OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Overland Park City Council voted to deny a rezone request for property surrounding the former Incred-A-Bowl site on Monday.
Lenexa-based developer NMS asked the city to rezone a 2.9 hectare at 151st St. and Antioch Road to allow for the development of townhomes. The developer intends to create 18 rental townhome units spread over five two-story buildings.
The land was originally zoned for office use in the late 90s. Plans for two 10,000 square foot office buildings were approved on this vacant property, but were never built.
Patrick Lenahan with Yaeger Architecture spoke on behalf of the developer Monday. Under the proposed plan, townhome residents would have to drive through the parking lot of the former Incred-A-Bowl building to access the complex.
“From a design point of view and an engineering point of view, these properties are indeed related. That egress design must be maintained, that access must be maintained for any future design scenario,” said Lenahan.
Dr. Paramjeet Sabharwal owns both the vacant 2.9 acre property and the former south alley bowling site.
Lay down said the city planning commission in June that any future development on the Incred-A-Bowl site will be contingent on revenue generated by the townhome project.
“Now we are looking for a tenant [for Incred-A-Bowl], if possible. If that does not happen, then we will basically demolish the building,” said Sabharwal.
Sabharwal told the council he wasn’t sure if the property was up to date with regards to taxes. When asked about previous city code violations at the former Incred-A-Bowl property, Sabharwal acknowledged that surrounding property owners are to blame.
“This building, by neighbors or children, was vandalized [a] million times. They have basically drawn on it, all sorts of vulgarity on it. So, I think [the] the environment must behave,” said Sabharwal.
During the public hearing some neighboring property owners weighed in on the proposed project.
“Dr. Sabharwal doesn’t care about the city’s current needs, much less its future needs. He doesn’t have the same morals as the residents nearby, because we all pay taxes,” neighbor Kristi Uenishi said.
“This is not in accordance with the nature around the environment. This will lead to stormwater runoff and traffic problems on Hardy, as the only entrance will be the drive directly adjacent to the eyesore,” said Tina Tribble.
Councilman Tom Carignan said the lack of direct access to the development could quickly become a public safety issue.
Councilman Paul Lyons said because Sabharwal owns the vacant lot and the former Incred-A-Bowl site; he felt that properties should be united to be developed into a single project.
“I generally like the idea of townhomes as a buffer between single-family residential and commercial. That’s generally a good thing, but what bothers me about this is the fact that it’s really shoehorned into the back of the building,” Lyons said.
Council members Logan Heley, Melissa Cheatham and Holly Grummert voted against denying the developer’s request.
“I think that townhomes are a great transition between single-family homes and commercial use. I think it’s a better use than what has been approved there and office buildings. To have a residence as your neighbor instead of an office building. I think it’s harmony to be that transition,” said Cheatham .