growth in the area, and we think it’s the right fit for the community. We look forward to moving ahead and hope to break ground by June or July,” Deepak Parmar, principal of Gardner Hospitality LLC, is quoted as saying in the press release.
The proposal will now be forwarded to city council.