Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Township Officials Express Concerns with Topeka's Growth Plan

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Township Officials Express Concerns with Topeka's Growth Plan

Article excerpt

Monday's meeting with township officials about Topeka's proposed Land Use and Growth Management Plan became tense at times, with people expressing concern and outrage with the annexation plans and limiting factors the proposed plan would have on properties outside the city limits.

However, city planning director Bill Fiander was able to quell most concerns and help the audience come to a better understanding of the changes. He said the meeting was the first step toward helping people better understand how the changes would affect them.

"There are 100 different opinions about this," Fiander said after the meeting. "We're trying to put it into context."

Monday's meeting comes after the Shawnee County Commission requested, and city manager Jim Colson agreed, that the Topeka City Council defer action on the LUGMP until affected townships and property owners could have an opportunity to learn the changes and ask questions. The city planned additional meetings at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Holliday Conference Room, 620 S.E. Madison., aimed at the 341 property owners with 5 acres or more within the area that would be most affected by the changes.

Twelve members of the public, mostly township officials, attended Monday's 90-minute meeting.

Tecumseh Township Treasurer Ed Peck, who previously spoke out against the plan because townships weren't informed, said he left Monday's meeting more comfortable with the proposed changes.

He said he particularly was pleased to learn the entire 3-mile radius outside the city limits wouldn't be affected by the new platting requirements. At least two people approached him with concerns, he said, because they intended to sell off their land as their retirement.

"This will still allow that, it sounds like," Peck said.

Fiander spent the first part of the question and answer portion of the meeting allaying concerns that the plan doesn't set any timelines for annexation and even then would focus only on areas that already have the five city services and would make sense for the city's compact growth plan. …

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