Nonprofit wants to convert former Deffenbaugh mansion in Shawnee into mental health facility

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A non-profit organization hopes to transform the late Ron Deffenbaugh’s luxury home in Shawnee into a mental health and addiction treatment center.

Located on 105 acres at 18555 Johnson Drive, just west of Ogg Road in West Shawnee, the Summit Ranch Center for Wellness would serve as an outpatient treatment center for mental health and addiction.

Deffenbaugh built his home on the site just south of the Johnson County landfill, which he owned and operated for several decades. The landfill is now owned by Waste Management.

After lengthy discussions and hearing concerns from many neighboring landowners, the Shawnee Planning Commission voted 10-0 on Monday to table plans for the project at the next planning committee meeting, which will take place on November 15. . Commissioner Carol Norman was absent on Monday.

The Planning Commission is considering a revised site plan, final platform and rezoning of the professional office farming site.

Site owner Brad Botteron of Bwb Lexington Twp, a limited liability company of Lenexa, is leading the project with Phelps Engineering Inc. from Olathe.

Botteron said he and his wife had visited the facility a few years ago and were “really impressed” with its quality. They finally came up with the concept of a “wellness center”.

“If your life is like mine, you have experienced some of these issues before,” Botteron said, noting some family members who have died of heart disease and diabetes, and friends who have had mental health issues, suicide and drug addiction. “Our goal is to try to help alleviate some of the pain and suffering that comes with these challenges that we all face in life.

“We felt the Deffenbaugh property would create atmosphere and opportunities…

Harold Phelps of Phelps Engineering said Deffenbaugh wanted his property to be made available to young people after his death.

“Now exactly how it was going to turn out, of course no one knew,” Phelps said. “Brad has the opportunity here to provide much needed service to Johnson County and Shawnee and to be able to serve the youth. “

Primarily surrounded by single-family homes, the site contains a house, a large barn, a stable, an entrance gatehouse and a mostly undeveloped area, according to city documents.

The buildings are concentrated on the northeast part of the site closest to Johnson Drive, while the southern part could not be developed on its own due to the topography and its “landlocked status,” the city ​​staff.

Neighbors strongly oppose the location of the project near the houses

Dozens of neighboring homeowners came to the Shawnee Planning Commission meeting on November 1 to voice concerns about the Summit Ranch mental health facility project. Others were also in attendance for a separate element, a townhouse project near downtown Shawnee.

Several neighbors who spoke at the meeting were reluctant to allow an addiction treatment center near their homes.

They also argued that the professional office district is not an appropriate zoning for the site and the surrounding area.

“We are convinced that this particular property should not be used for this purpose,” said Jean Lamfers, who lives just south of the property. “We all feel a little surprised by this. Now I’m not against the idea of ​​expanding our community, taking care of citizens who need help, but I don’t think this is the place to do it, and I don’t think it is. so be it to do it. “

Lamfer continued:

“We have a very quiet community. We don’t have a lot of other issues that I think exist in our world. We are very privileged and we are grateful. But I don’t think it fits the pillars of your city. I think that’s wrong, and I think our city, in all these years, in our 20s that we’ve been here, and a lot of other residents, it’s not what we’ve ever considered ” , did he declare.

Commissioners called it a “complicated problem” and asked the project owners for more time to fix some of the issues and review it later this month.

A project story for the Summit Ranch Center for Wellness says the nonprofit “will help individuals and families develop healthy lifestyles while providing essential mental health services.”

The facility plans to use existing buildings as well as the area of ​​walking and horse trails, gardens and wooded areas, according to the project narrative. The program is designed to provide outpatient treatment for people with anxiety, depression and substance use disorders, as well as trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups.

The facility would need a special use permit to provide inpatient services in the future.

A recording of the meeting is available below. The discussion starts at 36:30.


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