Though it's not now a move by the City of Greensburg to annex surrounding rural acreage, its desire to establish a "potential growth area" beyond current city limits is a distinct shift for rural residents who've lived in an unzoned county. The public hearing set for February 24 will give those affected by the change opportunity to voice their questions and concern over the proposed move.
Greensburg City Council members approved a measure to expand city boundaries through annexation and heard a plan that would lead to extra-territorial zoning of property currently under Kiowa County jurisdiction into Greensburg zoning codes at its regular meeting on Tuesday.
Following a request for annexation from the Cannonball Golf Course Board to the Planning Commission, the Council pulled a portion of the golf course adjoining the business park into its boundary. The City currently provides utilities to the annexed area.
In a related move, City Development Director Mike Gurnee also presented a plan to extend Greensburg city zoning into Kiowa County within its legal three-mile range. To do so, changes to the City’s Comprehensive Master Plan must be approved; such changes require a public hearing to allow affected residents to voice comments or concerns. The hearing will be held February 24 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Gurnee justified the expansion that more than triples the area currently controlled by city zoning as an “anticipated growth area.”
In a notice going to County Commissioners, Gurnee included a draft of a proposed amendment of the Comprehensive Plan that describes the property as follows:
“The urban growth area is roughly one-half section north of California Avenue and one section south of Scott Avenue. To the east it extends two sections from the current city limits; and to the west it extends one and one-half sections. …”
It continues, “The urban growth area takes in the corridor for the new U.S. 54-400, from its intersection with U.S. Highway 183 to the west and Centerview Road to the east.”
The notice further explains that the existing Master Plan already includes the Kiowa County State Fishing Lake and a proposed industrial area to the northwest as well as the golf course property annexed by the City in an earlier action.
The amendment would add two new land use categories: Major Highway Intersections and Conservation/Rural Residential.
Under Major Highway Intersections, justification for city zoning along U.S. Highway 54/400 east and west of Greensburg is explained as an area where “a mix of commercial and service uses is anticipated.” Furthermore, the Planning Commission describes those areas as “gateways into Greensburg,” that should “welcome” travelers and “preserve and enhance” existing natural features where possible.
“The remainder of the land within this Greensburg Urban Growth Area is designated as a Conservation/Rural Residential district,” according to the proposed amendment. It continues that “Properties immediately adjacent to the city should be changed to corresponding city residence zoning districts as municipal services and annexation occurs.” The amendment clarifies that no areas will receive municipal services unless developers agree to annexation of the property.
The proposed amendment further requires “ghost plattes” for residential subdivisions that might occur in the area to avoid future city growth from having to “leaf frog” over large lots.
Clusters of new homes would be allowed in conservation subdivisions leaving larger tracts of land to agricultural use or for the conservation of sensitive lands.
Rural Kiowa County would remain agricultural unless development should occur, with a 40-acre limit required to designate a farm or ranch.