Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2008

95th Street plan gives residents voice in decisions

March 13, 2008

Last week, a group of residents and property owners along the 95th Street corridor east of Lexington Avenue joined city staff, members of the De Soto City Council and the Planning Commission in helping to plan the future of 1,700 acres on the city's southeast fringe.

Those stakeholders that attended the March 4 meeting weren't provided a token forum to voice concerns that would then be largely forgotten as the city planned future land uses in what is expected to have some of prime commercial sites in the city's future. Rather, the residents and property owners were invited to sit down at one of four tables and work with others in attendance to fill in maps with future land uses. It was an exercise at which all started equal, with only strength of argument and conviction carrying the day at all four tables.

It was an interesting approach to the start of the 95th Street planning process and one that demonstrated that planning is at base an exercise in common sense. All four tables started at the same place - the intersection 95th Street and Kill Creek Road just south of Kansas Highway 10. The intersection and property north to the freeway were set aside for commercial development in all four maps developed. Similarly, the steep banks along Kill Creek and Cedar Creek were reserved as parklands or agricultural use on all maps, once again confirming that land use planning isn't pie-in-the-sky map coloring.

Although the turnout of about 15 stakeholders from the corridor was solid, more participation would have been welcome. Every resident of the corridor has an interest in the future land use decisions that will be made in the coming months and all should take advantage of the real opportunity to participate in the process.

We hope more residents of the corridor will attend the next planning workshop scheduled for 7 p.m. March 27 at City Hall.

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