Aldersgate Village gets OK to add 20 new houses, and Evergy will build solar farm in North Topeka

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Shawnee County Commission signed off on a new Evergy solar farm in North Topeka. This solar array was built and operated by Evergy in Baldwin City.
Shawnee County Commission signed off on a new Evergy solar farm in North Topeka. This solar array was built and operated by Evergy in Baldwin City.

The Shawnee County Commission took steps to alleviate a senior housing shortage in southwest Topeka when it voted 3-0 to authorize an expansion at Aldersgate Village.

The senior housing facility, 7220 S.W. Asbury Drive, will expand its community with 20 new homes.

"This is another great project on Aldersgate's campus," said Angela Sharpe, a representative of Aldersgate.

Twenty homes to be built and added to Aldersgate Village Retirement Center

The new cul de sac for the houses will be named S.W. Rogers Road.

This request from the planning department was the second major amendment to the planned unit development master plan that governs the community. It was earlier approved by the planning commission 6-0.

“The residences are going to keep up with the size, style and finishing of other homes within the Aldersgate Village area,” said Joni Thandani, acting county planning director. “This will help facilitate orderly growth of the campus and respond to a high market demand.”

More than 400 letters of notice were mailed out to the surrounding community. Only one person appeared to the planning commissions public hearing to express their support of the development.

“We’re very, very excited about this project because it does meet a market demand,” said Jerry Ney, CEO of Aldersgate. “This will very often, and almost in every case, free up other housing in Shawnee County."

Evergy to operate on north Shawnee County solar farm

Commissioners approved construction 3-0 of an Evergy solar farm facility on 7300 N.W. 35th St. in the Menoken Township.

The farm will take up 11.9 acres and feature 3,456 panels, and its land will be leased for 30 years. It was approved by the planning commission 5-0.

Because the land has been used for agricultural purposes, there is a bit of concern regarding soil erosion, Thandani said, adding that two houses are within 300 to 400 feet of the solar field.

A second Evergy solar farm on Auburn Road was to feature 5,720 panels. Commissioners sent it back to the planning commission for further review. Thandani said that site has a house located 70 feet from the intended solar field.

Residents were notified by mail regarding the planned developments. Three residents addressed commissioners about the Auburn Road project, one had questions about the 7300 N.W. 35th St. one.

Thandani requested a traffic control plan for the 7300 N.W. 35th St. development.

“This is a gravel road, so there was concern about the current status of the road and how construction traffic along there may affect the road,” she said. “There is some response to that traffic control within the applicant’s materials. They indicated that they would monitor that and then work with the local township to try and repair roads.”

The timeline for this construction is between June and December of this year.

Alex Edwards is the local politics reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached via email at, or via twitter @AMEdwards21.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Aldersgate Village to add 20 houses; Evergy to build Topeka solar farm