Olathe & Southwest Joco

Big apartment complex planned in Olathe suffers setback

The Olathe Planning Commission has recommended denial for a 514-unit apartment complex envisioned near 167th Street and U.S. 169 Highway.

Commissioners on Monday voted 5-1 against the Madison Falls Apartments project, which staff said is inconsistent with the city’s future land use plans for the area and would include only a single entrance and exit for potentially hundreds of residents.

The developer, RKF Investments LLC, wants to rezone almost 39 acres for the mix of two- and three-story buildings, as well as clubhouses, a swimming pool and other amenities.

The surrounding area is largely undeveloped and used for farming. The city’s future land use plan has considered the area ripe for large industrial uses, not multifamily residential.

Public works and fire department officials have expressed concern about the single entrance off 171st Street. The developers have proposed building an emergency-only access road connecting the complex to U.S. 169, but officials said they’re not certain the Kansas Department of Transportation would allow such a connection.

Commissioner Ryan Freeman was the lone no vote to the denial recommendation.

Commissioners did vote unanimously to recommend approval of a separate request by RKF Investments to rezone 106 acres next to the proposed apartment complex for future development. RKF hasn’t discussed specific plans for the area yet.

Both items now go to the City Council for a vote.

In other business:

▪ The commission voted unanimously to approve rezoning 2.7 acres at 134th Place and Black Bob Road for a three-story mini-storage business. The surrounding properties are all either undeveloped or have existing businesses.

▪ Commissioner also voted unanimously to approve an almost 39,000-square-foot addition to Christ Community Church on 119th Street, including a new sanctuary. Church officials want to change their original development plan, which called for a campus consisting of several buildings, to a two-phased expansion of the original building.

▪ The commission also voted unanimously to approve a preliminary development plan for Battle Creek Apartments, a 228-unit apartment complex proposed on 23 acres at 119th Street and Nelson Road. This would be the third proposed apartment complex plan for the site, the others being approved for 264 units in 1999 and 190 senior apartments in 2011.

David Twiddy: dtwiddy913@gmail.com