Riverside residents happy with vote to reject apartment plan

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

 A big setback tonight for some local developers. Their plan is to build apartments for seniors, but tonight the city denied them important tax credits, meaning the project may be dead. The intersection of 13th and Bitting is the area the proposed apartment complex was set to be. Wednesday night the District Advisory Board VI voted against supporting the use of tax credits to develop low income senior housing in the Riverside area.

"The question carries unanimously," said City Councilwoman Janet Miller to a packed house at the Evergreen Rec Center.  

The developers of this low income senior housing project were asking for the board's approval to get housing tax credits. The state requires city approval when considering the awarding of tax credits. Miller said in her 8 years of service she had never seen a turnout like Wednesday nights. In a two and half hour meeting Riverside residents one by one walked up to voice their opposition. Even State Senator Lynn Rogers and Representative John Carmichael got up to encourage the District Advisory Board to vote against approving the use of the tax credits to finance the project. One of the big criticism is traffic congestion in the area because north high is right down the street from the proposed location. 

"If you have driven 13th anytime near when North high is getting ready to start or let out, you'll know how congested that area is," said Johanna Hutmacher, who opposes the project. 

The district advisory board's vote is a recommendation for the city. It is not binding, but they can take it into account. The project is for 60 low income senior apartments. A lot of people at the meeting agreed it is great idea, just not where it is being proposed. 

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