Friends of Lenexa Sports Complex gets preliminary approval from council

Dan Foster with Schlagel and Associates, the developer of the Friends of Lenexa Sports Complex

A preliminary plan for the Friends of Lenexa Sports Complex in western Lenexa received council approval this week.

The sports complex is a nonprofit development of a multi-field sports complex on 34 acres at the southwest corner of Prairie Star Parkway and Clare Road, just west of St. James Academy. The complex includes two baseball diamonds, a multi-purpose practice field and a 105,000 square foot indoor court and practice field building.

The facility will be used for practices and games and will have an association with St. James Academy just east of the project to provide practice space and fields for games. St. James Academy will also use the facility on weekday afternoons and for games on weekends.

The facility will also be available for other teams and organizations to lease when the fields are available. Here’s a look at the site plan:

Per discussion at the city’s planning commission meeting earlier this month, developer Schlagel & Associates has indicated plans to use modern field lights and a sound system to direct lighting and amplified sound to the fields and bleachers, thus reducing the impact on neighboring homes.

City staff reports indicates the indoor practice facility will use architectural masonry and metal panel siding for the exterior finish materials. Lenexa Mayor Michael Boehm asked the developer to use high-quality materials that will last a long time.

The developer also plans to plant trees and shrubs and also use the natural slope of the site and landscaping to obscure the outdoor fields from the surrounding properties.

The council unanimously approved the preliminary plan with minimal discussion.

Councilmember Bill Nicks said he appreciates the use of landscaping and modern lights for the fields and that the developer is working with neighbors to reduce the impact of the sports complex. He said he hopes the developer works with the neighbors on placement of trees and shrubs surrounding the site.

Dan Foster with Schlagel and Associates said they’re in “relatively” constant contact with the neighbors.

Magi Tilton, planning and development administrator, said the developer is also working with neighboring homeowners and looking into turning West 95th Street from Clare Road into a curved road that enters the subdivision south of the project. Currently, it’s a dead end that requires turning onto West 95th Terrace.

The developer’s agreement with the city also hinges on a stipulation that lights and PA system of the fields be turned off by 10 p.m.