Comp plan consensus reached
A consensus arrived at during a joint meeting Jan. 20 paved the way to the De Soto Planning Commission's approval Tuesday of an update to the city's comprehensive plan.
Last month, the De Soto City Council sent the update back to the Planning Commission for further review primarily because of concerns about land uses along Kill Creek Road from 83rd Street to Kansas Highway 10.
At a subsequent City Council meeting, it was agreed the Council and Planning Commission should have a joint meeting to discuss the Council's concerns and seek solutions. This is the first thorough update of the city's comprehensive plan since it was adopted in 1996, although it was reviewed and amended annually.
A consensus was reached at the meeting to limit the number of lots in land uses designated for low- to moderate-density land use from one to three lots per acre. In agreement with the city's current comprehensive plan, the update the Council rejected defined low- to moderate-density as one to four lots per acre.
It was also agreed that language in the introduction to future land use maps should be amended to make clear they do not establish future zoning. The introduction now specifies that rezonings are considered in the context of the comprehensive plan as a whole and in the content of site specific details, such as surrounding zoning. Numerous text corrections were also included in the consensus revision. The most substantial change added at Tuesday's Planning Commission meeting was a requirement that duplexes and townhomes be required to meet minimum site-design criteria.
Planning Commissioner Roger Templin said he would be forced to vote against recommending the update because he believed the document was flawed with contradictions. The update set aside areas for hoped-for sewer expansion while calling for residential densities that wouldn't support that aim, he said.
Moreover, Templin argued expensive development standards within the comprehensive plan choked off large-lot development by making it uneconomical.
The consequence of those conflicting aims was that there would likely be little development of any kind in De Soto, he said.
The update was a missed opportunity to distinguish De Soto from other Johnson County cities by establishing buffers of large-lot development, Templin said.
Still, Templin admitted he, too, was conflicted. While he was voting his conscience, he urged his fellow planning commissioners to vote in favor of the update.
Planning commissioners did just that. Planning Commission Chairman Kevin Honomichl said some of Templin's concerns could be addressed in the plan's annual review.
The update will be on the City Council's agenda next month on either Feb. 5 or Feb. 19