Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2003

Comprehensive plan invites further community involvement

October 23, 2003

The De Soto Planning Commission was presented Tuesday with a proposed future land-use map with a rainbow of colors that try to provide guidance for the city's maintenance and growth.
The map was part of the city's update to its comprehensive plan. That update includes more than the land-use map. But it is the map's manifestation of conflicted community feelings toward growth and preservation of community values, heritage and natural resources that is the focus of attention. This is especially true of areas now on the cusp of change, such as the 83rd Street/Kill Creek Road neighborhood.
The map was the conclusion of a yearlong community effort, as proved by the other colored maps that have decorated the meeting room in City Hall for the past few months. The information on those posted maps depicting future sewer service expansion areas, projected Johnson County road improvements, geological features, demographics and other data served as the skeleton of the draft land-use map.
The draft comprehensive plan anticipates continued community involvement. Two of the cusp growth areas -- the Kill Creek Road/83rd Street neighborhood and 95th Street corridor east of Lexington Avenue -- are designated as transitional development overlay districts. Those attending the draft plan's public hearing were told this meant the areas' development patterns remained in flux. And as Planning Commissioner Roger Templin and Planning Consultant Sean Ackerson made clear, they are areas where the city will take particular care to assure developers don't disrupt the lifestyles of large-lot neighbors.
The overlay districts could be viewed as cop-outs or invitations for further community involvement. We prefer the latter interpretation. Residents wanting to preserve their lifestyles now have a vehicle with which to do so.
Those at the public hearing were told to view the comprehensive plan as a living document that was subject to changes to reflect new realities. Those taking an active role in its implementation can be a part of that life.

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