Planning Commission Puts Off Vote On Rezoning Recommendation

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A nearly four-hour hearing Wednesday night ended with the Shawnee County Planning Commission deciding to put off a vote on whether to recommend a major rezoning proposal for South Topeka.

The hearing drew another packed house to Washburn Rural Middle School and came hours after Go Topeka announced it was scaling back the plan.

It originally changed more than 4100 acres around the new Mars plant from residential to light industrial. The effort to rezone the area was included in an incentive agreement to bring Mars to the Capital City.

The revisions announced Wednesday keep the areas west and north of Montara, and south of 85th Street residential.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Doug Kinsinger says he believes the new plan is a good compromise. He says Go Topeka has tried to listen to and be responsive to homeowners throughout the process.

While the changes were good news for some landowners, they say they still don't like the strings attached. Landowner Stacey Prim said they'd be restricted to 10-acre minimum lots for any future sales, while the rest of the county has a three-acre minimum, which she felt is discriminatory.

Joe Ledbetter, who owns land near the rezoning area, still doesn't like the plan at all. He said Go Topeka doesn't own the land so has no right to pursue the rezoning.

The Planning Commission set a March 12th date to possibly vote on whether they'll recommend or not recommend the plan for approval to Shawnee County Commissioners, who then have final say on whether the area is rezoned.


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