Neighbors and a property owner have worked out disagreements about an apartment complex on West Sixth Street.
On a unanimous vote Wednesday night, the local planning commission opened the door to a proposed apartment-office complex on a 10-acre vacant field on West Sixth Street.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission approved a request for rezoning about 10 acres on the north side of West Sixth Street, east of Schwarz Road, for Tuckaway Subdivision.
Beryl L. Hobbs, the property owner, wants to build 108 apartments, a clubhouse, two swimming pools and 250 parking spaces, with the access controlled by a gatehouse.
A later development calls for an office building on part of the property closest to Sixth Street.
Specifically, the commission approved rezoning 2.36 acres from RS-1 (single-family residence) to RO-1A (residence-office). It also approved rezoning 7.2 acres from RS-1 to PRD-2 (planned residential development). The commission unanimously approved the preliminary development plan for the project.
The rezonings and the preliminary plat will be forwarded to the city commission.
"We'll be back next month with the final development plan," said Paul Werner, the architect for the project. "After that we could start construction as early as mid-November."
The project had been on hold for several months while representatives of the owner and the neighbors worked out agreements, Werner said.
Werner said the owner agreed not to build any three-story buildings, to reduce the density of the original plan and to provide a buffer on the west property line.
Dan Watkins, an attorney who represented neighbors from the Pioneer Ridge neighborhood in the negotiations, told the commission both sides made concessions.
"It reminds me of what Casey Stengel said about how he liked to keep his baseball team -- sullen but not mutinous," Watkins said. "The developers are sullen and the neighbors are sullen."
The commission voted to recess its meeting to next Wednesday to deal with a new East Lawrence neighborhood plan and several agenda items related to a commercial development on South Iowa Street.