Ranchmart North rehab gets preliminary site OK from Leawood planners

The Ranch Mart North parking lot will see more green space and a sidewalk along Mission Road.
The Ranchmart North parking lot will see more green space and a sidewalk along Mission Road.

A remodel of the Ranchmart North shopping center at Mission Road and 95th Street received a preliminary plan approval Tuesday from the Leawood Planning Commission.

The plan presented to the commission showed new sidewalks, street setbacks, walls, fencing and landscaping throughout the property. The parking lot will be reconfigured and more pedestrian areas will be added to the property.

Attorney John Petersen told the commissioners that the shopping center had served well for more than 50 years, but the owners want to “bring some new vitality and repositioning” to the center. Peterson said he represented the Regnier Family Limited Partnership, owners of Ranchmart.

Peterson also gave the commission a preview of the architectural changes planned for the buildings although those alterations and the building materials will be part of the final plan. The look at the improved Ranchmart North is designed to tie in with the Ranchmart South center across the street, but not be “identical,” Petersen said, and will add some “vertical” architecture.The new site plan provides for more green space and buffers along both Mission Road and 95th Street.

Planning staff said the owners would probably have to tear down buildings to be in total compliance with current codes, but that they are improving on existing conditions. As an example, the renovation provides an eight-foot buffer from the street rather than the 25-foot requirement. However, “there is practically no buffer now,” staff said.

The owners also are pursuing a Community Improvement District plan and are currently working with the council on that proposal, Petersen said. One stipulation in the city report called for power lines to be buried. Petersen estimated it could cost the owners up to $1 million to comply and said the project won’t happen if that requirement is imposed. Any relief on that point will need to come from the council, commissioners said.