Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Long-range planning forges ahead

November 21, 2001

The work the community has put into the city's long range plan will take shape in late winter. After a January follow-up and a February public hearing, the city can begin acting upon the plan, said Scott Michie of Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, the consulting firm working on the project.

On Nov. 7, He updated the planning commission about the planning process, of which the latest installment included having Eudorans fill out maps and worksheets.

"This is and was a fast-track project," Michie said. "You want to get to the meat of this."

He said the project originally was supposed to have been completed sooner, but the upcoming holiday season will slow things down a bit. Michie said he also wanted to meet with the planning commission next month.

"We're going to let you seewhat you want to accomplish," he said.

Michie said he wanted to talk with the commission about traffic issues, especially in response to expanded business parks along 10th Street.

"It pushes more pressure to move traffic west heading toward Lawrence," he said.

The community should look at how to develop streets that build the community in a positive way, he said.

"There was quite a bit of talk about being sure we improve Winchester," Michie said.

The community also expressed interest in building up 19th Street, and Michie said it was interesting to see how different groups came up with many of the same ideas.

One concern among those who examined land use and infrastructure was manufactured home parks. Participants indicated planners should focus more on multi-family housing rather than manufactured homes, and if new parks were constructed they should adhere to specified standards. The same group thought commercial development should continue near K-10, and service areas need to be developed for east Eudora.

Another group looked at community and quality of life, naming positive factors for both, like proximity to the Kansas and Wakarusa rivers, and negative features like a lack of basic retailers, including a hardware store.

Developing green space and expanding parks also made the cut.

Commission member Duane Gentleman shared his own thoughts on the subject.

"What about something to get a trail though the community?" said member Duane Gentleman. "I also wonder about something moving east to west."

Michie suggested the community not repeat past mistakes, like not having pedestrian and bike crossings over Winchester Road. He also told the commission it should inquire about a county-wide parks and trails plan that could guide the city in the development of its own trails.

"It would be nice to have your plans connect with a regulated plan out of Lawrence," he said.

The third group, which studied economic development, called for a more diverse tax base by business park development and expansion. The group also had plans for downtown, including having business owners make their services more visible to passers-by through features like outdoor dining. "I think there's a positive attitude in the community,"Michie said. "I think everyone generally has a good outlook on things."

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