Leawood moves forward on big restroom for Ironwoods Park

01/23/2014 1:09 PM

01/23/2014 1:09 PM

The Leawood City Council took a big step Monday toward constructing a restroom building in Ironwoods Park that some residents say is too large.

The council unanimously directed Mayor Peggy Dunn to form an agreement to have the restrooms built by July 1.

Combes Construction of Olathe will situate the building — which will hold seven stalls for women and four for men — just off the walking trail in the park at 14701 Mission Road. It is planned to cover more than 800 square feet and cost no more than $558,661.

Some people who live near the site have told the city that the planned restroom building is too large. They also say their property values will drop if the city builds an open-air theater that’s proposed for near the restrooms.

Opponents attended the City Council meeting Tuesday, but none spoke about the restrooms.

Kerry Phillips, who runs the

saveironwoodspark.org

website, did not attend the meeting but later discussed the opposition to the project.

“It’s happening,” she said. “My group feels the restroom building points to further expansion of the theater. That restroom is so large it’s meant to serve a crowd of 500 people.”

Phillips’ property abuts the park, and she doesn’t want a theater crowd to gather almost to her property line.

The City Council also heard Tuesday from a Nashville-based consultant who studied Leawood’s park system for the Parks and Recreation committee and came up with some recommended changes.

Chris Camp of Lose and Associates generally complimented Leawood on its parks. But he added that residents at a town hall meeting wanted the city to consider skate parks, 12-foot-wide trails, zip lines and more parks in the northern part of Leawood.

Camp suggested the city build more restroom buildings along the trails.

“We have eight miles of greenways, and one restroom at the beginning of the trail and one at the end,” Dunn said.

The rest of the trail has portable toilets, but Dunn said studies show women are less willing than men to use those. And many of the parks lack amenities for people with disabilities.

The council will discuss in February which park proposals will become capital improvement projects.

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