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Wichita City Council approves rezoning for Sam's Club development

Wednesday, December 5 2012 12:00 AM

Wichita City Council approves rezoning for Sam’s Club development

Wichita Business Journal by Emily Behlmann

The Wichita City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday on a zoning issue that paves the way for a new Sam’s Club store at the northeast corner of 29th Street North and Maize Road.

Lavonta Williams cast the opposing vote.

The plan is for a development with a Sam’s and several outparcels on what is now agricultural land. The council’s vote, which matches a Metropolitan Area Planning Commission recommendation, changes the zoning from single-family residential to limited commercial.

The issue was approved Tuesday with limited discussion, but at earlier stages in the process, some of the property’s neighbors in the Fox Ridge housing development were critical of the idea. More than 55 percent of property owners in the area formally protested the zone change.

KAKE News reports the neighbors’ concerns included the increased traffic the store could bring and the possibility that having the store nearby will reduce property values.

Councilman Jeff Longwell, who represents the area, said the site plan was altered in several ways to help mitigate homeowners’ concerns.

“The proposal before us today is much better than when it was originally presented,” he said.

The changes are detailed in the council’s meeting materials (a hefty PDF downloadable here). They include a requirement that the building’s facade and landscaping reflect the look of the neighborhood and that berms and tree rows help shield residences from the development.

In addition, outparcels on the site cannot be used for certain types of businesses, such as hotels and car washes.

Another zone change approved today was at the southeast corner of 13th Street North and Tyler Road, where Occidental Management plans a shopping center. The 15.5-acre site was approved for limited commercial zoning, rather than single-family residential. The change was on the consent agenda, which the council approved unanimously with no debate.


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