Local Voices: The ongoing KYNGZ Restaurant approval process

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Local Voices

Bob Malkas

The partners in the KYNGZ Restaurant group have done a masterful job in following Lansing’s established procedures to get approval for a unique economic development project, and this one should be allowed to proceed as soon as possible.

To begin the process, the concept was first presented to the Village Board to explain their business plan. Following procedure KYNGZ was told to bring their idea to the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals to do what I call “the dirty work” in determining if their plan would comply with all existing Lansing codes.

Opening a restaurant in Lansing is not complicated: it has occurred often over the years. The KYNGZ request is different because they are only asking for a needed special use variance so that they could complete their well-thought-out business plan that would include “live entertainment” within a B-3 General Business District.

During that meeting Planning and Zoning considered what was being proposed and how the petition would comply with Lansing’s special use standard requirements pursuant to Section 56-100(f) of the Zoning Codes. That was the only purpose for the meeting.

On April 13, 2022, the Planning and Zoning Board voted 8-0 to approve the requested special use with a list of conditions. Those conditions were accepted by the petitioners, and they began to work to include them into their business plan. Basically, Planning and Zoning approval would be finalized if those conditions were met.

Now, it appears that an approval by the Village Board is being delayed, so that the Village Board can oversee if all conditions were met, which created an additional hoop for the petitioner to complete before approval is assured.

I would just like to recommend that the people of Lansing read the Finding of Facts determined by the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals.
You can find their decision recorded on the Village’s website.

I am aware the Planning and Zoning Board is only vested with a responsibility to recommend courses of action to the Board. But it should be remembered that each Planning and Zoning Board member is appointed by the mayor and approved by the Village Board. Each of them as they sit today has a long history of service to Lansing with an expertise in governmental projects and activities — considerably more than the current members of the Board.

Thus, why is there a need for a Planning and Zoning Board if their decisions are questioned?

Bob Malkas


Local Voices is our version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Send your submissions to The Lansing Journal with “Voices” in the subject line.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. After reading the minutes of the Zoning Boards meeting with the KYNGZ representative I can concur with Bob Malkas 100%. How much more thorough can a zoning board be. This should be a no brainer.

  2. I don’t necessarily disagree with the article or comments, but I would ask (without any statistics to back my comment), doesn’t it appear that most all local Planning and Zoning Boards appear to be advisory in nature without having any legislative authority? Lansing is hardly unique in this regard. Maybe because these Boards are appointed rather than elected, the elected officials must ultimate bare responsibility and accountability to the voters. Is it possible the Village board members may possess broader knowledge than then the public or the Boards? Just my thought.

  3. Bill Albrecht, you are correct—the Planning and Zoning Board is an advisory board. They receive petitions, do research, and then ask questions of the petitioners before deciding whether to recommend approval of or denial by the Village Board. Because of the work done by the Planning and Zoning Board, It is rare for the Village Board not to accept their recommendations.

  4. Melanie,

    My response is simply a reply to why the Planning and Zoning as an advisory body is and should be subject to final Village Board approval, not whether or not the Village Board will or won’t accept their recommendations. The fact that it rare for the Village Board not to accept their recommendations is a good thing. I do not believe there is a reason to suggest the Planning and Zoning Board should not exist as the author questions.

Comments are closed.