Leawood puts end to long zoning controversy over proposed Slab n’ Pickle space

The latest chapter in the saga of the Slab n’ Pickle restaurant at Ranchmart North was written Monday when the Leawood City Council gave its stamp of approval to a deal that will keep a restaurant out of the old post office building in the development.

The agreement was worked out between the property owner and neighbors who had objected to the restaurant because of the proximity to houses — only a 50-foot separation — to the east of the center. A new zoning designation was applied to the property, a move approved by the planning commission last month, that will preclude a restaurant. The new designation only applies to the post office building, not to the rest of the shopping center.

Seth Berry, who has spoken for the neighbors at previous meetings, told the council that the new zoning designation gives developers a needed tool for redeveloping older commercial properties in North Leawood while protecting the interests of the adjacent neighborhoods. Berry said the neighbors and owners had reached a good compromise.

After the new designation, the original application for the Slab n’ Pickle was withdrawn, putting an end to the controversy that started last January with the plan commission recommending denial of the application. The new designation still allows a commercial use of the building.

Another restaurant final plan met with a different reception from the council. Councilors said they welcomed the remodel plans for a Red Door Grill to occupy the space in Camelot Court at the northeast corner of 119th Street and Roe Avenue that has housed Paddy O’ Quigley’s. The architect for the new tenant said the restaurant hopes for a spring 2013 opening.