Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2005

Eudora, Douglas County prepare for rural growth

March 3, 2005

In a joint effort, the city of Eudora and Douglas County are making plans for future growth on the outskirts of the city.

John Haase, chairman of the Douglas County Planning Commission, presented a document to the Eudora City Council Monday that would set guidelines for residential subdivisions in areas that could potentially be annexed into the city.

Haase said the guidelines would require rural subdivisions to be platted in a manner where they could be re-subdivided in the future as city lots. Also, according to the document, roads in new rural subdivisions would have to be constructed in a way that they could be easily incorporated into the city.

According to the draft, which had not yet been approved by the Council, "Residential development in the unincorporated area will occur in a manner that ensures that improved properties will be assimilated easily and cost-effectively into urban centers upon annexation."

Haase said that, at the city's discretion, the rules of the document could be applied to an urban growth area, an area around the city that is expected to be annexed within the next 25 years. It would be established by evaluating projected population growth, the ratio of population to land mass,

census figures and the city's comprehensive plan.

Creation and boundaries of an urban growth area would need to be agreed upon by both city and county governments.

Haase said one technique that could be used to ensure easy future incorporation would be to require "ghost plats" along with regular plats for rural subdivisions. For instance, a ghost plat might show up to six residential lots on a three-acre rural residential lot. The single lot would be developed to allow for a future subdivision.

The Council's consensus was that the ideas in the proposal were worth studying.

"It's a definite step towards smart growth," said Councilman Dan Gregg.

The Council voted unanimously to forward the document to City Attorney Jerry Cooley, and to refer it to the Eudora Planning Commission for further discussion.

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