Riverside residents will have chance to speak out about senior housing proposal

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Residents in the Riverside neighborhood will now have the chance to express their concerns and have their questions answered about a proposed controversial apartment building.

In an update to a story KSN reported on last week, the proposal for a three-story, 60 unit senior citizen apartment building near the popular corner of 13th and Bitting will be presented at the District VI Advisory Board (DAB VI) meeting tonight.

At the meeting, Rob Snyder, owner of Central Plains Development, will take questions and listen to public comment before requesting a resolution of support for application for Housing Tax Credits (HTCs).

HTCs are a credit to federal taxes that developers can use to put into projects such as this proposed senior citizen apartment complex. The extra money would lower the amount developers need to charge rent, allowing the apartments to be rented out to people with lower incomes.

KSN talked with Janet Miller, Wichita vice mayor, about the process for getting approved for HTCs.

“As part of the application process, the developers are asked to get a resolution of support from their local jurisdiction, which in this case is the City of Wichita, that says that the City of Wichita is supportive of their application,” Miller said.

The city’s Housing and Community Services Department already recommended approval of the project but before Central Plains Development can move forward, they’ll need support from the DAB VI, before the plans make their way to city council.

“It will go to the District Advisory Board. Generally they will vote on an issue to recommend approval or denial and then I take that into consideration when it comes next to the city council for consideration,” Miller said. “I’ll be one of seven votes at that time as to whether or not to offer a letter of support.”

Some Riverside residents told KSN they fear for the businesses and homes nearby the proposed construction site, while others expressed concerns with communications surrounding the proposal.

“My concern is if we build an apartment that it isn’t a cookie cutter; that it matches the neighborhood and we’re not getting any communication on that,” said Danny Mason, a Riverside resident.

Some concerns residents are expressing are based on circulating misinformation, according to Snyder. For example, closing local businesses such as the popular Riverside Café, is not in the plans, he said.

As part of tonight’s DAB VI meeting, some of those concerns should be faced with explanations before any decisions are made. Miller said.

“I think the best thing to do at this point is to have it presented at the District Advisory Board so that anyone who’s interested can hear about it, ask questions, have those questions answered, an then at that point everybody will be operating off the same page and can make public comments about it,” she said.


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