This application was submitted on October 25, 2017. At that time, the UDO allowed a maximum of 14 tobacco/convenience stores (without fuel sales); there were 13 stores in operation, which allowed for one more tobacco/convenience store to be considered. On November 20, 2017, the UDO was amended to reduce the number of tobacco/convenience stores (without gasoline sales) from a maximum of 14 businesses to seven.
Salim Lakhani seeks Special Use Permit approval to open ‘Discount Smokes’ store in a vacant commercial space at 11211 E. US 24 Highway. The 3,000 SF store will sell tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars with plans to eventually sell electronic/vapor cigarettes and equipment. They will also be engaged in the retail sale of novelty and gift items. No exterior changes will be made to the building. The owners currently have a convenience store with gasoline sales in Independence, and other in Kansas City, Missouri.
Adjacent Land Uses: This segment of E. U.S. 24 Highway has long been zoned either C-1 of C-2 along its frontage. Typical uses include fast food restaurants, auto sales/repairs, office uses, and small retail businesses.
Special Use Permit Standards: The following analysis is based on the review criteria in Section 14-704-09 of the Unified Development Ordinance.
A. The character of the neighborhood – This segment of E. U.S. 24 Highway includes an assortment of restaurants, auto sales and repair, office uses, small retail businesses, even some residential uses; north of this site, across US 24 Highway, is in the City of Sugar Creek.
B. The extent to which the proposed use is compatible with the adjacent zoning and uses – This Special Use Permit would allow the additional use of the site for a tobacco/vapor shop, the underlying zoning remains C-2, the same as many other properties along E. U.S. 24 Highway.
C. The impact of the proposed use on public facilities – As this is an established commercial site; all public facilities are in place and operational.
D. The suitability of the property for the uses to which it has been restricted under the applicable zoning district regulations – This Special Use Permit will allow only one additional land use not already permitted by right by the C-2 classification.
E. The extent to which the proposed use may injure or detrimentally affect the uses or enjoyment of property in the area – Based upon the site’s zoning and use as a commercial property, it is not expected to affect any of these issues.
F. The extent to which the proposed use will create excessive stormwater runoff, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution or other environmental harm – As this is an existing commercial property with no site improvements planned, these items are not an issue.
G. The extent to which there is a need for the use in the community –According to the applicant, this area of the city lacks this type of business and the merchandise it will provide.
H. The ability of the applicant to satisfy any requirements applicable to the specific use imposed pursuant to this Article – If approved with a Special Use Permit, the application appears to satisfy the requirements Section 14-419 of the Unified Development Ordinance.
I. The extent to which public facilities and services are available and adequate to meet the demand for facilities and services generated by the proposed use – This is an existing commercial building with all public facilities in place.
J. The conformance of the proposed use to the Comprehensive Plan and other adopted plans and policies – The Comprehensive Plan envisions Commercial uses for the segment of E. U.S. 24 Highway.
K. The extent to which the use will promote and encourage sustainability or revitalization of a given area – It is not known if a tobacco/vapor shop will have positive impacts on the area.
Planning Commission Action - At its December 12, 2017 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 4-2 to recommend approval of this application after considering the following facts:
1. That the Special Use Permit is consistent with the review criterion listed in Section 14-704-09 of the Unified Development Ordinance.
2. That the proposed business will locate in an existing strip center in this vacant space.
3. That a public hearing was held pursuant to a notice duly published according to law, at which time all interested parties were given the full opportunity to be heard.
4. That, at the Planning Commission hearing, two people spoke in opposition to the application.
5. That no petitions protesting the application were presented at the Planning Commission meeting.
Draft Planning Commission minutes are attached to this Council agenda item.