Developer gets letter of intent for 47th and Mission restaurant; parking use for 18 months with food trucks allowed

The condition of the lot at 47th and Mission Road has been a point of contention in the discussions.
The condition of the lot at 47th and Mission Road has been a point of contention in the discussions.

The developer who owns the southwest corner of 47th Street and Mission Road in Roeland Park told the city council Monday that he already has a letter of intent from a restaurant operator for the site.

He cautioned that it was a preliminary step in getting an original restaurant to the corner, but shared the letter with city staff during another long hearing regarding the temporary use of the lot for parking. Developer Tony Krsnich had asked for permission to use the now- vacant lot for parking spaces that he leases to Taco Republic across the street.

Krsnich originally had submitted an application for a Special Use Permit (SUP) asking to have parking on the site for two years or until he is successful in landing a new restaurant client and construction begins. He has planned for a 4,000 square foot restaurant on the lot.

The city council did grant a revised SUP, overriding a planning commission recommendation from last month. The approved permit will allow Krsnich to use 34 parking spaces for one year and then the number of available spots reduces to 12 spots for another six months. By the end of the first year, Krsnich will be required to clean up the site, including the removal of concrete and asphalt that is not required for parking. In several meetings, Krsnich has maintained that removing the concrete slabs before they come out as part of a new development is cost prohibitive.

The original council motion did not include an allowance for three food trucks as the planning commission had recommended. The food trucks were added back in on an amendment with Councilors Ryan Kellerman and Sheri McNeil voting against the food trucks. The trucks are limited to no more than three between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The planning commission had recommended an SUP for one year with a one-year extension if Krsnich could show a contract or letter of intent for development. Its recommendation did not include removal of the concrete slabs at the site which had become a point of contention because of the appearance. The council discussed at some length the possibility of allowing the site to be leveled with fill dirt and planted in grass. That was not included in the final result.

The city council discussion on the SUP followed a council meeting on the topic that was closed to the public earlier in the evening. Councilor Michael Poppa said the council had come up with the new conditions during the closed meeting and he made the motion to make those part of the SUP. The council did amend one of the conditions on liability insurance, dropping it from $2 million to $1 million.

Krsnich said Monday night represented the 15th meeting he had attended in an attempt to get permission to use the lot for temporary parking, including meetings with the council, planning commission, development committee and overlay district.

The director of operations for Joe’s Kansas City was one of the speakers at the council meeting, saying the lot is “unsafe and an eyesore in its condition.” He did, however, say that Joe’s welcomes a new restaurant on the site. A neighbor next to the lot on Canterbury spoke in favor of the SUP.