Shawnee City Council approves rezoning for proposed development out west
Western Shawnee may soon have a new housing development.
At its meeting last week, the Shawnee City Council unanimously approved rezoning of 119 acres for the development of single family residences for the proposed Canyon Lakes subdivision, located in the 23900 to 24700 blocks of Clear Creek Parkway.
The property was previously zoned residential suburban (RS) and agricultural (AG).
The application for rezoning was filed by Phelps Engineering for Clear Creek Parkway, LLC.
Despite the council’s support, there were a few residents who showed up to the council meeting to voice concerns about issues such as traffic and density.
They stated their belief that Clare Road, near the site, could not safely handle additional traffic.
Beckie King, who lives on Clare Road, told the council her house is located on top of a hill where drivers often don’t see each other coming, which has resulted in near fatal accidents for her family members a couple times.
She especially fears for the safety of people walking or riding their bike down that section of the road.
“Our road is barely wide enough for two cars to pass, the road is not flat, the road is not straight, there are blind spots all on Clare, especially at our place,” King told the council. “We’ve lived there 10 years and it’s been scary for us, especially with children.”
She was frustrated to learn the city has not conducted a traffic study for the location.
“It (the development) will increase traffic, you’ve got to know that,” King said. “So I would like you to recognize that this is on public record now that should any more accidents happen on Clare Road, the county the state, and the city will know someone is going to be held responsible.”
Attorney Aaron March also spoke at the meeting, on the behalf of a couple of residents who live across the street from the proposed development.
He told the council his clients have met with the developer many times and while they are not against his project, they do have a few concerns.
He pointed out that his clients like that the project features larger homes on smaller lots and they hope this aspect of the project will not change in the future.
Their biggest concern, however, was traffic.
March told the council that at some point in the future, his clients will ask the city to conduct a traffic study and fix Clare Road, because they view it as dangerous.
“Every one of these people who lives in the area on Clare Road today tells you its a problem,” he said. “If one more car is added to Clare Road is that going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? No. Is three? Is 40? Is 50? We don’t know. The traffic study will tell you what that distribution is and that it needs to be fixed.”
When questioned by the council about traffic, Shawnee transportation manager Kevin Manning said that while an official study has not been conducted, staff looked at traffic analysis for the area and decided they are comfortable with the infrastructure handling any increase in traffic the development will generate.
He said that when the city looks at new development, a couple things are taken into consideration when seeing if a traffic study is necessary. One is approximately how much traffic is being generated and the other, where the traffic is coming from.
“While this is a fairly large area of development, it’s placement on the west side of the city and the fact that the vast amount majority of the trips will be going east, through infrastructure that is well below capacity, made staff comfortable that a traffic study wouldn’t be needed,” Manning said.
City documents show that earlier last month, the planning commission had also decided that despite any increase in traffic or traffic patterns which may be created, it did not feel rezoning would be detrimental to the surrounding properties.
Since the development will occur over a period of time, it will allow the council time to review any improvements that may be needed to Clare Road.
City documents also state that officials hope the increased rooftops and population in the area will stimulate more restaurants and other service-oriented businesses to be built in western Shawnee.
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