GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Throughout the last decade, Garden City has boosted its regional appeal for many in western Kansas. Now, city officials are going back to the drawing board.
The last time Garden City created a comprehensive plan of what the future of the community will look like was around the years 2009 and 2010. The city followed the comprehensive plan with the creation of a downtown plan years late in 2013. The city is revisiting the progress made since then and looking at how to push it forward throughout the next 20 years.
The planning portion for the comprehensive and downtown plans began in December 2020 and is expected to continue through this fall. Automatically, the city’s plans analyze land use and commercial, residential, and industrial zoning.
“After that, there can be a lot of uniqueness to a community’s comprehensive plan and that’s why we’re asking for citizen engagement,” said Matt Allen, Garden City City Manager.
City development is breaking down jobs, housing, transportation, businesses, and the overall look and feel of the area, among other factors.
“It’s important to look at how do we improve that, how do we expand it and continue to be a part of that regional hub,” said Trent Maxwell, Chief Building Official and Interim Director of Neighborhood and Development Services.
The plans factor in everything and anything the community may want, such as recreation, downtown activity, shopping, housing, and employment. Doing so allows for determination on what may need to be changed and what is most important to those who work, play, or live in Garden City.
Right now, city officials say a crucial piece to the puzzle is gaining community feedback.
“We come with the best expertise that we have, we put those plans in motion, but if we know that there’s a large demand from the citizens for a specific item, that helps us drive those projects to make sure those things happen,” said Maxwell.
The plan is currently in the citizen engagement stage and at the end of the summer, the city’s consultant group will have drafts completed. By January the plan is expected to be finalized.
“What we’re looking for now is sorta the next vision. The next 10 to 15 year vision of what we want our community to be,” said Allen.
Both Allen and Maxwell say the plan is a significant piece for the growth of the area.
“We want to bring people in, we want Garden City to be a palace that grows and a place that people want to visit, and if we have their input, if we have that direction, we can hopefully create projects that will help see that future through,” said Maxwell.