Commissioners review comprehensive plan

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

When they met this week, Leavenworth city commissioners reviewed information from a draft of a new comprehensive plan for the city.

The City Commission hired the firm Shockey Consulting to put together what is being referred to as the Leavenworth 2030 comprehensive plan. The plan is intended to serve as a guide for development and redevelopment in the city.

Shelby Ferguson, project manager for the comprehensive plan, briefed commissioners Tuesday about the draft of the plan.

Commissioners offered feedback during the meeting. The final version of the plan will be presented to commissioners during a future meeting for approval.

The comprehensive plan includes a future land use map. During her presentation, Ferguson compared the map with a current land use map.

She said the proposed future land use map has less conservation land or open space. And the future land use map shows a 16% increase in single-family residential areas.

A majority (56.9%) of the future land use map for the city is taken up by areas for single-family homes.

While the future land use map appears to remove conservation land and open spaces, Ferguson said the city can require future developments to devote a portion of land for green space.

“A lot of cities do have that type of requirement,” said Julie Hurley, director of planning and community development for the city.

She said Leavenworth does not have such a regulation in place.

Ferguson said the future land use map includes a mixed-use category which does not appear on the current land use map.

She said much of the proposed mixed-use areas are concentrated in the downtown area. She said this encourages commercial development on the main floors of downtown buildings and residential use for the upper levels.

The day before the City Commission meeting, Ferguson presented the future land use map to members of the Leavenworth Planning Commission.

Ferguson said she discussed with Planning Commission members the idea of changing the proposed future land map to include more commercial and mixed-use space along Metropolitan Avenue, particularly between Seventh and 10th streets.

The map presented to city commissioners Tuesday showed much of that area devoted for single-family residential use.

Mayor Nancy Bauder said this idea makes a lot of sense.

City Manager Paul Kramer suggested there may not be enough space on the future land use map for multi-family residential buildings. He suggested multi-family residential developments may provide affordable places to live for employees of new businesses that come to the city.

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