Olathe residents fight development near Johnson County Airport

OLATHE, Kan. - Part of the neighborhood Joseph McMillian fell in love with 32 years ago is still untouched by development.

"We like the community, we like the feel of the neighborhood," McMillian said.

But in just a few days, the Olathe Planning Commission could approve a plan to build homes and retail around the Johnson County Airport

"Do we like the wildlife that we get with this area? Absolutely. But are we against development? No. We know that it's coming sometime," he said.

And sometime is here again for 143rd Street between Plfumm and Quivira.

In 2008, the Johnson County Airport fought a similar proposal and won.

The blueprint for the new commercial and residential development by Schlagel and Associates includes hundreds of homes and businesses. But what's missing to McMillian and his neighbors is roadway infrastructure.

"Those are curving, narrow roads and sidewalks with no sidewalks, no curbs and totally incapable of handling any increase in traffic," he said.

Since 2012, Olathe Police Department's crash data shows at least eight accidents have occurred in the area, two resulted in injuries.

"This street is dangerous in the mornings during rush hour," he said.

The noisy interruption that would be more than likely not be a selling point for the proposed homes right next to the airport is just one of the many reasons neighbors are joining together to fight this development,

"I'm frankly amazed at how everybody has come together on this. It's truly a community issue." McMillian said.

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