Proposed BBQ Restaurant Has Some Neighbors Smoking Mad

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LEAWOOD, Kan. -- A plan to turn an old U.S. Post Office into a barbecue restaurant has residents in one Leawood neighborhood burning up, saying that the smell and smoke from the proposed eatery would permeate their homes all the time.

Next week, the Leawood Planning Commission will consider the proposal to turn the former post office into "The Slab N' Pickle" barbecue restaurant. But some neighbors of the building say that the restaurant would be a disaster for their neighborhoods, saying that while the occasional whiff of barbecue smoke is nice, having it permeate their nostrils every day would be a nightmare.

"First of all a barbecue restaurant has a very distinct smell, it carries for a very long distance. We have the smoke," said neighbor Becky Andrews. "But besides that, the barbecue restaurant itself is so close to my neighbors, it's about 50 feet away not 120 feet back as it should be."

The plan would also call for increased lighting in the parking lots, which would then shine into the backyards of surrounding homes. In addition, plans include an outdoor patio and late-night hours to go with a liquor license - prompting fears of trash and noise that would harm the neighborhood.

Some neighbors say that they'd rather see an office tenant for the former post office.

"We haven't wanted anything up there except some commercial lawyer, doctor. Any kind of business is fine, but not a restaurant," said neighbor Dick Reicher.

But although opponents of the barbecue restaurant say that they have 150 signatures on a petition opposing the restaurant, some in the neighborhood say that they would like another restaurant nearby.

"I'd love to see something go into that site, right now it's just an eyesore, it's a hazard, it's been empty for a couple of years," said neighbor Paul O'Hanlon. "I think people in the neighborhood. I don't live right here so I am not affected by the smell, but for the rest of the people in the neighborhood, we'd like to see something happen with that site."

FOX 4 attempted to contact the owners of the proposed restaurants for comment, but they have not responded to our inquiries. The Leawood City Council is expected to consider the plan at their February 6th meeting.

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