City governing body considers changing zoning to allow for 24-hour laundromat in southwest Topeka

The city’s governing body, consisting of the nine city council members and Mayor Larry Wolgast, will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th. (Google Maps/File photo 2016)

Topeka’s governing body on Tuesday will consider changing zoning to allow for the construction of a 24-hour laundromat in southwest Topeka.

 

The Shawnee County Commission won’t meet Monday because of the New Year’s Day holiday and also won’t meet Thursday because county commissioners voted Sept. 28 to cancel that meeting.

The city’s governing body, consisting of the nine city council members and Mayor Larry Wolgast, will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th.

Members will consider changing zoning to enable 2.5 acres of vacant land at the northeast corner of S.W. 22nd Terrace and Westport Drive to become the site of a building that would house a laundromat, which would be open 24 hours a day.

The Topeka Planning Commission voted 6-0 on Sept. 18 to recommend the governing body approve the proposed plan.

Governing body members voted Dec. 5 to send the proposal back to the planning commission, while asking it to further consider the project’s potential traffic impact and reconsider a provision that would allow the laundromat to be open 24 hours a day.

Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz made the motion to send the proposal back to the planning commission, saying the presence of a laundromat that’s open all night could create a dangerous situation.

Planning commissioners then voted 5-2 on Dec. 18 to send their original recommendations back to the governing body with no amendments.

The governing body also plans Tuesday to:

— Discuss but take no action on a recommendation from its economic and community development committee that the city in 2018 make specific allocations totaling $796,233 in social services and contracted services funding. Those include $211,233 for contracted services and $585,000 for social services.

— Hold a special recognition ceremony to honor Mayor Larry Wolgast and council members Richard Harmon and Elaine Schwartz, who will leave office in January after not seeking re-election, and Councilwoman Michelle De La Isla, who will leave her seat to assume the mayor’s office she won in the November general election.

— Consider appointing Corliss Lawson to the Topeka Planning Commission for a term running through Sept. 30, 2021.

— With Wolgast not having a vote, consider a consent agenda that includes city attorney Lisa Robertson’s recommendations that the city deny a tort claim appeal submitted by Charles Cozad seeking $125 for alleged damages to his vehicle from hitting a pothole and deny a tort claim submitted on behalf of Complete Nutrition seeking $100,000 in compensation for lost revenues linked to a construction project at S.W. 21st and Wanamaker Road. Consent agenda items are generally approved without debate.

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Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

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