Neighbors push back against construction of new Olathe Health center

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OLATHE, Kan. — Olathe homeowners are pushing back against plans to build a new medical facility near West 151st Street and Quivira Road.

Developers have requested the northwest lot of West 151st Street and Quivira Road be rezoned from residential to commercial for the purpose of building a new Olathe Health medical facility. 

The current lot at 151st and Quivira (left) and the proposed design of the Olathe Health Quivira Campus (right).

On March 8, the Olathe Planning Commission unanimously approved the request to rezone the property. Now the request will go to the city council for final approval. 

If the rezone is approved by the city council, the Olathe Health Quivira Campus would be built on the 8.57-acre lot. The proposed rezone would allow developers to build a two-story, 67,327-square-foot medical center. The site plan also includes a 298-space parking lot that will be located directly behind the medical center.

Brian Gregory lives less than 1,000 feet from the proposed project in the Harmony View West neighborhood. He said he doesn’t see the need for a new medical facility in the area.

“There’s seven urgent care facilities within two miles and three full service hospitals within six miles. Literally in 5-10 minutes you can be to Olathe Medical Center, Overland Park Regional or Saint Luke’s South. There is just no need for another facility,” Gregory said.

According to city records, the property has been vacant for the last 13 years under the current RP-1 District zoning. 

Members of the Harmony View West Home Owner Association and nearby neighborhoods have started a petition demanding the project be stopped. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 900 people had signed the petition.

Gregory said he feels the lot is too small for the proposed project to fit, and putting a building of that size in a residential area could potentially harm the neighbor’s property values. 

“The developer has even mentioned when we asked questions that they are struggling to make it fit on this parcel. It’s such a big facility. It’s going to be almost 45 feet tall and that’s kind of the high point for the neighborhood, it’s just going to tower over everything,” Gregory said. 

Gregory said he’s concerned the proposed center might increase traffic and make the area dangerous for bike riders or kids trying to get to Morse Elementary across the street. 

“That road already doesn’t handle traffic very well and again this facility is supposed to serve almost 1,000 patients a day. That is going to increase traffic dramatically,” Gregory said. 

FOX4 reached out to Olathe Health and received this statement: 

“At Olathe Health, we are committed to providing convenient care close to home. A growing number of patients prefer receiving healthcare services in an outpatient setting. This new location is designed to meet the needs of those patients. It will provide numerous services, including family medicine, urgent care, outpatient surgical services and imaging. It will not be a hospital, so therefore will not have inpatient or emergency services.   

We’ve had numerous conversations with neighbors, and are working with the city and developer to address their concerns. It has always been our goal, as a community-based, not for profit health system to bring beneficial services to the area. We are excited to be part of this neighborhood, and to expand our services to meet the needs of our growing community.” 

According to the rezoning request, officials from Olathe Health anticipate the new facility would bring roughly 65 new jobs to the area.

FOX4 also reached out to Olathe Councilmember Kevin Gilmore, who represents the portion of the city that includes 151st and Quivira, but he declined to comment on the project. 

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