Protest petition against Shawnee development will make approval harder for city council

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- The Shawnee City Council will vote Monday on a controversial housing project near K-7 and Johnson Drive.

The proposal includes 16 multi-family buildings containing 384 residential apartment units and 14 town home buildings with 42 units.

The Planning Commission previously voted 7-0 that the council approve the Woodsonia Multifamily Project.

"Most of the neighborhood would rather not see it go up," Monica Becker said.

Neighbors like Becker are concerned about an increase in traffic and decrease in property value.

"I just don't want that right out in front of my yard," Maggie Watts said.

Watts lives right across the street from the project and plans to move if it passes.

"I hate it," Watts said. "I love my house. I've only been here two years."

Both women signed a protest petition, which has more than the necessary 41 signatures of people who live within 200 feet of the project.

Because of that, the city council must have a three-fourths vote in favor of rezoning and the new development plan, rather than just majority.

"I don't know that we can stop it, so therefore, a compromise might be make it as integrated and beautiful as possible," Becker said.

One woman who didn't sign the petition said she likes the idea of change, of adding apartment complexes and town homes to the area.

Others believe something commercial would be better.

"All of those people will put a stress on the services -- the schools, the fire department, the police department, you know, everything," Becker said.

According to the city, USD 232 School District said they anticipated this development bringing in more students and said it would not negatively impact schools.

Becker hopes the council takes the neighborhood's other concerns into consideration during the vote.

The meeting is Monday at 7 p.m. Council members will hear from the public before the actual vote.

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