A proposed sports bar in an established Wichita neighborhood has some residents concerned, not only with the bar and its parking lot, but with procedures and transparency at Wichita City Hall.
Whether you agree with the development or not, the story as told in the Crown Heights newsletter raises concerns with the process. Specifically:
“The notification was for ancillary parking, not a zone change. It led residents to assume it was just for some additional parking.”
“The City wrote and approved a staff report approving this case on the day of or even before the Barrier’s property sale had been closed on. Why is this case being pushed through so quickly? (Have you ever known any type of bureaucracy to approve an item with such lightning speed?)”
“At the MAPC meeting — Mr. Morrie Sheets (member of the MAPC) said that the property owner at 121 North Glendale was excited about tearing down that building (115 North Glendale) because it has been a problem with crack heads and drugs.” The owner of the property at 121 North Glendale never made that statement to Mr. Sheets (and has signed a document to that effect). Mr. Sheets has recanted saying that he ever made that statement. However, in the city’s recording of the meeting that statement is on record.
“At the MAPC meeting it was amended that the bar could occupy no more than 4399 square feet. However in the Planning department letter of November 19th (five days later), they state the sports bar was approved in the meeting to occupy 5092 square feet (Who authorized that change?) The bar is slated to have an occupancy of 156 patrons at the 4399 sq. ft. The increase of up to 5092 sq. feet would increase the number of occupants exponentially.”
In conclusion, the newsletter says: “The whole project has been cloaked in deception, lightning speed approval and has not been made transparent to the public. This raises some suspicion that the developers did not think the residents would be happy with this type of business being placed in our neighborhood.”
This matter will be heard at the District Advisory Board meeting on December 3.
Coverage from the Wichita Eagle is here.
Wichita neighborhood association not happy with city's process
the neighbors need to lobby their counsel lemming! Also, how close is the nearest school???
My neighborhood’s experience w/the city when it comes to rezoning hasn’t been good. Some tax credit apts that were eventually approved and built in our neighborhood went before the DAB before neighbors were even notified–all perfectly legal. My experience when I attended all the meetings leading up to the approval my neighborhood opposed was that developers and their representatives have a very chummy relationship w/the city employees who push this stuff through–and whose salaries we, the taxpayer, pay. The developer on the tax credit apts was from Kentucky.
Right now, our neighborhood is facing another zoning change on which a staff report was available. As the communications director of our neighborhood assn, I receive many emails from our neighborhood asst, which I then forward to our members. Why did we have to ask for the staff report that clarified what the zoning change was before tonight’s meeting?
There does appear to be an effort to keep those who could complain in the dark, and I don’t mean on the part of individual employees but as a policy.
I wish the Crown Heights people luck tonight at their District 2 DAB meeting. The only hope you have is that well-known people w/money and connections live in your area. It’s harder for the city to steamroll you when that’s the case.
The nearest schools are Hyde and Robinson, a few blocks north of the Oliver and Douglas corner. Maybe that will save them. If having a bar at that corner is such a fabulous thing for the neighborhood, why can’t people park in the shopping center parking lot? None of the stores are open late. Oh, you mean they don’t want to find beer bottles, trash, vomit, and used condoms in their parking lot at 8AM?