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.

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Metropolitan Area Planning Commission to consider 21st and Oliver rezoning

WICHITA — Attorney Bob Kaplan has modified his rezoning request for 21st and Oliver.

He had been seeking limited commercial zoning with a protective overlay at and near the northwest corner, 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 wouldn’t discuss specifics on either of the businesses when Have You Heard? reported on the issue in October.

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

The issue will come before the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission again Thursday. When it came up the last time, the commission voted 7 to 4 against recommending the rezoning.

“I amended the application to make an attempt to meet the objections,” Kaplan says.

He’s now asking for neighborhood office zoning, which he calls “a much less intense district.”

“The only retail I kept was the pharmacy drug store, which several people indicated they wanted. Other than that, I lowered my expectations to just neighborhood office and medical only.”

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Neighbors oppose 21st and Oliver rezoning

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.

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Angelo’s won’t open in former Barrier’s space, but another restaurant working on it

UPDATED — Angelo’s won’t be opening in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver after all, but another restaurant will pending final city approval on increased parking.

“I never was positive that we were opening there,” says Gina Fasciano-Hogan. “It was actually way premature that that was mentioned at all.”

Fasciano-Hogan had been speaking with someone who had hoped to buy the building but didn’t succeed.

“That’s how premature it was.”

She still wants to reopen her family’s popular restaurant, though.

“We still want to, yes, and would like to stay in the College Hill area,” Fasciano-Hogan says. “I’m still in the planning stages.”

She says she’s working on a business plan and should be ready to do something in about six months.

“Hopefully when the time comes, something will be available in that area.”

Another group wants part of the former Barrier’s space for a bar and restaurant. Neither the group nor its representatives are sharing details about who the restaurateurs are or what they’re planning.

According to a staff report for the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the real estate agents for the new owners of the building — who closed on Thursdayapplied for a conditional use permit to tear down a duplex near the property for parking.

They also have plans to tear down a building behind the former Barrier’s building but don’t need permission for that because it’s already zoned for neighborhood retail.

The duplex is behind Citizens Bank of Kansas and is zoned for multifamily residential use.

The planning commission unanimously approved the permit with some modifications. This followed numerous public speakers who voiced concerns over the plan along with support for it.

A couple of speakers said they didn’t think the building, which has been vacant for more than two years, can ever attract another business without more parking.

“This building is an eyesore,” resident Trae Staats said. “Frankly, guys, something’s gotta give.”

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Fire station, office park on planning agenda

WICHITA — There are a couple of items of interest coming soon before the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.

Sedgwick County is seeking a zoning change from single family residential to limited commercial for the southwest corner of University and Tyler.

There’s an 8,115-square-foot decommissioned fire station there that the county hopes to sell.

Look for an auction through McCurdy Auction once the zoning change is approved.

One person connected to rezoning calls it an interesting piece of property in part because former fire stations are unique structures that are “solid as a rock.”

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