The Emporia-Lyon County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission approved a preliminary plat of the Brown Stone addition subdivision, Tuesday evening.

The 33.70-acre tract of land, located south of the US Highway 50 roundabout near Graphic Arts Road, was purchased in Feb. 2020 by Brown Stone 3 Development and D&J Land Development out of Topeka.

Johnny Brown, president and CEO of Brown Stone 3 Development and a managing partner with D&J Land Development in Topeka, told The Emporia Gazette that movement of “hundreds of millions of square feet of dirt” was underway in December, with construction on a new travel plaza expected as early as April or May.

“This process has been in the works for a long time,” said Joe Foster. “This site is a large site. As such, it’s never been platted before.”

Foster said there were some issues that came up, such as access and the site being located in a flood plain.

“The preliminary plat will allow the applicant to get connected to public utilities,” he said.

The preliminary plat would allow for the land to be subdivided as needed.

Overall, Foster said he felt it would be a positive project for the city.

“All local and state flood plain requirements will be met,” he said. “They are working closely with KDOT to ensure all access requirements will be met. ... My recommendation for this application is approval.”

Planning commission members asked clarifying questions regarding the project and a representative from Brown Stone 3 Development spoke on behalf of the project. It was approved 4 — 0.

The Emporia City Commission will have have discussions on the final plat for the project at an upcoming action session in March.

(1) comment


I’m puzzled why the city is recommending this development when it could cause the same issues that caused the city to block out certain types of establishments when the development was created by Walmart? At that time the city said no to a grocery store and home improvement store because they claim the city was saturated with those types already and wanted to take care of the existing owners of those establishment.

This new development is calling for a rv park which there is already one just to the west. It is also calling for a hotel, which the city already has multiple hotels that sit vacant. Yes, Emporia has 2 or 3 big events that bring people to town, but obviously that’s not enough to sustain the hotels we already have.

The new development also shows a semi shop which there is already one adjacent to the west.

Why isn’t the city wanting to take care of these existing businesses? Is it because our current hotel, rv park, and semi shop owners don’t have a hand in the back pockets of our city officials like the grocery and home improvement store owners do???????

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