The property south of Kennedy Lane at Myrtle Road (foreground) is requested to be rezoned for apartments. In the background on Range Line Road can be seen the new Metro Appliance, Eberhardt Chiropractic and Anderson Car and Tractor.

Apartment zoning request in Oakland Park area postponed

A controversial request to rezone property for three-story apartments was removed Monday from the Webb City Council’s agenda and postponed until the next meeting on June 27.

Kaleb Marti, of Sunnyvale Investments, is proposing the construction of 216 apartments on 10.35 acres on the east side of Range Line Road and south of Kennedy Lane, in the former Oakland Park Village area. It’s across Range Line from Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant.

The development requires the property to be rezoned from R-1 single family to R-3 multi-family.

Darin and Sherri Hostetter, 30-year residents in the “close-knit” neighborhood on Myrtle Road, represented those in opposition. Myrtle Road is east of the proposed development.

Perhaps the main objection is that the addition of up to 600 new residents – and their vehicles – would overwhelm their established neighborhood, which already has traffic issues.

Steve Grissom, another resident on Myrtle, pointed out that Myrtle Road, built with few guidelines when the area was still Oakland Park Village, is only 15 wide, with no right of way to widen it. Kennedy Lane, an east-west street that comes off Range Line, is only 18 feet wide, according to Grissom.

Because of the difficulty turning left onto Range Line, neighbors said there’s no doubt residents of the new apartments would go down Myrtle to access the stoplight at Zora Street and Range Line.

The single-family neighborhood along Myrtle Road looking south toward Zora Street.

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale, a former Myrtle resident, agreed that he always drove to the Zora/Range Line intersection instead of trying to turn left onto Rang Line.

Dan Harrison, another resident in opposition, swayed some council members when he passed around pictures of unsightly portions of the Oxford Park Apartments in Joplin, which he said is also owned by Marti.

The Hostetters asked about the possibility of rezoning the property closest to their houses as R-2 for duplexes to serve as a buffer.

They said they are not opposed to the land being developed “as long as it’s not three stories at our back door.”

An engineer speaking for Sunnyvale said because of the tall established trees in the neighborhood “they won’t see the three-story building if we do this development right.”

Ragsdale summarized that the real issue is that there are a lot of problems with access, and it’s likely the Missouri Department of Transportation will be stingy with access on Range Line.

In fact, he said other potential developments to the north on Madison Street are hinging on MoDOT approval of access. “We’re not happy” with MoDOT requirements, he said.

Attorney Wes Barnum spoke in favor of the rezoning. He said the Sunnyvale staff has worked with city staff up to this point but the plans shown to the council that night are not final.

“When you come back, hopefully it will be more final,” said Jim Dawson (4th Ward).

He also urged a spirit of compromise. “I know I won’t vote for it tonight,” he said, as he held up one of the Ozark Park photos.

Andy Queen (1st Ward) noted that the council is only deciding whether the best use of the property is multi-family, regardless of ownership or plans, as long as they meet codes affecting R-3.

The vote to remove the council bill from the agenda and postpone it until June 27 was 7-0. Jonathan Shull (3rd Ward) was absent.

In other action, the council:

• Advanced on first reading a rezoning request from Burns Investments for its existing Wingfield Apartments complex on North Main Street. It was assumed the property had been rezoned R-3 but was still at the automatic zoning of A1 (agricultural).

• Allowed the fire department to purchase a communications vehicle to be used in response to all emergencies. Don Brown Chevrolet submitted the only bid of $39,530, which is the state contract price for the 2023 red Chevy Tahoe. Half of the amount ($19,765) will be reimbursed by the State Emergency Management Agency.

• Approved a bid of $3,279 from Binswanger Glass to repair the entrance doors, including new panic hardware, at the Mining Days Community Building. City Administrator Carl Francis was thankful for the Binswanger bid because two other firms had suggested the only option was to replace the entire entrance at a cost in the $10,000 range.

• Approved the My Construction and Roofing bid of $20,272 to replace the roof of the Mining Days Community Building.

• Accepted a quote of $39,559 from Total Electronics Contracting to update and install new technology in the council chambers, with the capability to video stream.

• Accepted the bid of $8,920 from Surveillance Tech to upgrade the City Hall exterior security system, including nine new cameras.