NewsLocal News


Olathe Planning Commission approves proposed medical-office building

City council must give final approval
Site of Proposed Olathe Health Medical Office Building
Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 23:31:13-05

OLATHE, Kan. — A lot on the northwest corner of 151st Street and Quivira Road has sat vacant for more than a decade. Now, Olathe Health is looking to build a two-story medical office building on it.

Jason Neat lives in the Harmony View West subdivision next to where the more than 67,000-square-foot proposed building and its nearly 300 parking spots would go.

"We're opposed to such a facility going there that, quite frankly, doesn't need to," Neat said. "There are plenty of spots that it can go elsewhere and be placed plenty of land around that's zoned already potentially for that."

The Olathe Planning Commission approved on Monday night Olathe Health's request to rezone more than 8 acres from the Planned Single-Family Residential District to the Office District, along with a preliminary site development plan. The Olathe City Council still must give final approval.

Neat, along with several neighbors, are worried that Quivira Road isn't wide enough to handle an increase in traffic. They've wondered if more traffic will make 151st Street dangerous for children who attend Morse Elementary School.

There also are concerns over stormwater, and Neat said flooding in the area already is a problem.

"We can only assume that it's going to get worse," Neat said, "and currently, they are proposing a very small detention pond about an eighth of an acre to hold that. But once that's full, it's all going to run through my yard, the neighborhood yards."

A city staff report, which recommends approval of the rezoning, states that the project is not expected to "create air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, or other environmental harm."

"It is expected that there will be few ambulances visiting the facility that would only occur in the case of an emergency based on observations at other similar facilities and the hours of operation also limits this occurrence," the report stated. "The development will comply with the city’s stormwater requirements and provide best management practices for water quality."

It also stated that rezoning would not "detrimentally affect nearby properties" or negatively affect surrounding properties."

The developer told Neat during a meeting with residents in late January that he wasn't aware of those water issues.

Following that meeting, some adjustments were made, including adding a fence along the west side of the site to address privacy concerns. But residents don't want any of the project to go up.

"Something will eventually go in there, and we recognize that," Neat said. "We just hope it's something suitable to the surroundings and safe for everybody and doesn't add to more problems."

He said he hopes the planning commission also sees it that way when they take up the rezoning application Monday night.

On Monday, officials with Olathe Health provided a statement to 41 Action News regarding the development:

"At Olathe Health, we are committed to providing convenient care close to home. A growing number of patients prefer receiving healthcare services in an outpatient setting. This new location is designed to meet the needs of those patients. It will provide numerous services, including family medicine, urgent care, outpatient surgical services and imaging. It will not be a hospital, so therefore will not have inpatient or emergency services.

We've had numerous conversations with neighbors, and are working with the city and developer to address their concerns. It has always been our goal, as a community-based, not for profit health system to bring beneficial services to the area. We are excited to be part of this neighborhood, and to expand our services to meet the needs of our growing community."