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Leawood City Council approves State Line Road development

Leawood City Council Approve State Line Development
Posted at 10:22 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 00:15:53-04

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The parking lot across the street from the Ward Parkway Center where so many have learned how to drive, will soon be a place where people will live, work and play.

Some neighbors are still worried how it'll impact their day to day lives.

"We are begging you to leave the green space and keep the trees and add more," Lisa Battani, a homeowner told the Leawood City Council Monday evening.

Battani was among the handful of homeowners who mounted a last-ditch effort to try get additional changes made to a development that's set to go in their backyard.

"We are not against the development. We just want it to be something that we can all live with, for years to come," Battani said.

Last October, KSHB 41 News first reported about the proposal to build apartments, townhomes and nearly 100-thousand square feet of office and retail space in the parking lot on State Line Road just south of W. 86 Terrace.

"We don't need yet another blighted office building, we already have one there," Jane Van Tassel, another homeowner told council members. "We don't need more retail space, Ward Parkway can barely keep tenants."

Over the course of a year, there's been a back and forth between homeowners and the developer regarding concerns specifically over the green space.

"And, you know, our plan is to continue to allow that to be woodsy," Doug Weltner, founder and CEO of Weltner Equities said. "And we have told neighbors if they wanted to kind of be more trimmed, then you know, we'll be happy to work with them."

Talks have resulted in the project moving a few hundred feet south away from the current homes, a retaining system going underground and the plan to plant 50 new trees.

"It is paramount in our minds that there is open communication between the city and the neighbors and the developers," Julie Cain, Leawood Ward 4 councilmember said. "It's all foremost in all of our minds."

With the project receiving recommendation for approval from the city's planning commission, and the Leawood Homeowners Association submitting a letter to the city that they don't have a problem with project, the council passed it unanimously Monday.

Weltner is confident they'll find tenants for the retail space once the project is complete.

Groundbreaking is expected to happen around April 2022. It'll then take another 18 months to before the first occupants move in.