Despite objections from a neighborhood representative, the Overland Park Planning Commission voted 9-1 on Monday to recommend approval of a proposed $20 million senior living facility at 7600 Antioch Road.
The vote marked the second time commissioners recommended approval of a special use permit for the project. The commission voted 9-1 in favor of a special use permit on Dec. 9.
Opposed both times was Commissioner Robert Gadd, who said the project is still too large for the four-acre site currently home to a Nazarene church and ball fields. The area is south of an existing shopping center at 75th Street and Antioch Road.
The City Council sent the special use permit request back to the Planning Commission at its Jan. 6 meeting, citing concerns regarding the building’s mass, height, setback and lack of screening for headlights from property owners.
Council members agreed with residents of The Clearing, a subdivision south of the project, who said the project was too large and would disrupt the character of the neighborhood.
Mainstreet, an Indiana-based real estate investment firm, revised project plans to address those concerns. Changes included removing 150 feet of the third story, extending the building by 15 feet and moving it closer to Antioch Road.
Other changes include moving the entrance drive 10 feet farther from homes and agreeing to construct a 36-inch wall to screen headlights from residences to the south. Additionally a landscape plan was submitted featuring 60 evergreens to help screen the project from residences. The revised plan still has the 130 beds originally projected.
Commissioners said developers did a good job of addressing concerns. “I’m especially impressed with the additional landscaping,” said Commissioner George Lund.
Commissioner Steve Troester said the project was an exceptional transitional use between residences to the south and retail to the north. “It’s a superior project to other similar senior living projects I’ve seen designed or built,” he said.
David Lewis, a neighborhood representative for residents in The Clearing, said residents were not happy with the changes. He said the project was essentially the same size, just moved closer to Antioch Road.
“It’s still too big,” he said. “It’s only one percent less. They increased their footprint and rearranged things.”
He said council members provided specific instructions about how they would like the project reduced and indicated they would prefer a one- or two-story facility with possibly 100 beds. He added that the height of the proposed screening wall would be inadequate to shield all homes from headlights.
Mainstreet has proposed construction of a skilled nursing/assisted living facility described as a “next generation facility.” The facility would feature amenities such private rooms and restaurant-style dining for short-stay skilled nursing and assisted living residents. A staff of 55 would be employed at the site.
The City Council is scheduled to consider the planning commission’s recommendation on March 3.