The road to approval has been a tumultuous one, but Menards is coming to Olathe.
Opening day is anticipated to be spring 2016.
At its meeting Tuesday evening, the city council approved, 5-1, rezoning and a preliminary development plan for the home improvement store, which will be located at 135th Street and Greenwood Street.
The project will feature a main retail building with a lumberyard and a divided warehouse in the back.
Tyler Edwards, a representative for Menards, said during a previous council meeting that the 135th Street location was chosen because the thoroughfare has become a popular destination for regional traffic.
The Olathe store will be the only Menards location in Johnson County, he said.
After facing rejection from the Planning Commission and trying to appease opposing residents who live adjacent to the site, developers underwent several changes to the design.
At the March 3 council meeting, council members had also expressed concern about traffic and inappropriate design details.
As a result, developers went back and made a few more revisions. Those included revising the color of metal walls in the lawn and garden center from green to tan, dividing the large warehouse into two smaller buildings to minimize visual impact and providing two-foot high parapet extensions with cornices on sections of the warehouse back wall.
A traffic study was also completed.
At a few public meetings, residents had expressed concern about the increase in traffic on 138th Street.
“I think there will be some customers who use 138th Street to go to the store, but the traffic study indicates a vast majority will use 135th Street,” Thomas Dow, transportation manager, told the council.
That being said, 138th Street is capable of handling extra capacity, he said.
Most of the council seemed satisfied by the traffic study and the design changes. Marg Vogt was the only council member who voted against it.
After the meeting, a handful of disappointed residents who live near the site congregated in the city hall’s main entrance to voice their frustration.
“We’ve been going to every single public meeting and I feel like the city isn’t listening to the community at all,” Patrick O’Connor said. “I’m sure Menards is a nice store, but I won’t step foot in one now.”
Another Olathe resident, Cindy Nelson, is worried about the industrial aspect of the project.
“That store doesn’t belong near a neighborhood,” she said. “There are several other areas in town where it can go. But it’s in our backyard.”