Lenexa ready to reveal draft of city’s next long-term plan

Lenexa city officials are set to reveal details of the latest draft of the city’s latest comprehensive plan in a public meeting Wednesday evening.

Starting at 5 p.m. at Lenexa City Hall, city staff will lead residents through the details of its plan, which will serve as an official blueprint for future growth and development in the city over the next 25 years.

At the open house, attendees will be able to review highlights from the draft plan and share feedback and recommendations with city staff and a team of consultants.

A draft of the plan, which tops 100 pages, can be viewed in PDF form here.

What is a comprehensive plan?

  • Local governments use comprehensive plans to forecast long-term development patterns for a city.
  • Such plans typically provide policy direction related to land use changes, planning for capital improvements and directing a city’s future growth.
  • Comprehensive plans can also guide decisions for city councils and planning commissions.
  • The final drafts of comprehensive plans are approved by a city council.

Draft plan is organized around several themes

The plan has been in the works since 2021, with Lenexa officials working with consultants from land-planning firm Houseal-Lavigne.

During the drafting process, the city also gathered input from residents in public open houses, surveys, focus groups and even meetings with local high school students.

The Plan focuses on a number of themes, including:

  • Community Vision, Goals and Objectives
  • Land Use & Development
  • Housing & Neighborhoods
  • Economic Development
  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Community Facilities & Infrastructure
  • Natural Areas, Parks & Open Space
  • Implementation Strategies
Lenexa area of change
Areas of change identified in Lenexa’s Comprehensive Plan. Image via city documents.

Lenexa’s comprehensive plan was last updated in 2016

Since then, Lenexa has seen changes in businesses, like the expansion of Lenexa City Center, as well as in housing, including the recent approval of several high-density apartment complexes including the Oak IQ Copper Creek development.

The draft plan also takes into account market trends, such as the decline of big-box retail stores and office parks near Monticello Road and K-7 Highway, as well as pressing issues like missing middle housing.

“The heart of the exercise, the effort, is to take areas of some size and sort of employ current market demand pressures, context and try to get to a future land use that works,” said Scott McCullough, Lenexa’s community development director.

The plan looks to guide Lenexa through next 20-25 years

The plan is designed to bring Lenexa closer to the goals of its Vision 2040 initiative, a framework that outlined ways that Lenexa can move forward over the next two decades, focusing on areas like healthy neighborhoods, creating an inviting environment and a thriving economy.

“Throughout this plan, we’ve aligned as much as we can with Vision 2040 priorities,” McCullough said.

Denise Rendina, the city’s communications director, agreed that the plan helps move Lenexa into the future.

“What people told us were priorities (with Vision 2040), this becomes a little more tangible of what that means,” she said.

Julie Sayer
Lenexa Mayor Julie Sayers gives the 2024 State of the City address. Photo credit Andrew Gaug.

What’s next

  • The planning commission and city council will review the plan at a joint meeting on April 23, but no formal action is set to be taken at that meeting.
  • A public hearing will take place at the May 6 planning commission meeting. The commission will either vote on the recommended plan or ask staff to make additional changes.
  • If the commission approves the plan, the city council will either consider adopting it or ask to make additional changes at its May 21 meeting.

About the author

Andrew Gaug
Andrew Gaug

👋 Hi! I’m Andrew Gaug, and I cover Shawnee and Lenexa for the Johnson County Post.

I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and started my career as a business reporter for The Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio.

I spent 14 years as a multimedia reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press before joining the Post in 2023.