Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2008

Residents help draw future land-use maps

March 6, 2008

Stakeholders along the 95th Street corridor were invited to help the city fill in the future land-use maps of the area they live or own property.

The map-building exercise was part of a joint De Soto City Council and Planning Commission workshop Tuesday in the ongoing effort to develop a new land-use plan for the city's southeast fringe. De Soto Planning Commission Chairman Kevin Honomichl said the goals of land use update were to increase the accessibility of the area, enhance its development potential and preserve and protect existing park lands and green space.

The planning session drew about 15 stakeholders in the area being studied, which is basically 1,700 acre between Kansas Highway 10 and 99th Street from Cedar Creek and Lexington Avenue.

The alternates developed were consistent, said one of the participants who helped create one of four maps to be used for further refining.

"I think it went very well and felt that all four alternatives were remarkably consistent with only minor variations," said Bob Jackson.

There was remarkable consensus about where to start, and that was at the corner of Kill Creek Road and 95th Street. Jackson, who is a partner with Ralph Lewis in 61 acres of land on the northwest part of that intersection rezoned last fall, saw big things for that intersection.

"K-10 and Kill Creek Road will be the economic center of De Soto within 10 years - maybe sooner," he said.

However when working with his group to put together a land-use map, Jackson argued for less commercially zoned property surrounding the Kill Creek Road/95th Street intersection. Large tracts of commercial property at intersections are not happening in the metropolitan area, he argued during the exercise.

And indeed, the map that emerged from Jackson's group he was limited the amount of commercial property in the study area to about 120 acres. It did surround commercial zoning at the key intersection with mixed use, business park and high density residential, but colored 640 acres or the area with single-family residential.

While most maps recognized the a trend for single-family residential had already been established east of Kill Creek Road, not all was a generous as the map Jackson helped develop.

In presenting a map developed by his group, Bob Zindler, a resident of the study area, characterized it as "a sales tax" land-use plan. It had 340 acres of commercial zoning and only 160 acres of low-density residential.

Randy Spivey, who was on the group that developed the map, said he thought it had too much commercial, mixed use and business park development. The map covered up his home on 95th Street east of Corliss Road with the blue of business park development.

Although it was an odd exercise to help land plan for an area that included his home, the development probably wouldn't happen for 50 years, Spivey said.

In addition to the recognizing the commercial viability of the Kill Creek Road/95th Street interchange, the four alternate plans for the most part saw the flood plains and slopes along Kill Creek and Cedar Creek as park or farm land.

The plans too agreed the small portion of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant east of Lexington Avenue in the study area would be set aside for commercial, mixed use or business park use.

De Soto planning coordinator Linda Bohnsack said the she and city engineer Mike Brungardt would work to find the commonalities of the three maps and reconcile differences. That effort would be presented at the next work session, scheduled for March 27, she said.

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