February 22, 2020

Mallory Herrmann

Lee’s Summit may soon be getting a second Culver’s fast-food restaurant.

The planning commission voted to recommend approval of a preliminary development application for the burger joint, to be located on SE Oldham Parkway in the southwest corner of the intersection between US 50 Highway and Ranson Road, at their meeting last week.

Matt Schlicht of Engineering Solutions, LLC said that the owner of the proposed restaurant, Matt Mitchell, also owns the Culver’s located on NE Douglas Street in addition to several other fast-food properties in the area.

“He’s a good tenant in every other site he has,” Schlicht said of Mitchell.

The 4,400-square-foot restaurant would include a drive-through and 76 parking spaces.

A protest petition was filed by a nearby resident, citing concerns about noise, the proximity of the business to the residential area, and concern that it could spur further commercial development in the area.

Hector Soto, Jr., current planning manager, noted that the petition was filed by a resident located approximately 275 feet from the planned restaurant. When the city receives petitions from at least 30% of area residents within 185 feet of a planned development, it triggers a requirement for the city council to have a supermajority vote in order to approve the project.

Soto explained that because this falls outside the requirement, the petition will not trigger a supermajority threshold to approve – but that doesn’t mean the city takes the concerns any less seriously.

“I don’t want this answer to sound glib at all, but yeah the hope is that there is more commercial development in the area,” Soto said.

The preliminary development plan meets the unified development ordinance’s requirements for distance from residential property (both the building itself and the drive-through’s speaker box). It will also include a heavy-impact buffer, consisting of a fence and landscaping. The developer initially proposed a six-foot vinyl fence, though they agreed to residents’ request to use wood fencing instead – to match existing developments along Oldham and in hopes of further dampening noise from the business.

The commission voted unanimously in favor of recommending approval. Commissioners Terry Trafton, Carla Dial and Jeff Sims were absent from the Feb. 13 session.

The city council will hold a second public hearing and vote on the plan at an upcoming meeting.