OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Despite pushback from surrounding property owners, the Overland Park Planning Commission advanced a rezoning request that could bring more than 400 new apartments to the southern portion of the city. 

On Monday, the commission voted 9-0 to approve a request to rezone roughly 17 acres of land in the southwest corner of 135th Street and Antioch Road. 

Minnesota-based developer Ryan Companies hopes to rezone the property from single family residential (R-1) to a planned business district (CP-2) and planned high rise apartments (RP-6) to make way for a new mixed-use development. 

The northern portion of the property previously served as a tree nursery while the southern portion of the property remains undeveloped.

The commercial portion of the project will include a drive-thru bank, two drive-thru restaurants and a multi-tenant retail building along 135th street. 

Directly south of the commercial site, the developer plans to create a 446-unit apartment complex. The proposed apartments will be built out across four buildings with the northernmost building being five stories in height and the remaining three buildings being four stories.

Proposed amenities include a swimming pool, clubhouse, fire pit area and spa. A dog park is also being proposed at the southwest corner of the site. According to a traffic study, the proposed development is expected to generate more than 5,000 daily trips to the site. 

If the project is approved, 137th Street will be widened and an eastbound left-turn lane will be added to the intersection of 137th Street and Antioch Road. A southbound right-turn lane will be required along Antioch Road for a proposed right-in/right-out access drive into the site. 

“With this project we will be satisfying the city’s long-term goals on the future development map of finalizing the super collector section along 137th Street,” Brandon Brensing with Ryan Companies, said.   

More than a dozen people spoke against the proposed development during the public hearing Monday afternoon. 

Drew Argetsinger, president of the Nottingham Forest South Homeowners Association, raised concerns about what he felt was a lack of transparency in notifying neighboring property owners about the proposed development. 

“The public hearing signs are posted, but they are behind fences along Antioch and along 137th. Unless you are standing and looking directly at them, they are very hard to see. When you’re driving by they are almost not visible,” Argetsinger said.

Daina Fahey lives in the Nottingham Forest South neighborhood and said she feels the proposed project isn’t a good fit for the surrounding neighborhood. 

“This development is located directly across from Blue Valley recreational baseball fields. Placing a five story high density apartment complex next to youth baseball fields is the opposite of harmony. It shows a complete disregard by the developers for uses of the nearby property,” Fahey said.

Sheila Ost said that because the traffic study for the project was conducted in April, it did not factor in the increased summer traffic during baseball season. Ost said the increased traffic from the project could create a potential safety risk for families using the baseball complex on the opposite side of 137th Street. 

“This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the area and amounts to a fatal flaw,” Ost said.

The Overland Park City Council is scheduled to review the rezone request on Monday, Aug. 1.