OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Overland Park City Council voted to deny a rezone request for property surrounding the former Incred-A-Bowl site on Monday. 

Lenexa-based developer N.M.S. requested the city rezone 2.9 acres at 151st Street and Antioch Road to allow for the development of townhomes. The developer intended to create 18 rental townhome units spread across five, two-story buildings. 

The land was originally zoned for office use in the late ’90s. Plans for two 10,000-square-foot office buildings were approved on this vacant property, but were never constructed.

Patrick Lenahan with Yaeger Architecture spoke on behalf of the developer Monday. Under the proposed plan, townhome residents would have had to drive through the parking lot of the former Incred-A-Bowl building to access the complex. 

“From a design perspective and an engineering perspective these properties are indeed intertwined. The design of that egress has to be maintained, that access would have to be maintained for any scenario of the design of the front,” Lenahan said. 

Dr. Paramjeet Sabharwal owns both the vacant 2.9-acre property and the former bowling alley site to the south. 

Lenahan told the city planning commission in June that any future development at the Incred-A-Bowl site would be contingent on revenue generated by the townhome project. 

“Currently we are looking for a tenant [for Incred-A-Bowl], if possible. If that doesn’t happen, then we’ll basically demolish the building,” Sabharwal said. 

Sabharwal told the council he was unsure if the property was up to date on taxes. When asked about previous city code violations on the former Incred-A-Bowl property, Sabharwal claimed surrounding property owners were to blame. 

“This building has been, by neighbors or their kids, vandalized [a] million times. They have basically drawn on it, all sorts of vulgarity in it. So, I think [the] neighborhood should behave,” Sabharwal said. 

During a public hearing several neighboring property owners weighed in on the proposed project. 

“Dr. Sabharwal does not care about the city’s present needs, much less its future needs. He does not hold the same morals as the nearby residents, as we all pay our taxes,” neighbor Kristi Uenishi said. 

“This is not consistent with the surrounding nature of the neighborhood. It would elicit stormwater runoff and traffic issues on Hardy, as the only entrance would be drives immediately adjacent to the eyesore,” Tina Tribble said. 

Councilmember Tom Carignan said a lack of direct access to the development could quickly be a public safety issue. 

Councilmember Paul Lyons said because Sabharwal owns both the vacant lot and the former Incred-A-Bowl site; he feels the properties should be merged to be developed as a single project. 

“I generally like the idea of townhomes as a buffer between single family residential and commercial. Those are generally a good thing, but what bothered me about this was the fact that its really kind of shoehorned in the back there behind that building,” Lyons said. 

Councilmembers Logan Heley, Melissa Cheatham and Holly Grummert voted against rejecting the developers request.

“I do think that townhomes are a great transition between single family homes and commercial uses. I think they are a better use than what’s already approved there with the office buildings. To have residential as your neighbor rather than an office building. I think it is in harmony to be that transition,” Cheatham said.