South Topekans Voice Concerns On Rezoning

By: Suzie Gilbert Email
By: Suzie Gilbert Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Nearly 200 South Topeka residents turned out Monday night for a meeting with the Shawnee County Planning Commission. At issue, rezoning the South Topeka Economic Growth Corridor from residential to mostly light industrial.

The proposal from GO Topeka would change more than 4,100 acres of land around the new Mars plant. It's part of the incentive agreement that brought Mars to the capital city.

The Planning Commission did hammer out a compromise that would take more than a third of the land out of the plan, and keep it residential, with restrictions to limit potential for new housing.

GO Topeka officials say they support compatible land usage, and that the county has focused it's industrial growth on the south. They say the rezoning will entice world-class companies to make a home in the business-friendly area. Landowners say they just want their homes protected.

The incentive agreement does say GO Topeka will make an effort to buy the land if rezoning isn't approved, but GO Topeka officials say there are no plans for eminent domain, or removal of residents from their homes.

A final public hearing is this Wednesday night at Washburn Rural Middle School.


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