Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2006

West-side land-use plan wins council’s approval

May 25, 2006

With little debate and no public comment, the De Soto City Council approved future land use maps for perceived growth areas west of the city and south of Kansas Highway 10.

The brevity of last Thursday's Council deliberation came after a three-month planning process that included a kickoff, packed-house stakeholders meeting and two public hearings.

The adopted future land use maps, which updated those in the two-year-old comprehensive plan, sets aside much of the area north of K-10 and west of Edgerton Road for residential uses. Those areas south of the freeway and west or north of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant were designated for light industrial, commercial, business parks or mixed use (a city classification that allows a blend of office, commercial and multi-family development).

An exception both north and south of the highway is areas near the intersections, which will be considered as gateways.

The only concern expressed was by Councilman Tim Maniez, noting swaths of color donating high density residential next to Johnson County Park and Recreation District land north of K-10 and west of Sunflower Road.

"My thinking near a park it should be low density, instead of high density or low-to-moderate -- not to our interest trying to push sewer through there," he said, citing the area near Shawnee Mission Regional Park.

That could make De Soto unique, Councilwoman Mitra Templin said. This would give the city the opportunity to offer something in contrast to the existing Kill Creek Park, which is buffered by large-lot estate development, she said.

Mayor Dave Anderson again promised residents of the area the land use planning process wasn't about premature annexation. But he said the transfer of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant, the property on the plant set aside for bioscience development and the designated Kansas University life science research park south of 103rd Street, the three K-10 intersections and the city's new sewer plant would all create developer interest in the park.

"It's coming faster than we think," he said.

It was expected work would start in the late summer or early fall on a more detailed master plan for the area sandwiched between the highway and Sunflower. However, Gordanier said that would probably be moved back six months.

The city planner said she was proposing the city do a two-phase citywide transportation plan first, which would provide information vital to the master plan process.

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