Planning commission once again votes against 21st and Oliver rezoning

WICHITA — The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission has once again voted against attorney Bob Kaplan’s rezoning request for 21st and Oliver even though he modified it.

Kaplan is requesting neighborhood office zoning to put a pharmacy drug store – likely CVS, though he won’t confirm that – and medical or other offices on the northwest corner. He says he can understand some neighbors in the area being against it, but not anyone else.

“From a professional perspective, 21st and Oliver … is a commercial location,” he says. “I don’t know anybody who would want to build a home on a property where 25,000 cars pass every day.”

Kaplan is representing the Mike Marks family, which owns the northwest corner property, and Rip Gooch, who owns the lot to the north.

He’s so confident that his position is the correct one, Kaplan is willing to put money on it.

“I’ll tell you what, you call any commercial Realtor in the city of Wichita – your choice – and you tell them 21st and Oliver, what’s the highest and best use?” he says. “I’ll give you $100 bill to a doughnut hole … that they’ll tell you commercial.”

The issue will now go before the Wichita City Council in February.

Kaplan says he respects city planners and the commission, but he disagrees with them.

“It’s just perplexing … .”