A new QuikTrip that would have doubled the size of an existing gas station near Lenexa’s Old Town has been given the thumbs down by the city planning commission – much to the relief of neighbors whose homes would have abutted it.
The QuikTrip would have replaced JB’s One Stop at 95th Street and Noland Road, and would have expanded onto two homes to the north. But the neighborhood to the north and west opposed it, saying there would be too much light and noise, and that there wasn’t enough of a buffer between it and homes.
“There would be lights all the way around and deliveries from 1 to 5 in the morning and people are trying to sleep,” said Jim Curran, who lives about a block away. “It’s something the kids couldn’t live with and something the older people couldn’t live with.”
The QuikTrip would have had seven pumps, compared to JB’s four, and would have increased the size of the convenience store from JB’s 4,000 square feet to 4,840. But it would have made other significant changes to the intersection as well. While JB’s faces 95th Street, the QuikTrip would have faced Noland Road into the neighborhood and necessitated its widening to three lanes in that area.
Quik Trip also asked for several deviations reducing setbacks, buffers, minimum open space and sign setbacks. None of the deviations was supported by the city planning staff, which also recommended denial of the rezoning and special use permits.
Two neighbors spoke against the project at the planning commission meeting, and a few more were in the audience, Curran said. One of the neighbors showed slides of his children playing in their backyard, just a few feet from where the QuikTrip boundary would be, he said.
The area in question is at a developmental crossroads as 95th Street has become a major thoroughfare. Single-family homes used to line 95th Street, but as traffic increased, many have been vacated and replaced with small businesses. But the small lots with buildings close to the street right next to homes have made redevelopment more of a challenge, according to the planning staff.
Recent improvement of the overpass on 95th Street has increased interest in the area, but redevelopment in the past has caused consternation because homes are still close by. Costco developers found that out in 2000 as they planned a store a few blocks away. Before the Costco opened its doors, there was a prolonged discussion about neighborhood traffic and how much buffering would be provided to homeowners who lived, in some cases, across the street.
Although the QuikTrip area under consideration Monday is only 1.4 acres, it was covered by several zoning categories that would have had to be changed. Neighbors also worried that allowing Quik Trip to extend its presence northward from 95th Street into a surrounding neighborhood and widening the street there would have a domino effect for the future.
“Once QuikTrip goes in, all of us are going to lose our homes around here,” Curran said.
The planning commission unanimously sided with its staff in recommending denial of the project. If the company decides to keep moving forward, the plan will go before the full city council at its June 19 meeting.