Overland Park council advances plans for arboretum expansion with visitors center and amphitheater

Overland Park city leaders have given a preliminary OK to plans that call for a new visitors center and amphitheater at the arboretum. Photo credit Benjamin White. Used under a Creative Commons license.

After close to four hours of discussion, a preliminary plan to expand Overland Park’s arboretum got the city council’s blessing – but only on the condition that more discussion will follow later on as the plan is developed.

Council members voted 11-1 in favor of a plan that expands the visitor center and adds parking and an amphitheater in a natural bowl in the garden’s topography. The amphitheater is a sore point with neighbors to the north who worried that the city intends to add to the number of large events like the Luminary Walk that disrupt traffic, shine lights into their windows and cause noise. Councilmember Faris Farassati was the dissenting vote.