Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2005

Rezoning sparks council questions

February 24, 2005

Lansing City Council is ready to prod the Leavenworth County Commission on a proposed agreement that would allow the city some review of zoning changes in nearby rural areas.

City officials said they would seek a spot on an upcoming County Commission agenda to discuss a long-stalled joint planning agreement between the city and county.

The issue arose during last week's Lansing City Council meeting, when council member Andi Pawlowski questioned city officials about a rezoning application that is to be discussed by the Leavenworth County Planning Commission at its March 9 meeting.

Pawlowski said she believed the land was in Lansing's urban growth area. Under the joint planning agreement, such a request first would be subject to review by the Lansing Planning Commission.

Trouble is, the county never has accepted the agreement.

"The concern I have is that it's in our growth area, it's supposed to be in our joint planning area, it's in our drainage area for Nine Mile Creek," Pawlowski said of the rezoning request.

John Zoellner, the county's planning director, said the County Commission never signed off on the agreement, which the Lansing council approved in October 2003.

John Young, the city's public works director, said he didn't know why the county never acted on the agreement.

"We resolved all the issues that they brought forth at the time of the study session," Young said. "There were some additional issues brought up: They wanted us to prioritize road improvement projects in the growth area. We did that and forwarded them the documents on that. They did not take action on it."

Zoellner said the agreement languished until the November 2004 elections approached, at which time the sitting commissioners decided it could hold over until after the elections.

"At this point, it's kind of on hold until we discuss it with the new commission," he said.

So now, the city is renewing its push. City Administrator Mike Smith said he was drafting a request for the issue to be placed on an upcoming County Commission agenda.

As for the March 9 hearing, Zoellner said he didn't think the rezoning would be affected by Lansing's growth area.

In other business Thursday, the council:

¢ Heard a report from Richard O'Donnell, youth basketball commissioner, who reported that 267 youngsters were involved in Lansing Parks and Recreation basketball.

¢ Unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning the 200 block of Fairlane from B-1 Neighborhood Business to B-3-P Commercial Business Planned Overlay District. Public Works Director John Young said the development would be a mix of office, retail and restaurants and would likely be built in phases.

¢ Unanimously approved an ordinance for the assessment of sewer and trash bills that are more than two months delinquent. It allows the city to place a lien upon real estate for which the services were supplied.

¢ Unanimously approved a petition for exclusion from the Northeast Kansas Library Taxing District. City Clerk Karen Logan said it was her hope that the 1.072 mills now collected for the NEKLS in Lansing would go toward and supplement the budget for the Lansing Community Library.

¢ Unanimously agreed to the appointment of Daniel Nowakowski to the Convention and Tourism Committee. He is manager of Holiday Inn Express.

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