October 25, 2014

Planning Commission will address comp update in 2012

Danedri Thompson
submissions@gardnernews.com
Gardner Planning Commissioners will table further discussions about updating the city’s comprehensive plan until after the new year.
“I would hesitate to go too much further without public involvement,” Amy Kynard, city planner, told the planning commission on Tuesday.
In August, commissioners discussed incorporating the existing city-adopted plans and studies, including the Main Street Corridor Plan and Park System Master Plan and the U.S. 56 Corridor Management Plan into the comprehensive plan.
At that same meeting, they also debated the merits of:
• incorporating the city’s new vision, mission and values into the plan;
• addressing historic preservation and sustainability in the update;
• emphasizing pedestrian connectivity;
• considering a business park zoning district or more mixed-use zoning districts;
• updating the priority growth map to prioritize growth areas;
• adapting annexation boundary agreements with neighboring cities to define Gardner’s planning areas;
• redefining land uses on the Community Development Plan Map and Future Land Use Map for undeveloped portions of the community; and
• re-examining existing developed areas where planned uses do not match current use or zoning.
Commissioners requested $75,000 from the city council in order to hire a consultant to help lead and administer an update to the Comprehensive Plan, but council members declined to release funds for the project in the 2012 budget.
Instead, Kynard suggested planning commissioners model their update efforts on PlanOlathe – that city’s community outreach efforts related to its comprehensive plan update.
Kynard said PlanOlathe hosted a booth at Old Settler’s Day to kick-off the public involvement process, and she’d like to see Gardner do something similar next year – maybe at the Festival on the Trails.
Kynard said putting the comprehensive plan update on the  back burner for a few months will allow city planning staff to concentrate on a sign code overhaul and a number of projects slated to be before the planning commission in November.
In other business, planning commissioners authorized city staff to prepare an amendment to subdivision regulations that would allow for a fee for lot split applications.
Kynard said staff will likely recommend that the city council approve a lot-split fee of $100.

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