Pumpkin patch proposal withdrawn, but may be revived
A Johnson County couple has withdrawn their proposal to move their commercial pumpkin patch operation into rural southeast Douglas County. But that may not be the end of the issue.
Douglas County administrator Craig Weinaug said today that the applicants have indicated they may resubmit their proposal at a later date.
Kirk and Julie Berggren of Overland Park applied to Douglas County for an agritourism business permit so they could move their KC Pumpkin Patch business to a 40-acre site along Kansas Highway 33 in Palmyra Township, about a mile and a half north of the Franklin County line.
But the plans drew stiff opposition from nearby property owners, who feared it would generate too much traffic and would not be compatible with the quiet, rural character of the area.
After a lengthy public hearing last month, county commissioners directed the Zoning and Codes Department to draft a permit that would include tight conditions limiting the size and scope of the operation, as well as the types of activities that could take place.
The draft permit called for limiting the activities solely to pumpkin picking, bird watching and fishing. It also would have limited the business to daytime hours. Commissioners were to consider that permit Sept. 25, but the Berggrens asked for a two-week delay, hoping to negotiate less restrictive conditions.
Weinaug said this afternoon a vote on the permit planned for Wednesday has been taken off the agenda at the Berggrens' request.
He said a key sticking point for the Berggrens was a requirement that they come back to the commission and get separate approval for any additional activities they might want to add in the future or any other expansion in the scope of the business.
"The conditions as they were written up by staff made it clear this would not be the only trip to the county commission anyway," Weinaug said.
Instead of doing that, he said, the Berggrens chose to withdraw the request and are likely to submit a new one at a later date.