A zoning change for a Menard’s store at 98th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, was approved tonight after a discussion at the Unified Government Commission meeting.
The applicant for the project presented some changes in physical building and site details that UG commissioners did not have a chance to read in advance, and that created a response from several commissioners that they wanted more information in advance of their meetings.
Tyler Edwards, a real estate representative with Menard’s, said they were planning to open the store in about a year. He said they had made a lot of changes and concessions to their original plan, working with the UG’s planning staff. He read a list of several changes that were proposed tonight, and were different from the items approved by the planning commission.
The construction work on the new store could start within six to eight weeks of the project approval, according to Curt Peterson, an attorney for the developer.
UG planning director Rob Richardson said, in answer to questions from Commissioners Mike Kane and Brian McKiernan, that he thought they could work out any remaining issues with the applicant. Many of the changes submitted by the applicant were items that the planning staff had worked out with them after an earlier planning and zoning meeting.
There were many changes in the proposal, according to McKiernan, from the information they had received in an agenda sent out several days ago. Richardson said he would need to look at the front elevations of the building to make sure it is screened, and get a traffic study revised, making sure the traffic study is resolved by the time it opens.
The zoning change from agricultural to planned general business district passed 9-1 with Commissioner Gayle Townsend voting no. She said she wanted more clarity on the issue.
According to the agenda information, the new store will be west of the Schlitterbahn waterpark on almost 30 acres of land at 1301 N. 98th St. The location is east of Village West and I-435, near 98th and State Avenue. To the north is the Dairy Farmers of America building.
The 210,754-square-foot retail store would have an outdoor landscape and garden area, a lumber warehouse, outdoor sidewalks connecting to 98th Street and a multi-purpose trail behind the property, according to the agenda.
Commissioner McKiernan, although voting for the zoning approval, said he didn’t like information being given to them at the last minute – he likes some time to look at it and make an informed decision. Other commissioners who were in agreement with McKiernan on wanting to receive the information earlier included Townsend and Ann Brandau Murguia. Also, Commissioner Harold Johnson said he was not comfortable with the process, although it was a great opportunity as a business development.
“Things presented to us at the last minute make us very uncomfortable,” Johnson said.
In order to approve the zoning change tonight, the UG Commission had to have at least eight votes, because there were substantial changes to the version passed earlier by the City Planning Commission, according to UG attorney Ken Moore.