Commission sets date for comprehensive plan meeting
The Eudora City Planning Commission chose July 10 as the evening to reveal the city's long-term future to community members at a meeting Wednesday, June 6.
The meeting will take place at the Eudora High School commons area to accommodate invited community members and stakeholders. The general public will also be invited to the comprehensive plan meeting. At the meeting, community members will divide into groups and receive information on new housing, community growth and retail opportunities. They will then reunite for further city planning discussions.
A steering/focus committee will invite the planning commission, Mayor Ron Conner, council member Willene Blackburn, EHS Principal Marty Kobza, school board member Mark Chrislip, former planning commission member Bob Slapar and city employees Bill Harlow, Diana Beebe, building inspector Rick Treas and city engineer Matt Taylor.
This committee will meet 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a public "focus session" taking place 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Planning commission chairman Kurt von Achen said he is pleased the commission is moving toward future plans.
"The meeting on July 10th will be a kickoff for the comprehensive plan," von Achen said. "We have had a plan since 1970 and updated it periodically, but we knew this was the time for a major re-write. This will be the physical plan for Eudora for the next 10 to 15 years."
After months of advertising and interviewing for a professional planning company, the commission chose Bucher, Willis and Ratliff of Kansas City, Mo.
Bucher, Willis and Ratliff community planner Sean Ackerman represented the firm at the meeting. He gave the eight-person planning board a preview of what would be addressed at the July 10 meeting. Ackerman spoke about demographics and long-term needs, as well as Eudora's residential and retail possibilities. He also noted that Eudora is Douglas County's fastest-growing community.
Ackerman highlighted several important community demographics. He cited the balance of younger families in the 18 to 34 range and a sizable elderly population as positive factors. He also said the city's affordable housing and proximity to Baker University, Haskell Indian Nations University and Kansas University served as another feather in Eudora's cap.
"We need generation of ideas which are most important to address," Ackerman said. "Eudora has grown, but we need to see if it continues to grow if the water system can accommodate that. We need to keep all the staff involved because we'll need input throughout."
Von Achen said Ackerman's presence should greatly help the city's planning efforts.
"I thought he did a fine job (speaking at the meeting)," von Achen said. "We looked long and hard (for a community planner), and we are really happy with Sean."
In other business, Treas said that Brett Fritzel, who is building home for sale at 2209 Quail Court, received the only single-family unit permit, bringing the yearly total to 27 single-family permits. Treas also noted there are 647 unused lots within Eudora city limits.
The commission welcomed former member Richard Campbell to the committee after a two-year absence. They also held elections. Von Achen was reelected chairman and Glenn Bartlett was voted vice chairman. Marge Gronniger was reelected as the board's secretary.