Neighbors hope Garmin’s expansion plans take a different route

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Bill Thomas and Travis Snyder consider their homes more than just wood and windows. It's where they are making memories and families. It's just the kind of neighborhood they're in.

"Their life investments are tied up in these homes, and they send their kids to school across the street," said Thomas.

The neighborhood backs up to Garmin, a welcome neighbor for years, but Snyder and Thomas are worried about Garmin's newest proposed project. It's an expansion that would include a warehouse and manufacturing building more than 712,000 square feet with loading docks and 30-foot nitrogen tanks.

"I understood Garmin was over there, so it's a valid point, I understood that there would be something built back there, but on a much smaller scale," said Snyder.

"If the warehouse goes in, the property values immediately will drop, and then people will want to sell, and they won't be able to because they have a warehouse development behind them now," said Thomas.

The men are worried about home values, safety, and noise, and they want to come to an agreement with Garmin that eases their concerns.

"I'm not anti-Garmin, I just am not, but I am against this," said Snyder.

According to city documents regarding this matter, Garmin says it's worked on concerns brought up by residents in the past, and Garmin says it's in compliance with city standards for the project, but Snyder and Thomas say they want to make sure the standards meet their standards for safe living.

"I just feel like it's been poorly thought out, and I'm hoping that the city of Olathe will sit up and take notice," said Thomas.

There's a meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall. A city spokesman says the city is far from making a final decision on the project, and this is the time for the public to voice any concerns they have. This project, if and when it's completed, will provide approximately 2,700 new jobs for the metro.