Andover City Council approves zoning change to allow apartment complex
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Andover City Council approved a zoning change that will allow for the construction of a new apartment complex near 21st Street North and Andover Road.
After several in the community voiced opposition to the apartments, the approval came with changes. Those changes include a reduced number of units the developer can build and a height reduction for the complex.
Despite these changes, many of those opposed to the complex's construction were upset with the council's decision.
Homeowners in Andover rally together in protest of a possible zoning change ahead of a city council meeting.
Neighbors say it's a decision that has the potential to redraw school-district boundary lines. The controversy in the Andover neighborhood comes after developers propose building a 250-unit apartment complex along 21st Street North and Andover Road.
First, city leaders would have to rezone the area. Those who live near the proposed site for the complex say this vote is bigger than just the Cornerstone Neighborhood. It has the potential to affect the entire city, they say.
Homeowners say an apartment complex would bring more families to the area, flooding Andover schools.
"We were out getting the signatures for the petition and one of the homes we went to, she was actually a schoolteacher. And when she heard about what they were looking to do with the apartments, the scope of the apartments, her first thought was, 'hey, my classroom is already busting already. I have so many kids I can't handle anymore,'" Andover homeowner Mark Ramage says.
Neighbors in the area have protested the apartment complex from the beginning. Ramage and Justin Nickel have gathered more than 60 signatures to protest the application
Neighbors were told of the plans for the apartment complex in September after Laham Development submitted a rezoning application. Laham Development is known for developing Bradley Fair in northeast Wichita.
Andover's planning commission recommended the city approve the application, but neighbors say that piece of land could be used for something else.
"I just hope the city council hears our voices and that they understand, the people overwhelmingly are opposed to the zoning change, and they make the right decision and shut down the apartments," Nickel says.