Overland Park residents concerned about the impact a proposed senior living project will have on their home values attended a neighborhood meeting at the Johnson County Central Library last week.
By LINDA CRUSE
Special to The Star
About 25 residents from The Clearing subdivision met on Nov. 26 with representatives for the project, who presented a revised preliminary plan designed to address concerns from a previous neighborhood meeting.
Mainstreet, an Indiana-based real estate investment firm, has proposed building a 130-bed skilled nursing/assisted living facility on four acres at 7600 Antioch Road. The site is currently occupied by a Nazarene church and ball fields.
The property purchase is contingent upon the city’s approval of a special use permit, set to be considered Dec. 9 by the Overland Park Planning Commission. The commission will forward a recommendation to the City Council, which is to review the special permit request in January.
Todd Mosher, project manager, said the facility will serve newly released hospital patients in need of rehabilitation before returning home or moving to another facility. Some assisted living rooms will be available, he said.
“A commons area located on the first floor will feature rehab rooms and other amenities,” he said. “Dining rooms will be located on each floor for residents’ convenience.”
In response to neighbors’ concerns, the preliminary plan was revised to adjust the building’s size and height, said Mosher. A three-story section of the building was moved away from existing homes toward a commercial shopping center at 75th Street and Antioch Road. Other sections of the building will be one or two stories.
Living accommodations in the three-story section of the building will not face homes in the subdivision, Mosher said, addressing residents’ concerns about privacy. Other concerns include the project’s impact on storm water, traffic, light, noise and the character of the neighborhood.
Linda Seville, who lives in The Clearing, said property values have been declining in the subdivision in the past few years and the addition of a senior living center will accelerate the decline. “Also, this is a for-profit venture and it should not be adjacent to residential property,” she said.
David Lewis, a 17-year resident of The Clearing, said a proposed retention basin at the southeast corner of the site may not be sufficient to hold all of the water run-off generated by the facility and could result in flooding.
“We consider this a high-density project that is not in character with the existing neighborhood,” Lewis said.
Other residents voiced concerns regarding the senior living project’s entrance on Antioch Road. They said the entrance will be close to the 75th Street and Antioch Road intersection, making it difficult for vehicles to make left turns from the property during peak traffic hours.
Seville said emergency crews would have difficulty exiting the property onto Antioch Road and turning left onto 75th Street to travel to Shawnee Mission Medical Center. Lewis said it also will be difficult for staff members and guests to access the facility during rush hour.
Residents urged project representatives to consider another site for the proposed facility and mentioned the former J.C. Penney Outlet store site on Frontage Road east of Interstate 35. Representatives said they were committed to the Antioch Road site.