As Garden grows, so do zoning issues

Project Fitness is one step closer to meeting its zoning requirements
Project Fitness is one step closer to meeting its zoning requirements

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — The Garden City commission voted today to allow fitness centers to apply for a permit to operate in industrial zones.

It’s just part of an ongoing series of zoning issues the city has been facing in recent years.

City officials say it’s to be expected, considering the city’s rapid growth.

“We’ve been going through a lot of growth,” said Kaleb Kentner with the city’s Neighborhood and Development department. “A lot of changes in the community.”

But those changes have led to confusion and frustration among some.

“With that often times comes conflict,” said Kentner, “and because those are important rights for everybody, property rights.”

Today the city commission voted three to two to allow fitness centers to apply for permits to allow them to operate in industrial zones.

It’s a victory for the owner of the crossfit gym Project Fitness owners, who had been fighting to stay in their current location.

“It’s just been a crazy ride,” said owner Joey Kelch and you know I just prayed every night and just hoped for the right outcome.”

Ashley Oyler owns a manufacturing business nearby. She’s concerned the gym’s clients running in the area pose a danger for drivers and for her wallet.

“Along with that comes increased liability for us,” she said, “which unfortunately increases our insurance premiums and things like that, because insurers do look at your surroundings.”

Both parties plan to argue their cases to the Zoning Board of Appeals. City leaders say it’s all part of the growing pains for the city as it continues to develop.

“It’s important that people come voice their opinions one way or another,” said Kentner.

Last month, we told you about another zoning conflict in Garden between the transload facility and nearby residents. On November 10, the Garden City commission will vote on whether or not to rezone the land for industrial use so that the facility can be constructed.