WICHITA — A couple of businesses are seeking limited commercial zoning at and near the northwest corner of 21st and Oliver, but it’s an uphill battle.
“The neighbors were not very delighted about it,” says attorney Bob Kaplan, who is working on the rezoning.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission recently voted 7 to 4 against recommending the rezoning.
“I didn’t expect to get accommodations, and believe me, I didn’t,” Kaplan says.
The Mike Marks family owns the northwest corner property, and Rip Gooch owns the lot to the north.
Kaplan is seeking the limited commercial zoning with a protective overlay, which would allow for only two uses: a convenience store and fuel stop on the corner and a pharmacy and drug store on the other lot.
It sounds like CVS may be the pharmacy, but Kaplan won’t discuss specifics on either of the businesses.
He says he can’t think of many arterial intersections in Wichita that aren’t zoned for commercial uses.
There’s already a shopping center, church and Wichita State University’s golf course at the intersection.
Kaplan says the owners have already tried to market their property through residential zoning.
“The application is predicated on the fact that you’ve got a heavily traveled arterial corner … with a daily automobile count in excess of 25,000 cars,” he says. “That’s a lot of traffic. I don’t think you’re ever going to market it as a residential use.”
Kaplan says the two prospects wouldn’t be disruptive to the area.
“A few (neighbors) would like to see a drug store pharmacy,” he says.
The planning commission “did not think that the corner was appropriate for a convenience store,” Kaplan says. “That seemed to be the focal point more than the pharmacy.”
The services the businesses offer, he says, “we contend are good neighborhood services.”
“Legally, it’s appropriate land use.”