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City comp plan faces first challenge





Hays city commissioners will look at the first challenge to Hays' newly implemented comprehensive plan during their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall.

During its Aug. 20 meeting, the Hays Area Planning Commission voted 6-0 to approve a zoning change from single-family dwelling district to two-family dwelling district for three lots on the east side of Wheatland Avenue, south of 22nd Street.

The designation would allow development of either single-family or two-family housing on the lots.

One factor in the planning commission's decision, Jesse Rohr, city of Hays planning, inspection and enforcement superintendent told city commissioners at last week's work session, was consideration of the city's comprehensive plan.

"The comprehensive plan identifies this as a medium-density residential area," he said. "Another basis was the length of time the property had remained vacant as currently zoned."

Zoning issues frequently hit the city commission's agenda, Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV said, acknowledging people living near the lots in question are "not happy with it," and he was somewhat in agreement with them.

"Because if you look at what's happened in the area near Volga Drive, if you drive west," he said. "That multi-family ... it does not look good and could not have helped home values."

Several homeowners from the Wheatland Avenue area brought their concerns to commissioners at the work session.

Anthony Hornick, one of the homeowners in attendance, said he also had attended the planning commission meeting and heard the objections to the rezoning raised by his neighbors.

"And after we had our say, we got the impression that our objections were pretty quickly dismissed," he said. "And the reason was Hays needs more rental property."

Letters from 65 residents from the area who were unable to attend the work session were shared with city commissioners.

Other agenda items include:

* Consideration of approving a cost share arrangement among the city of Hays, Kansas Water Office and the Corps of Engineers.

* An ordinance authorizing issuance of health care facility revenue bonds.

* A resolution approving tax and securities compliance procedures.

* A 2012 uniform public offense code and 2012 standard traffic ordinance.

* A Vietnam veteran's memorial helicopter display at Hays Regional Airport.

* Concrete crushing.