Overland Park commission says Brookridge proposal conforms with comprehensive plan, paving way for discussion on tax incentives

A rendering from the final development plan for Brookridge.

The multi-use development planned at Brookridge Golf and Fitness inched forward this week as the Overland Park Planning Commission ruled it conformed to the city’s comprehensive plan.

With only minimal discussion, the commission took the incremental step the city had asked for so that another round of discussion on the financing package can take place.

Council members have been divided on previous financing plans that have included tax increment financing and a special sales tax district to help with development costs on the $2 billion project. But at a recent council committee meeting, some members who were against it voted to send it forward strictly so the developer and the public could have a say about it when it comes before the full council in a few weeks.

The planning commission looked at two sectors of the development at the southeast corner of Antioch Road and 103rd Street. The first area would include golf course property and 14 buildings with a mix of retail, residential, office and restaurant. That project area would cost $591.8 million to build, with a maximum tax increment financing reimbursement of $90.15 million. The second, just south of that, would have six buildings and would cost $598 million with a $68.4 million TIF maximum.

Flood issues still of concern to some residents

Except for a few technical questions about flood control along Indian Creek, there was no discussion and the ruling was approved unanimously.

Neighbors have staunchly opposed the project and at least three were in the commission chambers. Among their concerns has been the potential impact on flooding of the creek. Although there was no public hearing on the Brookridge items, two neighbors referenced Brookridge during comments during the next item on the agenda, which was about the city’s unified development ordinance.

Charlotte O’Hara, a frequent speaker against the project and former candidate for Overland Park mayor, said the commission should look carefully at its flood plain rules.

“We all know there are serious, serious flooding issues along Indian Creek,” she said. “You are in the process of approving plans to allow fill and buildings built within an existing flood plain.”

“We are giving public subsidies to developers that could increase flooding,” she said.

Steve Glentzer specified the Brookridge development in his remarks about the flood plain, but was told comments were supposed to be focused on the ordinance instead of the development. “You need to enforce it and make it stricter,” he said of the ordinance. “(This) should have been brought up before you voted on Brookridge.”

Brookridge developer Chris Curtin will continue discussions with the city over specifics of the plan before it can be brought to the council. No date has been set yet for that.