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Overland Park City Council votes against Deer Creek apartment proposal

deer creek revision jan22.png
Posted at 1:13 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 09:17:33-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Overland Park City Council approved a motion to deny the rezoning and special use permit applications for the Deer Creek apartment proposal during Monday's meeting, meaning the development will not move forward.

The 9-3 vote took place just after 1 a.m. Tuesday.

In January, the city’s planning commission voted to recommend approval of the proposal despite strong protests from homeowners in the neighboring single-family neighborhood.

Those homeowners presented arguments Monday night into Tuesday morning against the plan.

Ultimately city council members voted against the proposal, citing the project would increase traffic (despite a staff report listing a minimum traffic impact), was too large scale, did not fit with the existing single-family neighborhood, had no transition to the single-family neighborhood and asked for too many exceptions to city rules — called deviations or variances.

“The trust of the people in government is to keep the quality of life and investment they’ve made," Councilmember Faris Farassati said.

Officials from EPC Real Estate, who proposed the project, told KSHB 41 News approving the project was the only way to “save the golf course.”

EPC said approving the apartments would generate property tax revenue which would help pay for repairs to Tomahawk Creek, which runs through Deer Creek Golf Course where it’s caused damage from erosion and flooding. It’s unclear what will happen to the golf course next.

The project called for an apartment complex with four buildings and 220 units.

The proposal needed seven votes to gain approval and nine votes to be formally denied.

The first roll call ended with only eight council members denying the project. Councilman Logan Haley changed his vote during a second vote saying he still supports the project, but was voting to deny it “so we end it.” The meeting had stretched past 1 a.m. at that point.

Three of the four newly elected council members voted against the project (Cox, Passer and Mosher), which could signal a steeper hill for future developers seeking the city’s approval.

How members voted on the motion to deny the proposal:

  • Logan Heley: Approve
  • Holly Grummert: Deny
  • Paul Lyons: Deny
  • Melissa Cheatham: Deny
  • Jim Kite: Approve
  • Tom Carignang: Approve
  • Fred Spears: Approve
  • Scott Mosher: Approve
  • Faris Farassati: Approve
  • Sam Passer: Approve
  • Scott Hamblin: Approve
  • Jeff Cox: Approve