According to the owner, this site at 603/611 E. 24 Highway was purchased in 1974 and has been in commercial use since then. It contains two concrete block structures: the eastern building of about 3,800 square feet with three rental units, and the western building with roughly 6,800 SF with four rental spaces. The two buildings face each across a central paved parking area. The adjoining vacant property to the south on Emery was purchased a few years later and has been used to park vehicles being repaired.
Over the last 45+ years, the 603/611 property has been used for an assortment of automotive business including body shops, transmission repair, tire and brake service, and muffler work. The site’s also been home to machine shops, woodworkers and contracting services.
With the adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance in 2009, vehicle service was segregated into two use groups: Limited Motor Vehicle Repair and General Motor Vehicle Repair. The former group encompassed more basic work (oil changes, brake jobs, glass installation, detailing) with the latter group consisting of more complicated, heavier repair (body work and painting, engine overhauls, transmission repair). Limited Repair is allowed in both C-2 and C-3 districts while General Repair is permitted only in C-3.
The owner believes that 603/611 will continue to attract tenants that are more akin to the General Repair group; when combined with potential heavy service tenants, it’s fitting to rezone the property to C-3. This rezoning would also allow the 909 N. Emery property to be used legally, albeit with some site improvements made such as paving and screening along its south property line.
Consistency with Independence for All, Strategic Plan:
The proposal relates to the Goal “Increase economic prosperity of community”. It also helps the strategy to retain the city’s businesses.
Comprehensive Plan Guiding Land Use Principles:
A relevant Guiding Land Use Principle for this site is that it provides affordable commercial space for small startup, new or growing businesses. It also addresses the policy to “Encourage redevelopment or adaptive reuse of vacant or underutilized buildings and sites.”
Recommendations and decisions on rezoning applications must be based on consideration of all of the following criteria:
1. Conformance of the requested zoning with the Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan envisions Commercial uses for this site.
2. Conformance of the requested zoning with any adopted neighborhood or sub-area plans in which the property is located or abuts.
There are no recent neighborhood or sub-area plans for this area.
3. The compatibility of the proposed zoning with the zoning and use of nearby property, including any overlay zoning.
While US 24 Highway includes commercial zoning along virtually its entire length, very little of it is zoned C-3. That said, with the proper site improvements and screening, this could be an acceptable zoning here.
4. The compatibility of the proposed zoning and allowed uses with the character of the neighborhood.
Auto related businesses have a significant presence on US 24 Highway, and this area is no different with a vehicle sales/repair businesses directly to the west of this site and another auto repair shop to the northeast across the highway.
5. The suitability of the subject property for the uses to which it has been restricted under the existing zoning regulations.
The property could continue to be utilized for automotive repair and service uses, albeit in a more restricted manner.
6. The length of time the subject property has remained vacant as zoned.
Only the 909 N. Emery property is vacant, and has been since at least the late 1970’s.
7. The extent to which approving the rezoning will detrimentally affect nearby properties.
As this site has been used for this type of business operations for 40+ years, it’s doubtful this rezoning will have a detrimental effect on nearby properties.
8. The gain, if any, to the public health, safety and welfare due to denial of the application, as compared to the hardship imposed upon the landowner, if any, as a result of denial of the application.
If the rezoning is denied it, would have a negative financial effect on the owner as it would restrict the number and type of tenants that could occupy the premises.
Planning Commission Action: At its June 9, 2020 Planning Commission meeting, the motion for approval passed 6-0, after consideration of the following facts:
- That, the rezoning is consistent with the review criteria listed in Section 14-701-02 of the City Code.
- That, a public hearing was held virtually pursuant to a notice duly published according to law, at which time all interested parties were given the full opportunity to be heard.
- That, the current C-2 (Neighborhood Commercial) zoning allows the following uses: retail, office, restaurants, small meeting halls, banks, daycare centers, government facilities, churches, schools, colleges and universities, and medical services.
- That, the current R-6 (Single Family Residential) allows the following uses: single family dwellings, churches, schools and government facilities.
- That, the proposed C-3 (Service Commercial) zoning allows the following uses: retail, office, restaurants, small meeting halls, banks, daycare centers, government facilities, automotive repair shops, wood and machine shops, and medical services.
- That, at the Planning Commission hearing, the owner’s agent spoke in favor of the application, and no one spoke against the proposed rezoning.
- That, no protest petition was submitted in opposition to the application.
Draft Planning Commission minutes:
"Case 20-100-06 – Rezoning – 603 E. US 24 Hwy/909 N. Emery St.
Stuart Borders presented the case. Mr. Borders presented the Commission with a vicinity map, noting the area and surrounding zoning. He presented the Commission with an aerial map indicating the project area and explained the surrounding land uses.
In response to Commissioner Weir’s question, Mr. Borders stated the current uses of the property are legal non-conforming. Mr. Borders clarified that this rezoning would correct that issue, making the current uses conform to the new zoning.
Toby Williams, 14098 S. Leawood St, Olathe, KS, stated this has been a family owned business since the 1970’s. He stated this rezoning will bring it up to property zoning and will give the property owners more flexibility with new clients.
In response to Commissioner Preston’s question, Mr. Williams stated there are no new uses being suggested with this rezoning.
No public comments.
Commissioner McClain made a motion to approve Case 20-100-06 – Rezoning – 603 E. US 24 Hwy/909 N. Emery Street. Commissioner Weir seconded the motion. The motion passed with six affirmative votes."