Planning commission splits on whether to approve bar’s permit

The City Planning Commission on Monday night split 4-4 on whether to approve a special use permit for Club 403, at 614 Reynolds Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

Planning Commission Chair Jeff Carson broke the tie by voting in favor of the special use permit, 5-4.

Supporters of the bar, including Pearl King, spoke up during the meeting against some of the conditions put on the approval of the bar’s permit, including a provision that it close at 1 a.m., about an hour earlier than some other competing bars.

The bar’s owner explained that they had been in business around 10 years and had already made considerable investments. They haven’t had code violations or disturbances. They now want to have live music, karaoke and standup comedy, and would have to close by 1 a.m. under the provisions.

Some of the proposed conditions will be expensive. The owner also didn’t understand why he should have to have a handheld scanner to read identification cards at the door if he already had a person stationed at the door checking them.

The president of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association sent in a letter in support of the bar, adding that the business supported many charitable events.

Unified Government Planning Director Gunnar Hand said the UG code has a specific requirement that a business of this kind with parking or patios has to close at 1 a.m. There is a patio on this property, he added. The condition read that as the 403 club was within about 70 feet of a residence, it must close at 1 a.m. Whether the code is unequally enforced in the community, that is the code, according to Hand. The staff had recommended approval of the permit for two years.

Hand also discussed planning requirements to enclose dumpsters and recycling containers outdoors, and said it was part of the code to have them screened.

One provision called for the 403 Club to complete a sidewalk from the parking lot to 6th Street. The provision to fix and maintain a sidewalk is not that unusual as property owners are responsible for maintenance of sidewalks, according to Hand. The handheld ID scanners now are required for establishments with live entertainment, according to Hand.

During discussion, a planning commission member, Jake Miller, remarked that if 1 a.m. is the closing time for businesses with parking, patio or outdoor uses, then Wyandotte County has a lot of problems.

“I can’t support this motion only because I know everyone on this commission knows every bar, 75 percent of the bars, are next door to a house and none of them close at 1 a.m.,” Miller said.

The special use permit next goes on to the UG Commission for approval at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.

Another drinking establishment, Latin Quarters Inc. at 508 Kansas Ave., also had several stipulations for a special use permit. The planning commission voted to approve the special use permit subject to the conditions.

Latin Quarters had some stipulations, as well. According to the conditions, all entertainment had to cease by at least 1 a.m., live entertainment was limited to Friday and Saturday and occasionally on holidays, security personnel were required, an ID scanner was required, and amplified speakers were not allowed outdoors. Illumination could not affect nearby residences, the noise level had to be kept under 100 decibels, and attendance was limited to the occupancy of the building.

Skateboarding facility held over

In other action, a proposal to put a skateboarding park at 230 S. 65th St. was held over. The site is a former school near South 65th and Kaw Drive.

The 4 Ever Skate Park and school would be an indoor skateboarding facility for ages 6 to 16, according to the developer, Weston Sparks. The developer’s attorney sought a zoning change, and cited the closeness to other commercial or industrial developments.

According to planning staff, they first worked on a master plan amendment and change of zone for the property, but it may have been better to do a special use permit. While the three applications were on the agenda, the staff currently recommended the special use permit.

The planning commission decided to hold over the applications for 30 days to further work out the details, saying there was a little confusion in the three applications.

A site plan showed a two-story 32,153-square-foot building with a parking lot, for an expansion at Providence Medical Center. To the north of the building is a site for a one-story, 10,500-square-foot building for future expansion. (From UG planning documents)

Cancer treatment center planned at Providence

Advancing at Monday night’s meeting was an expansion proposal for more parking space and buildings for Providence Medical Center. According to planning documents, a new building will house a cancer treatment center. One building is in the current proposal, with the possibility that another building could be added in the future.

According to Joe McLaughlin of BHC Rhodes, the proposal is to change the zoning for this property at 8741 Parallel Parkway from single family to planned non-retail business district for additional parking and buildings for Providence Medical Center. A master plan amendment also was proposed.

The UG previously approved a plat for the project, according to Hand. A sidewalk will be required for the project.

According to the application, the property in the zoning proposal is between the current Providence campus on the west and a single-family residential property on the east.

The subject property is located in between the current campus of the Providence Medical Center to the west and a single-family residential property to the east, with a YMCA building the next parcel to the east after that. It will not require any residents to move, according to planning documents.

Next, the zoning change is expected to be heard at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 by the UG Commission.

Asphalt plant advances

In other action, the planning commission voted 7-1 in favor of a change of zone from planned light industrial and agriculture to planned heavy industrial for a permanent asphalt plant at 1625 S. 86th St., Kansas City, Kansas. Commissioner Jake Miller voted no.

During the discussion, a resident voiced her concerns about air quality in connection with the asphalt plant. The plant is close to a residential area, she said. She is concerned it will cause health problems. She was also concerned about land values declining.

Cole Anderson, representing Bettis Asphalt, said the company’s nine asphalt plants in Kansas employ technology to filter the particulate matter and that it is clean. He said the plants are highly regulated and inspected.

According to the UG, there was a temporary special use permit for an asphalt batch operation there from 2018 to 2019. It had also been used as a fill site. The location is near South 86th and Kaw Drive.

There were many other items considered by the planning commission at its Monday night meeting, which went from 6:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Sept. 13 on Zoom.