By Holly Cook
The future use of a plot of land behind Lowe’s in Roeland Park was discussed Monday during the city council’s governing body workshop. Currently the land is zoned for general business use but local developer Jim Lambie, of Lambie Custom Homes, has interest in purchasing the lot and developing six or seven single-family homes.
Lambie came before the council to see if there was support to rezone the lot for residential use before deciding whether to purchase the land. The plot of land is located at the southwest corner of Cedar and 50th Terrace and is characterized in the city’s comprehensive plan as part of the “Town Center” area.
The 3/4-acre plot is owned by the California-based development group ACF Property Management.
Councilors Michael Poppa, Teresa Kelly, Erin Thompson, Ryan Kellerman, Tim Janssen and Michael Rhoades signaled tentative support for the land being rezoned for residential use.
“I think that’s probably the best use for that little piece of property,” Kelly said.
Councilmembers also emphasized they would prefer Lambie build six homes instead of seven on the site, given the lot’s size.
Councilors Sheri McNeil and Becky Fast, who both represent Ward 1 where the property is located, said they would not support rezoning the property for residential purposes.
McNeil said she had heard from several residents they would like to have a small coffee shop or café in the area and questioned whether that type of business could be an option for the site.
“This is one of our final pieces of greenspace and I just see it going down the drain,” McNeil said.
Lambie said a steep slope on the plot would make it difficult for the land to be developed for business use. Several councilors, including Rhoades, agreed.
“If it was a good commercial spot it would be commercial right now,” Rhoades said.
Fast pointed out the steep slope on the lot was frequently used in the winter by families for sledding and said she would hate to see one of the last greenspaces in Roeland Park developed. Fast also questioned how developing the land would impact water runoff.
“We are not going to sell out our residents ….in our ward,” Fast said.