Archive for Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Council to tackle controversial topics

Rezoning issue, sale of liquor on Sundays top Monday agenda

August 20, 2003

Finding an empty seat could be a challenge during Monday night's city council meeting.

A controversial rezoning request on the west side of Smiley Road, north of Hatchell, awaits a council decision. And the council will reopen discussion on the possibility of Sunday liquor sales in Tonganoxie by conducting a public hearing.

The council meeting gets under way at 7 p.m. in council chambers, 325 Delaware.

The Tonganoxie Planning Commission already has approved the rezoning request, which would affect five acres. On that land, developer Greg Ward wants single-family zoning to construct garden-style homes as part of a proposed empty-nester development.

This is the second time Ward has sought a zoning change on the land. Previously, he had proposed multifamily townhomes, but nearby residents soundly opposed the idea.

And they're not happy with his most recent proposal. Neighbors have submitted a petition to city hall and have hired attorney David E. Waters of Lathrop and Gage, Overland Park, to represent their interests.

On Monday, the council can accept, override or return the rezoning request to the planning commission with instructions.

Because a valid protest petition was submitted, Ward must gain approval from a super majority of the governing body. That means four members of the governing body must approve the measure. Often, the mayor doesn't vote, but if the council is split by a 3-2 margin, the mayor will vote.

"He's actually a voting member when they're considering planning issues," said Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator.

The other potentially hot topic Monday night is Sunday liquor sales in Tonganoxie. Because many surrounding towns have approved the sales, owners of liquor stores in Tonganoxie are concerned they will lose out on business.

When Mayor Dave Taylor originally brought the idea up to the council to gain feedback, a few members of the public who attended the meeting opposed Sunday sales.

The council doesn't plan to take action after the public hearing.

Finally, feuding neighbors hope to gain clarification on a building permit in the 600 block of Yoeke Street.

Mike Drozinski attended the Aug. 11 council meeting because he thought neighbor Steve Stein was in violation of a six-month building permit the city had issued last November. Stein, though, had a 12-month permit a municipal court judge granted him at about the same time.

In December, city inspector Tim Pinnick issued a notice to Stein detailing violations that needed to be taken care of before his building permit expired.

Those items include: moving an inoperable vehicle off the property, weatherproofing an addition and fixing broken windows, constructing a fence, replacing missing bricks around windows and repairing or removing a metal building that is in disrepair.

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