Chapter 18.215


18.215.010    Purpose – Procedure.

18.215.020    Application.

18.215.030    Guidelines for evaluation.

18.215.040    Recommendation of planning commission.

18.215.050    Failure to commence permitted use.

18.215.060    Revocation.

18.215.070    Amendments.

    Cross References: City council – mayor, Chapter 2.15 TMC; planning department, TMC 2.25.090; planning commission, Chapter 2.135 TMC.

18.215.010 Purpose – Procedure.

(a) The purpose of a conditional use permit, as authorized in the individual district use regulations, is to protect the integrity and character of the district, surrounding properties, and neighborhoods from the potentially adverse effects of certain uses. The uses listed as conditional are normally compatible with the other uses listed in the respective zoning district, but have characteristics that may need to be mitigated and may not be appropriate in all locations.

(b) The design, location and character of a conditional use is subject to the review by the planning commission. The planning commission shall submit its recommendation to the governing body which will decide in accordance with K.S.A. 12-757(d) and amendments thereto.

(c) The granting of a conditional use permit shall be by resolution and shall be assignable to the subject property by legal description and not a person, firm or corporation. (Ord. 19691 § 1, 1-17-12.)

18.215.020 Application.

An application for a conditional use permit shall be submitted and processed in accordance with TMC 18.245.020(b). The applicant shall submit an application form; site plan, map, or diagram showing the existing property, proposed use, and surrounding area; and a statement indicating the physical and operational characteristics of the proposed use, how the use conforms to the guidelines listed in TMC 18.215.030, and any actions taken to lessen adverse impacts upon the surrounding area. The planning director may waive the site plan component if the planning director determines the following:

(a) An applicant has demonstrated the use proposes no physical, site, or building alterations that modify existing building and parking coverage; and

(b) Any conditions imposed can be addressed in the resolution. (Ord. 19691 § 2, 1-17-12.)

18.215.030 Guidelines for evaluation.

The following guidelines shall apply when evaluating a conditional use permit application:



Land use compatibility




Development density

Site area per unit, or intensity of use, should be similar to surrounding uses if not separated by major physical improvements or natural features.



Height and floor area

Development should minimize difference in height and building size from surrounding structures. Substantial differences shall be justified by urban design considerations.




Development should respect preexisting setback lines in surrounding area. Variations shall be justified by significant site features or operating characteristics.



Building coverage

Building coverage should be similar to that displayed in surrounding areas. Higher coverage should be mitigated by landscaping, buffering or other site amenities.


Site development




Parking and internal circulation

Parking and circulation should serve all structures with minimal vehicular and pedestrian conflicts.



Stormwater management

Development design shall comply with all required stormwater runoff best management practices, as approved by the public works director or designee.



Building design

(i) Architectural design and building materials should be compatible with surrounding properties if located adjacent to residential districts or in highly visible locations.




(ii) The adaptive reuse and restoration of historically significant structures shall be considered. “Historically significant structures” means structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Register of Historic Places, or structures having obtained local landmark status.


Operating characteristics




Traffic capacity

Projects should not materially reduce the existing level of service on adjacent streets. Projects will be required to make street improvements and/or dedicate right-of-way to mitigate negative effects.



External traffic

Project design should minimize nonresidential traffic through residential neighborhoods.



External effects

Projects with operating hours, noises or visual distractions that impact surrounding properties may be required to mitigate these impacts.



Outside storage

If permitted, outside storage areas should be screened from adjacent streets and less intensive zoning districts and uses.


Comprehensive plan

Projects should be consistent with the Topeka Comprehensive Plan and all its elements.


Additional regulations

Conditional uses shall be required to conform to any other applicable regulations specifically listed for a use as set forth in Chapter 18.225 TMC or elsewhere in the code.

(Ord. 19691 § 3, 1-17-12.)

18.215.040 Recommendation of planning commission.

The planning commission may recommend approval, approval with conditions/restrictions, or denial of permit. Conditions may require renewal of the permit or an expiration date for the use. (Ord. 19691 § 4, 1-17-12.)

18.215.050 Failure to commence permitted use.

(a) This use permitted by a conditional use permit shall commence within three years from the date of the resolution. Failure to commence such use within such time period shall render the permit null and void. “Commence” means that the applicant has begun operation of the authorized use or has secured a building permit on file with the city which has not expired.

(b) Conditional use permits approved prior to March 1, 2012, shall expire on March 1, 2015, unless the property owner has commenced the permitted use prior to March 1, 2015, or has secured a building permit prior to March 1, 2015, that is on file with the city and has not expired. (Ord. 19691 § 5, 1-17-12.)

18.215.060 Revocation.

(a) The planning commission may recommend revocation of a conditional use permit to the governing body; provided, that the commission has notified in writing the property owner and has given the property owner an opportunity to appear before the planning commission.

(b) Revocation may occur if any of the following applies:

(1) Failure to comply with any of the conditions established in the permit;

(2) The use has expanded or deviated from its original use and purpose; or

(3) The use has been found by a court of law, federal or state agency to be an illegal activity or nuisance.

(c) The planning commission shall submit its recommendation to the governing body which will decide in accordance with K.S.A. 12-757(d) and amendments thereto. (Ord. 19691 § 6, 1-17-12.)

18.215.070 Amendments.

(a) Amendments to a conditional use permit may be initiated by the property owner(s), planning commission, or governing body and shall be binding upon the heirs, executors, administrators, trustees, and assignees of said property owner.

(b) Minor Amendments. Minor changes to either the conditions of approval in the resolution of a conditional use permit or the conditional use permit site plan may be approved administratively by the planning director as herein provided. Such changes may be authorized without additional public hearings, at the discretion of the planning director. This provision shall not prohibit the planning director from requesting a recommendation from the planning commission if the planning director determines the changes are not consistent with the use or conditions approved by the governing body.

(1) Minor Amendment Criteria. Amendments shall be deemed minor if the cumulative revisions to the approved conditional use permit on record with the planning department do not include any of the following:

(i) An increase in the conditional use permit boundary area, as shown on the plan or as legally described in the approving resolution.

(ii) An increase by greater than 10 percent of the height, floor area, any development threshold, or building coverage, as approved by the original conditional use permit.

(iii) The possible creation of obstacles, barriers, and service problems to traffic circulation, fire protection, public safety, and public utility services due to the revision(s).

(iv) An increase by greater than 20 percent to any approved signage including, but not limited to, height or sign face area.

(2) Submittal of Minor Revisions to an Approved Conditional Use Permit. The proposed revised conditional use permit site plan or changes to the conditions within the resolution of the conditional use permit shall be submitted to the planning director for consideration of approval. If the conditional use permit site plan is revised it shall include all data, conditions, and information identical to the most recently approved plan in addition to the proposed revisions. A letter of transmittal from the applicant setting forth in detail all proposed changes shall accompany the submittal of the application. The planning director may approve; approve with the inclusion of additional or revised conditions of approval; or deny the proposed minor amendment.

(3) If the planning director denies the amendment, the applicant may pay the applicable fee and appeal to the planning commission utilizing the procedure in TMC 18.245.020(b).

(c) If the planning director determines that a proposed amendment to a conditional use permit involves changes identified in subsection (b)(1) of this section, the applicant shall submit an application for amendment utilizing the procedure in TMC 18.245.020(b). (Ord. 19691 § 7, 1-17-12.)