TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Topeka zoning commission revisited a proposal Monday night to redevelop a downtown neighborhood after it was rejected by the city council.
The planning commission heard both representatives from One Gas and a number of people who took part in the public comment.
The biggest concerns from the public are noise, lights, traffic, property value, being near Hayden High School, and an industrial operation in a residential area. One Gas representatives say they have found accommodations in response to these concerns. Representatives say the lighting will not affect neighbors as the pole lights will be on the north side of the property away from the neighbors. With that, they want to put high fences around the property, say traffic will be lower than before the pandemic, and that they’ve spoken to Hayden High School and they say they’re OK with it. Tonight’s tally from the planning committee: 3 voted yes, 3 voted no, and 1 voted no.
“Our votes are only for a recommendation to the city council,” Topeka Planning Commission Chair Corey Dehn said. “He hasn’t raised enough to pass, or enough to fail. Then, by not garnering enough votes to pass it, it automatically fails. But then the city council has the final vote to approve the yes or no. Ours is just approving the recommendation to the city council ”.
The debate is not over yet. The topic will now return to the City Council in the coming weeks where it will make the final decision on whether or not to proceed with the change of intended use of One Gas.