Archive for Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tonganoxie, county differ on scope, timing of CR1 study

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

May 4, 2010

County commissioners agreed Monday to seek a joint meeting with the Tonganoxie City Council to work out differences about the scope and phasing of a land use study for Leavenworth County Road 1.

That request for proposals for the study is now a topic of debate in large part because of the success of a joint meeting of the two bodies in March. That face-to-face meeting broke a two-year logjam on two interlocal agreements defining the city’s financial contribution to the CR1 improvements completed late last year and how to create future development guidelines along the corridor, viewed as an attractive home for future development with the opening of the new Kansas Turnpike exit.

It appears the city and county have agreed to language in the interlocal agreements. The last issue to be resolved is the creation of another agreement in six months that would extend Tonganoxie zoning and development control into the northernmost part of the corridor.

In late March, when it appeared the agreements were imminent, the commission sought and obtained a commitment from the Leavenworth County Port Authority to provide up to $25,000 for the county’s share to hire a consultant for the land use study. Tonganoxie is to pay a matching amount.

But, as commissioners learned Monday, the request for proposal Tonganoxie officials recommended is far broader in scope and phased differently than the one county staff and the Port Authority developed.

One thing both documents have in common is a phased approach to the study. County Administrator Heather Morgan said although it was hoped a consultant could do all the work in one study, the phased approach would allow firms to explain how much they could accomplish with the money available.

The three-phase county/Port Authority proposal would in its first phase recommend future land uses in the corridor from a list of existing and proposed city and county categories; provide strategies and implementation actions for economic development and present the final recommendations at public hearings before planning commissions and governing bodies.

Phase 2 would identify strategies to attract business and job creation opportunities, and in phase 3 the chosen consultant would assist in the creation of fees and incentives to generate revenue through the corridor’s development.

The city’s proposal also has three phases but would start with a market assessment of the demand for residential, commercial and industrial land uses and their densities.

The city’s recommended Phase 2 would make the recommendations for land use proposed in the county’s Phase 1 and add reports from city and county engineers on the cost of extending water and sewer to the corridor and require the consultant have an open house in Tonganoxie.

The city’s proposed Phase 3 would identify development standards and needs of water, sewer, lighting, screening, landscaping and storm water. It would also recommend building codes and their enforcement.

Commissioner John Flower characterized the differences in the two proposals as that of “vision and minutiae.” A study providing recommendations for development standards and building codes would cost “hundreds of thousands,” he said.

But with the success of the March meeting in mind, commissioners agreed to seek a joint meeting to search for agreement on a RFP process.

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