Garden City commissioners on Tuesday made a series of decisions that could pave the way for a new multi-family housing development in northeast Garden City.

Commissioners approved a rezoning of 8.36 acres of land in the 2700 block of North Jennie Barker Road from general commercial to R-3 multi-family residential, signed off on the final plat and adopted the development plan and establishment of a Rural Housing Incentive District for the Hamptons Phase 3 development, which is expected to include 28 duplex units.

The development will be bordered on the north and west by North Jennie Barker Road, on the southeast by Mary Street and on the east by U.S. Highway 156.

The owner of the property is O’Brate Realty, LLC, of Greeley, Colo., and the developer is S&O Investments Inc., of Garden City. Designer Ken Parks represented the developer at Tuesday's meeting.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve both the final plat and RHID, with Commissioner Lindsay Byrnes the dissenting vote on each. During discussion, she expressed concern about the lack of centrally located green space in the plan, which calls for a circular drive with lots built around the perimeter, as well as four pie-shaped lots in the middle of the circular drive.

Parks pointed to two tracts on the plat — one to the north of the development and another to the east — and said the developer intends to turn those into green space.

Byrnes said she would like to see the developer use the land in the middle of the complex as green space.

In other business:

• Commissioners voted unanimously to allow Garden City Regional Airport to pursue a project to replace the beacon at the airport. According to a memo from Aviation Director Rachelle Powell, the beacon, which was installed in 1975, started to malfunction in the spring of 2018 and completely stopped rotating in October.

HNTB will be providing the professional services on the project at a total estimated cost of $89,635, with federal funds covering $80,671 and a local share of $8,964.

Powell said that while the airport is still able to function safely without the beacon due to planes having sophisticated navigational instruments, the beacon is a supplemental pilot navigational aid and is required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“With it out, it eliminates one of the visual pilot aids,” said Powell, who estimates the work will be completed in June, a timeline that has been approved by the FAA.

• Commissioners unanimously agreed to renew funding for the Downtown Development Fund at $117,142.

The DDF was created in 2015 to help offset costs of revitalizing and/or developing existing buildings and the development of vacant properties in downtown Garden City by reimbursing property owners for improvements made.

The city put $250,000 into the DDF in each of the first three years. In 2018, the city paid $168,637, which was the remaining balance from the 2017 budget. The $117,142 for 2019 is what is left from the 2018 budget.

To date, the city has helped fund 15 projects through the DDF.

• Representatives from the Kansas Association of City/County Management formally presented Garden City Manager Matt Allen with the Buford M. Watson, Jr., Award for Excellence in Public Management.

Allen, who has been city manager since 2008, was named the recipient of the award during the association’s annual conference in November.

• Commissioners approved a change to the way the city issues conditional use permits that will allow for the permits to be issued to a property rather than a property owner and enable the permit to be transferred two times to two separate entities or property owners if the new owners are using the property for the same use. Previously, a new owner/applicant was required to apply for a new CPU and wait 30 to 45 days for the permit.

• Commissioners approved an amendment to regulations regarding temporary sign permits. The updated regulation removes fees for temporary signs and states that all temporary signage is permitted as long as it is displayed for less than 30 consecutive days, meets the standards of the zoning district and doesn’t block public right of way. Under the current regulation, business owners must obtain a permit to post temporary signs and pay twice the permit’s normal fee if they are caught posting without one.

• Commissioners passed a resolution scheduling a public hearing for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 5 to consider and ratify creation of a Community Improvement District for the soon-to-open Flat Mountain Brewery, 207 N. Main St.

In August, the commission conducted a public hearing and adopted an ordinance creating the CID for the business, but it was subsequently determined that the city failed to publish legal notice of the hearing, hence the reason a second hearing must be conducted.

The creation of a CID around the brewery's property will allow the business to charge an additional 1 percent local sales tax on top of the 8.95 city sales tax.


Contact Brett Riggs at