Republic residents fight second rezone request for same property

Ryan Squibb

Republic residents Justin Neal and Brian Fields are sworn into council office by Republic City Clerk Laura Burbridge. (Photo by Ryan Squibb)

Republic City Council filled for first time in months
The Republic Council Chambers were filled to capacity the evening of Sept. 19 by residents, many of whom were in opposition to a potential rezone.
Last year, a 10-acre property at 688 South Kansas Avenue in west Republic was denied a rezone—following neighbor outcry—that would’ve allowed town homes.
The same property—now with a different owner—has returned to council for rezone consideration. This time though the request is for a less aggressive change in zoning, from agricultural and medium density single family to two-family residential (duplexes).  
But even with a moderate ask, neighbors still turned out en masse to oppose. More than 60 people were on hand for the first reading of the rezone ordinance, many of whom publicly spoke against that action, citing safety, traffic and property value concerns.
It was also announced that a petition with more than 50 signatures in opposition had been circulated.
As this was the first reading no action was taken, but will likely be voted on during the second reading at an upcoming meeting.
Council gets two new members
In the early moments of the meeting, Republic City Clerk Laura Burbridge swore in two new members: Justin Neal, Ward 4, and Brian Fields, Ward 3. Fields replaces Brandon Self who vacated his seat over the summer after moving out of his ward. Neal replaces Jennifer Mitchell who left her seat several months ago due to scheduling conflicts.
The entire board was on hand, save Gerry Pool, Ward 2, who has missed the last three meetings.


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