TOPEKA (KSNT) – City leaders voted down a proposal Tuesday to rezone a South Topeka neighborhood. The rezoning would have accommodated a new drug addiction treatment center for women.

If passed, the proposal would have allowed a local entrepreneur to move forward with plans to open a drug treatment facility at the intersection of Van Buren and 33rd.

While councilmembers tell 27 News their decision wasn’t based on the controversial nature of the proposed facility, they say they’re opposed to what’s known as “spot zoning,” which is the process of changing the zoning laws for one small parcel land, rather than across an entire neighborhood.

The council agreed with some residents who spoke out against the proposal, who fear this kind of facility would have been out of place and an inconvenience to the businesses around it.
But just because the action was rejected Tuesday night, that doesn’t mean it can’t pop back up in the future after some revisions.

“Honestly I think the facility is a greatly needed thing in Topeka,” District 5 Councilman Brett Kell said. “The problem was it was spot zoning. It was taking one partial land and turning it into that zoning and that’s what a lot of Topekans problem is spot zoning.”

Councilman Kell adds he plans to work with the city manager and petitioner to find a different route to possibly green-light the project in the future.

He says by not kicking it back to the planning commission, the project will have to jump through fewer hoops to come to fruition.