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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Developers are laying the groundwork to give the Deer Creek Golf Course a new purpose. 

Monday, the Overland Park Planning Commission voted 7-2 to approve one preliminary and three final plats for the golf course. 

Developer and owner GreatLife KC closed the golf course in April following the Overland Park City Council’s decision to deny a rezoning request related to plans to construct an apartment complex on the property. Now, the developer plans to replace the course with 68 single-family homes.

Tomahawk Creek runs along the northern portion of the site and will be maintained in open space tracts. According to city documents, roughly 129 acres on the course will remain open space. 

No homes will be constructed within the FEMA floodplain.The Highlands of Deer Creek subdivision will be built out in five phases, but the developer has not yet submitted a plan for the fifth phase, which includes the property associated with the recently denied rezoning request.

More than 20 residents spoke during the public hearing Monday. Tera Renze lives near the proposed subdivision and expressed concerns about the new development affecting the property values of surrounding homeowners.

“It feels like we are being completely violated by a company that has an egregious grab at a small amount of land to put in homes that will negatively impact more people,” Renze said. 

Deer Creek homeowner Susan Hangouer said she feels the development will increase erosion and flooding along the creek. 

“This project increases the risk of downstream flooding. Development of this nature should not be allowed in a flood-prone area,” Hangouer said.  

Phase III of the project includes 29 lots located along a street connecting 133rd Street east to Lamar Avenue.  Under this plan some existing homes in the Deer Creek subdivision would have an additional street adjacent to their back property line, creating double frontage lots near Lamar Avenue. 

Jeff Coppaken said under the proposed plan his home will become a double-fronted lot, and feels the layout of the project is unfair to existing homeowners in the Deer Creek neighborhood. 

Judd Claussen with Phelps Engineering spoke on behalf of the developer Monday afternoon. Claussen said the developer intends to obtain building permits later this year and begin constructing the homes in early 2023.