Carrie Rengers

Riverside residents oppose Rob Snyder’s latest plan

Minisa Bridge is one of several historic properties that would be adversely affected by a cell tower, one Riverside resident says.
Minisa Bridge is one of several historic properties that would be adversely affected by a cell tower, one Riverside resident says. The Wichita Eagle

Not quite a year after developer Rob Snyder scrapped plans to do a 60-unit housing complex for low-income seniors in Riverside due to neighborhood opposition, he may be facing another fight.

“Someone approached me about putting a cell tower there,” Snyder says. “Why would I say no?”

Opposition started mobilizing via social media after a legal notice appeared about the tower, which would be at 707 W. 13th St.

Resident Madeline McCullough, who was one of the people to lead the housing opposition, has written a letter to someone named in the legal notice to detail what she calls historic areas near where the tower would go. They include Minisa Bridge and North High School.

“These five sensitive and historically significant geographic features adjacent to Snyder’s property are compounded by the neighbors’ concerns that a tower would not fit with the 1910-1940s architectural aesthetic of the neighborhood, the impact on property values, and health concerns for wildlife and humans.”

McCullough also writes that Snyder “persists in trying to monetize this property against the wishes and better judgment of neighbors and city representatives.”

Snyder says he already has four mobile homes, a garage and a house on the property.

He says the tower would be in a 50-by-30 area, and he still has plenty more land to develop.

“I wouldn’t have done it if it was going to affect future development some day,” Snyder says of being open to the tower.

“People need cell service here.”

Snyder says he thinks “if I wanted to put a single-family house there’d be people with concerns because they don’t want anything in their neighborhood.”

An independent company wants to put up the tower, but the first provider on it would be T-Mobile.

Snyder says he doesn’t plan to do anything else with his property for at least five years.

“I’m tired,” he says.

Snyder says he has some ideas, though.

He could do condos or even get in on the trend toward smaller houses.

“I thought about tiny homes,” he says. “How would that be to have this nice little community of beautiful little tiny homes?”

Regardless, Snyder says he wants something nice there.

“It’s a beautiful piece of property.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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