The past four months have proved themselves as a waiting game for residents near the former Anderson Elementary School in western Independence.


Because a public hearing was continued Tuesday night on plans to redevelop the elementary school into multi-family housing, the wait will continue an additional two weeks.

The past four months have proved themselves as a waiting game for residents near the former Anderson Elementary School in western Independence.

Because a public hearing was continued Tuesday night on plans to redevelop the elementary school into multi-family housing, the wait will continue an additional two weeks.

The Independence Planning Commission voted to continue the case that would rezone the former Anderson Elementary School, 9701 E. 35th St., from single-family residential and general commercial to moderate density residential-planned unit development.

The Kansas City-based Garrison Companies first applied in October for rezoning to allow up to 141 units on a 4.73-acre property. Commission members were split in their vote, and no definitive recommendation was made for the Independence City Council’s consideration.

In December, council members voted to send the case back to the planning commission and recommended the applicant revise the application to include the number and density of units, location and size of building, landscaping, parking, screening and other site-plan details.

Independence’s typical rezoning applications don’t require site-plan details, but a planning unit development application does require that such aesthetics are outlined, said Tom Scannell, Community Development Department assistant director.

City staff recommended denial of the latest rezoning application, citing at least seven code and ordinance requirements that the applicant must meet.

The latest application calls for 84 units on a nearly 5-acre site.

Citizens will have the opportunity to speak in favor of or against the application during a public hearing at 6 p.m. March 9 in Independence City Hall’s council chambers, 111 E. Maple Ave.

Introducing Kelvin Fisher
Kelvin Fisher, an Independence resident who practices commercial litigation in Overland Park, Kan., was introduced Tuesday as the new planning commission members.

Fisher replaces former vice chairman David Roberts, who resigned in January after serving for 15 years. (Commission members voted Tuesday night for Pat Campbell to serve as the new commission vice chairman.)

“One of the things I’ve been wanting to do is get more involved in my community,” said Fisher, who practices law in both Missouri and Kansas. “On a daily basis, I have to interpret statutes and various ordinances, so I think that my experience in doing that will help me get through the dry language and will help me out in my position.”