The Olathe Planning Commission has given preliminary approval for a 113-unit subdivision next to Olathe East High School.
The 36-acre neighborhood at Black Bob Road and 130th Street would be made up mostly of two-family residences, according to the plan from developer Frank Dean with Clay Blair Services Corp..
Currently, an access road runs through the property from Black Bob to the parking lot at Olathe East. This access road would be replaced with residential streets as the project is developed as well as include a private drive to the high school.
The plans also call for linking the development to Constance Street in the Forest Hills subdivision north of the property as well as connecting to a future extension of 133rd Street between Black Bob Road and Greenwood Street south of the development, although it’s unknown when that will happen.
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City planners recommend closing off access between the property and the high school once the 133rd Street connection is completed to minimize disruption from students and parents driving through the neighborhood.
A group of residents from Forest Hills attended the meeting and said they supported rezoning the property to allow for the new subdivision. But they also said they opposed connecting the project to Constance Street, worried that until the access to the school is closed off they could see more traffic.
“We see that traffic every day ... it’s kind of a raceway on that access road currently,” said Michele Kooiman, a representative of the Forest Hills Homeowners Association. “Constance Street is a narrow, kind of downhill, curving road that would not really warrant any additional traffic coming through.”
While some commissioners said they were sympathetic to those concerns, senior city planner Sean Pendley pointed out that without a second entrance, the new subdivision would not pass city requirements that new neighborhoods have more than one entrance.
“I think for this development to go forward we need that connectivity,” said Commission Chairman Dean Vakas.
The commissioners’ recommendation will now go to the City Council for a vote on Feb. 7.
The plan commission unanimously approved the latest preliminary plan for the so-called Cedar Creek Marketplace at the corner of Valley Parkway and Cedar Creek Parkway.
Pete Heaven, an attorney representing the developers, said they plan to build a “state of the art” 45,000-square-foot Hen House grocery store on the 16-acre parcel along with outbuildings to accommodate an additional 30,000 square feet in other stores and restaurants.
The lot would also include space to add up to 15,000 square feet to the grocery store in the future.
Olathe officials rezoned the property for commercial development in 1988 and approved a preliminary site development plan for the Cedar Creek Marketplace in 2012. But the property was never developed further and that plan has since expired.
The developers have said they plan to begin construction later this year and develop the marketplace in a single phase.
Heaven said they also plan to ask the city for a community improvement district, which would levy additional sales tax on purchases within the Marketplace to pay for eligible development costs.
While the commission has the final say on the preliminary plan, the City Council will have to approve the final design for the development at a future meeting.
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