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There was much discussion – a lot of it focused on roads – of a zoning change to a portion of land south of the Fairway Meadows Addition at the Derby Planning Commission meeting May 21.

Zoning and platting changes for a potential extension of Fairway Meadows Addition (a half mile south of 63rd Street South and west of 127th Street East) drew some concern from local residents, who came before the Derby Planning Commission May 21 to discuss those issues.

The change in question would see a portion of land south of Fairway Meadows Addition along the existing Eagle Drive rezoned from rural residential to single-family residential. Additionally, a preliminary plat was proposed for the zone in question (nine acres of land) to be divided into seven development sites of slightly more than one acre.

During a public hearing on that proposed zone change, multiple residents who live on Eagle Drive currently raised concerns about the potential development there. Chief among those was what it would do to Eagle Drive if that area to the south were to be developed further.

While there were safety concerns for small children in the area, resident Jane Fine also questioned the ability of Eagle Drive to hold up to the amount of traffic that would be brought on by additional development.

“Those are not what I would call heavy duty roads,” Fine said.

Fine noted that she and her husband have lived in the area for 30 years. Since moving in, they have seen at least three additional houses built along their portion of Eagle Drive – part of what led to their concern over the heavy traffic that could come through to precipitate development.

Meanwhile, fellow resident Dianna Dorr, who moved to Eagle Drive in 2002, also had some issues with additional traffic. For Dorr, that had more to do with how the neighborhood was marketed when she moved there.

“We would not be in that neighborhood had we expected it was not a cul-de-sac,” Dorr said.

Residents requested that Eagle Drive remain a cul-de-sac, but assistant city planner Everett Haynes pointed out that was never the original intent – as the original plat in 1977 shows plans for Eagle Drive to be extended from its current terminus.

Applicant Rachel Farris, who both lives in that area and grew up in the addition, addressed the road concerns brought up – stating that she has seen plenty of development (and plenty of heavy traffic) come through Eagle Drive in the past.

“Construction will not damage those roads,” Farris said.

Regarding concerns over the amount of development, while the area will be platted for seven potential residences, Farris said the plan is only to develop three of those sites.

Being zoned to SF-20 (separated into 20,000-acre divisions), Fine questioned why the sites were being divided into one-acre portions and why the area wouldn’t then be re-zoned as SF-40. Developer Kirk Miller noted that was done specifically to allow for alternative sewage options – with that only being allowed on sites of at least one-acre in size.

While concerns were raised by the public, City Planner Scott Knebel noted that was not an automatic disqualifier for zoning changes. Being in line with city staff’s findings of fact, the recommenda-tion was still to approve the zoning change.

Commissioner Jessica Rhein noted it is unfortunate if current residents along Eagle Drive purchased property based on assumptions that weren’t true. However, given the original platting and staff rec-ommendations, the planning commission approved both the zoning change and the preliminary plat for Schmeidler Addition.

Being in an unincorporated area of Sedgwick County, the zoning change will also come before the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission for a public hearing on June 4 with recommendations to be forwarded to the county commission for final action.

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