OPINION

Comprehensive plan impacts future of the county

Mike Stieben
Mike Stieben

Since at least the early 1990s, Leavenworth County has had a Comprehensive Land Use Plan, known by development officials as the Comprehensive Plan. This document has been used as the guide for development within the county. Over the years, the document has undergone several revisions including a recent update of the 2008 plan that was approved in October 2020. As part of this update, the county engaged the services of an outside independent firm at a cost of over $200,000, held numerous public forums in all parts of the county and utilized social media to receive comments from the public.

After adopting the plan in 2020, the Leavenworth County Commission has maintained a commitment to keep the plan up to date, which is accomplished via an annual review by the Planning Commission and the Leavenworth County Board of County Commissioners. The first review of the new plan will be taking place in the months of November and December.

The county commissioners will be holding a work session to evaluate the plan and determine if the BOCC has proposals for change. Following that work session, a joint work session will be scheduled with Leavenworth County Planning Commission members for a comprehensive review of the plan and for input from Planning Commission members and county planning staff. Following the joint work session, the planning commission will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the plan. The Planning Commission will incorporate public comments and proposals into the plan along with changes proposed by the earlier work sessions and advance the document to the county commissioners.

Much discussion will center on the land use plan which guides both the planning commission and the BOCC in making rezoning decisions. Proposals to change frontage requirements, limit lot splits in existing subdivisions, make provisions for water drainage issues, reduction in RR. 2.5 zoning and proposals to allow for preservation of the few remaining large agricultural tracts are all being discussed. These issues along with any other issues brought forward by the public will be given consideration.

I urge each citizen to consider these land use issues as they impact the future of our county. I look forward to hearing from each of you and would ask for your thoughtful input as this process moves forward. If you have ideas or suggestions, please send them to my email and I will forward them to the Planning Commission staff to be included in the discussion. My email is mstieben@leavenworthcounty.gov.

Mike Stieben is a member of the Leavenworth County Commission.