City approves rezoning

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

When they met this week, Leavenworth city commissioners approved an ordinance to rezone property at Eisenhower Road and Lakeview Drive.

The ordinance rezones 11.8 acres located at 5136 Lakeview Drive from a medium density single family residential district to a general business district.

The rezoning was sought to allow commercial development on that site. There already are plans to construct a Culver’s restaurant at that location, but other commercial development may follow.

Commissioners had their first consideration of the ordinance last week. They had their final vote on the ordinance Tuesday during a special meeting. The ordinance was unanimously approved.

Commissioners ordinarily meet only for a study session the first Tuesday of the month.

City Manager Paul Kramer said the special meeting was scheduled in addition to a study session Tuesday to accommodate a request by the applicant for the rezoning. Kramer said Tuesday’s vote will allow an expedited start to the construction of the restaurant.

A protest petition against the rezoning was submitted to the city. But the protest petition did not meet the necessary criteria to be considered valid, according to Julie Hurley, director of planning and community development.

During a May 25 meeting, attorney Mike Crow addressed commissioners on behalf of the owners of a neighboring property who objected to the rezoning.

Crow argued a four-acre tract should have been excluded from the 11.8 acres that are being rezoned.

During the May 25 meeting, City Attorney David Waters recommended that commissioners make a record of the factors they considered when making their final vote.

Waters did not attend Tuesday’s special meeting.

Kramer said Tuesday that the “conditions of determination” for the rezoning were reviewed with commissioners last week.

These conditions were included in a packet that was prepared with the agenda for Tuesday’s special meeting. These conditions include things such as the character of the neighborhood, the zoning of nearby properties and recommendations of staff.

Commissioners did not specifically cite any of these conditions before voting Tuesday.

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Received an update about Camp Leavenworth, a community festival sponsored by the city.

The festival had its inaugural year in 2019 but was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 festival is scheduled to take place Sept. 24 and 25.

Singer Melissa Etheridge is scheduled to perform Sept. 25.

• Received a semi-annual report about the Leavenworth County Development Corporation from LCDC Executive Director Steve Jack and Lisa Haack, LCDC’s economic development coordinator.