News from the Historic Delano Neighborhood



Homer Morgan saga continues

Nov 07, 2016 10:01 am | (editor)

Metro Court location prior to its current fluorescence

The Wichita Eagle has an article on a battle over another Homer Morgan property on the north side, even as Delano's situation remains unresolved. Their lawyer promises, "We're going to make some fencing company rich" but there appear to be neither deadlines nor consequences for ignoring mandated changes.

DNA President Vincent Hancock made the following comments in mid-October:

"Metro Court" is the latest tenant in the problem bar location at 2201 W. Douglas (at Athenian) owned by The Homer Morgan Revocable Trust. Their application to get a nightclub license that allows live entertainment was placed on the Metro Area Planning Commission agenda for 8/4. (As noted in this DelanoWichita article.)

After hearing testimony from neighbors, DAB 4 voted unanimously against on 8/1.

At the MABCD meeting, the bar's representative made several questionable claims:

  • This is a neighborhood bar... most patrons live in the area and walk to the bar.
  • The bar has been in continuous operation for fifty years.
  • The fire marshal over-estimated the buildings capacity at 64 patrons.
  • There haven't been any police incident reports.

Despite testimony from neighbors and the Delano NA president, MABCD voted 7-1 to approve. Their "compromise" required the business owner to erect an eight foot fence on the north and west property lines of the house that is their southern neighbor and to provide 32 parking spaces.

A temporary sign advertising that it was a "Night Club & Bar" was seen on the building as early as 8/13 (before city council approval).

Adult-oriented advertisements were noted on social media well before approval. (DW's only not-entirely-safe-for-work post to date)

Because it is within 300 feet of many homes, the bar is operating under a non-conforming land use exception. My limited understanding of our zoning laws is that it remains grandfathered only as long as it continues to operate as a bar.

I assisted four home-owning neighbors in submitting protest petitions forcing the City Council vote to require 6 of 7 to approve.

Through research with the city, we found that:

  • There have been many police incident reports at the bar and their southern neighbor in the past four years.
  • They applied for, but did not complete city licensing in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

The City Council regularly places zoning cases on their planning (non-consent) agenda, which prohibits public comment. This censored our ability to disagree with the fence's effectiveness or to expose the applicants deception that were discovered after the MABCD meeting. City Council voted 6-1 (Miller) approved the license on 9/6. The City Council representative for District 4 assured the Mayor the fence would address the DAB's concerns. See also: item V-1 on page 163 of the September 6 City Council Agenda [large PDF].

In the past month, no fence has been built. WPD noticed the adult-oriented advertisements in a printed magazine. They've made multiple arrests.

See on DW
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November 2016 Delano Dispatch
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