Derby eyes public access beach for STAR bond district

Derby city council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 26 to discuss expanding its STAR bond...
Derby city council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 26 to discuss expanding its STAR bond district to create room for Crystal Lagoons, a public access beach.(City of Derby)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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DERBY, Kan. (KWCH) - Developers are asking the city council to expand its STAR bond district to allow for the development of a $130 million project called Crystal Lagoons.

The public access “beach” would be located off Rock Road near Patriot Avenue in Derby. It would include a large water lagoon for swimming and water sports, like paddleboarding, scuba diving and snorkeling. There would also be a hotel, apartments, restaurants and six acres of land for “glamping, or glamour camping.

“It’s both for people who live here to have a quality of life and one more thing to do here in Kansas but also of course part of the goal is tourism out of state and out of the region,” said Derby City Manager Kathy Sexton.

Developers would have to add property to the already existing Derby STAR bond district. Sexton said the district would pay for the project, in partnership with private businesses and the public.

“It doesn’t raise taxes now. What it does is it says, of the sales tax revenue gained when you go eat at that restaurant, when you go to that hotel, when you go to the Crystal Lagoons and pay your entry fee, the sales taxes involved in that would go to help pay for some of the development cost over some years, but there’s no new taxes, no tax increase at all,” Sexton explained.

Some who live in Derby call the proposed destination exciting.

“I think it’ll be great, I think there’s a lot of nice things that’ll come in here... I think it’ll be great for the city... lots of jobs, various things that are all good,” said Barbara Blue, who lives near the site.

Other residents say they need more information.

“It’ll definitely draw a lot of traffic to the area, I mean, Rock road is busy enough as it is. But I think it’ll probably affect our home values to some point,” said Jack Barton, who also lives near the proposed site.

The Derby City Council will hold a public hearing on the project at its meeting on Oct. 26. The council is expected to approve the addition of land to the star bond.

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