Lenexa moving to condemn private property for Old Town road improvements project

The city of Lenexa is moving forward with a condemnation process to acquire private property for a roadway improvements project near Old Town.

The intersection improvements project at 95th Street and Santa Fe Trails Drive required that the city access three private lots. The city began the acquisition of easements for the project in May and has acquired the necessary easements and rights-of-way from two of the three property owners impacted by the project.

Because the city would still need access to the third private lot, the Lenexa city council on Aug. 20 unanimously agreed to authorize the mayor to execute a conditional right-of-way clearance form for the project.

By submitting the form to the Kansas Department of Transportation, the city is attesting that it has followed acquisition procedures, according to a city memo.

City staff noted that it needed to execute the form to stay on schedule, thus ensuring the city can receive federal funding to cover project costs.

“While the City continues to try to negotiate with the property owner, it became imperative that we begin the condemnation process in order to enable the project to move forward in a timely manner,” community development staff wrote in an email. “Since the condemnation process will likely not conclude until October, the City must submit a conditional right-of-way clearance form to KDOT since we have been unable to acquire all of the necessary right-of-way and easements.”

This schedule also would allow for a December bidding date of the project, another requirement to ensure the city can tap into federal funds, according to the memo.

City staff recently filed a condemnation petition to acquire the rights-of-way and easements from the remaining property owners who have not delivered the right-of-way and easements to the city.

The form requires that the city agrees there will be sufficient city funds to match any state or federal funding to finance construction of the project. Additionally, the city must agree to pay the amount of compensation awarded in the condemnation action into the district court.

There was no discussion or public comment on this item at the Aug. 20 meeting.