Revised Arbor Lake South plan in Lenexa near K-7 makes room for commercial spaces

A revised conceptual plan for a new subdivision in Arbor Lake includes commercial development. The Lenexa Planning Commission approved the revised plan Monday night. Above, a file photo of Harold Phelps with Phelps Engineering Inc., which is working on the project just west of K-7 Highway.

Lenexa has advanced a revised plan for Arbor Lake South, a proposed residential subdivision with space for commercial development near St. James Academy just west of Kansas Highway 7.

Located near the northwest corner of Shady Bend Road and Prairie Star Parkway, the plan will set aside 19 acres for 43 single-family homes and about 3 acres for a commercial neighborhood retail area on the corner.

The site is located just south of the Arbor Lake subdivision already established.

The Lenexa Planning Commission on Monday voted 8-0 to recommend rezoning most of the site from commercial to single-family residential, as well as a conceptual plan and preliminary plat. Commissioner Jerry Harper was absent.

The city had initially denied the plan because the developer, Arbor Lake LLC, and engineer, Phelps Engineering Inc., had requested rezoning the entire site from commercial to residential.

City staff, the Lenexa Planning Commission and the city council requested the developer set aside some area for commercial development.

Here is a map of the proposed subdivision, with the different zoned areas marked. (“RP-1” is for low-density residential, “CP-1” is for neighborhood commercial properties and “NP-O” for neighborhood office spaces.)

The city council’s decision in November 2020 to deny approval of rezoning and a concept plan for the new subdivision followed deliberations among city leaders who had concerns that the project lacked designated space for future commercial growth.

The council also followed recommendations from city staff and the Lenexa Planning Commission to deny the request at that time.

The city’s efforts to preserve commercial areas in residential districts — also referred to as “neighborhood nodes” — are part of the city’s newly approved long-term plan, Vision 2040, which encourages commercial activity to be developed within a 10-minute walk of residential areas.

“It’s a pretty straightforward application for the most part on this one,” said Chris Poss, chair of the Lenexa Planning Commission on Monday. “When it was here previously, obviously it was missing the neighborhood node component that we thought would be needed for… Vision 2040.”

The revised proposal eliminates four planned home properties to make room for the commercial development.

The Lenexa City Council will consider the project proposal on June 15.