Wichita City Council denies developer’s zoning request in College Hill
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 14, denied one developer’s request to build a new parking lot in the city’s College Hill neighborhood. The owners of Happiness Plaza near Douglas and Clifton sought the city’s permission to build a new lot near their business on property not currently zoned for parking. Happiness Plaza is a corner shopping area that hosts a multitude of businesses, including popular restaurant, The Belmont.
“We need to utilize some more parking. We want to try alleviate anyone that is being forced to park down the street or anything of that sort,” said Happiness Plaza Partner Tory Demarce in September. “So, we are trying to find solutions to keeping the traffic and everything closer to our building and also provide the closer parking to the guests that do choose to come here as well.”
Construction for additional parking called for the demolition of a few nearby houses, a process that began with an expectation that the Wichita City Council would approve the zoning request, clearing the way for plans to move forward. But city council members voted against the request after further considering what developers want to accomplish, how extended parking plays into that and hearing from neighbors who opposed the plans.
Addressing the parking issue, the city said there are unused spots available in the area. The council voted 6-1 to deny the zoning request.
In September, neighbors expressed their opposition in a letter detailing how the project would affect the neighborhood with some older homes being torn down. The letter asked the community to protest the construction.
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