The city’s current planning staff review and coordinate development applications.
The development review process begins with a pre-application conference between the applicant and staff, and concludes with a final recommendation from the Planning Commission or City Council.
Staff review includes the placement, type, intensity, and density of uses, access, traffic impacts, stormwater management, building design and landscaping.
The Unified Development Ordinance, the Comprehensive Plan and the design guidelines and standards are all tools used to ensure that proposed development meets the requirements and expectations of the city.
Planner of the Day
The development pyramid illustrates how the various types of development applications considered by the Planning Commission and City Council relate to each other and to the building permit review process. Additional details about a development are required with each subsequent application.
Most developments begin at the bottom of the pyramid and work their way through all the stages in the pyramid before building permits are issued.
A rezoning is a request to change the zoning classification applicable to one or more specific lots or tracts.
Rezoning and special use permits are often the first permits approved and provide the base on which all other applications are reviewed.
Requests for planned zoning districts (distinguished by a “P” in the title, for example CP-2, Planned General Business District) must be accompanied by:
Requests for conventional zoning districts require only a legal description of the property requested for rezoning. Conventional rezonings typically are limited to single-family developments.
All rezoning applications require notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Planning Commission. Recommendations from the Planning Commission will be forwarded to the City Council for final action.
Submittal of a protest petition may impact the voting requirements of the Council; however, all decisions by the City Council are final unless appealed to District Court.
Some uses, such as hotels, hospitals, airports or nursing homes, only are allowed by special use permit. This allows the proposal to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure it is compatible with surrounding uses.
Special use permit requests for new buildings, such as hospitals, hotels, cell towers, etc., require the submittal of site plans, civil plans and architecture, just as a rezoning request to a planned zoning district. Other requests, such as drinking establishments and other uses within an existing building, require only a legal description.
All special use permit applications require notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Planning Commission. Recommendations from the Planning Commission will be forwarded to the City Council for final action.
Submittal of a protest petition may impact the voting requirements of the Council; however, all decisions by the Council are final unless appealed to District Court.
Some development applications require the submittal of detailed plans identifying the nature of the development proposal. These include: requests for rezoning to a planned district, special use permits where a new building will be constructed and non-residential buildings in residential districts, such as religious institutions, schools and subdivision pools.
These applications must be accompanied by:
Once a preliminary plan has been approved as part of a rezoning or special use permit, it may be modified. The extent of the changes will determine whether or not a new public hearing will be required to approve the revised plan.
If a revised plan meets any of the criteria for a substantial change, notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Planning Commission is required. Changes to an approved plan that are not substantial may be approved by the Planning Commission without a public hearing or notice to surrounding owners.
In the case of a preliminary development plan for a non-residential use in a residential district, such as a religious institution or school, public hearings are required before the Planning Commission.
Consideration of these applications by the City Council is only required if a valid protest petition is submitted.
While preliminary development plans include the general concept for the entire development, final development plans provide specific information about proposed construction and typically focus on one phase of the development.
As part of the final development plans, details of the site layout, including access, parking, landscaping and site grading, are finalized, and building architecture is established. Additional details, such as site lighting and signage, also may be reviewed.
Final development plans are reviewed against the approved preliminary development plan for consistency. Although some minor modifications may be allowed, substantial changes require a new preliminary plan to be filed.
The Planning Commission must approve final development plans prior to building permits being issued. No public hearing is required.
City Council approval only is required if the applicant appeals the Planning Commission decision, or if required by the Council as part of the rezoning or special use permit approval process.
A Certificate of Conformity is a specific type of final plan application for projects in Downtown Overland Park, which follow the downtown form based code.
These applications may be approved by staff unless deviations are required from the code.
Where there are deviations, notice to surrounding property owners and consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council is required.
Platting involves the subdivision of land into lots or tracts. A plat is recorded as a permanent legal document that includes both an accurate description and graphical depiction of any real property that is to be divided.
The intent of platting is to provide a readily accessible and easily understandable public record of property. Property must be platted before a building permit can be issued.
The preliminary plat dictates sizes and shapes of lots, the relationship between existing and future streets, location of proposed public improvements, and location of lands dedicated for public purposes.
Preliminary plats demonstrate the overall subdivision concept for an entire ownership tract, showing the general lot configuration, street layout and existing topography.
Preliminary plats require notification to surrounding property owners and a public hearing at the Planning Commission; they do not require City Council approval.
The final plat must conform to the approved preliminary plat. No public hearing is required.
If the plat contains public right-of-way (or other property that is proposed to be dedicated to the city) the application will be heard by the City Council for acceptance of the public lands.
Property owners and city officials will sign an approved version of the final plat drawing that will ultimately be recorded by the Johnson County Department of Records and Tax Administration.
Building permits begin the demolition or construction process and are generally considered after all required development approvals are obtained.
The Unified Development Ordinance establishes criteria for review of development applications. Criteria for review are different depending on the type of application.
To learn about what criteria staff and the Planning Commission will use to review a particular application, open the accordion for each respective application type below.
The Planning Commission and City Council may also consider other relevant factors.
When preliminary plans are approved as part of a rezoning or special use permit application, future
development must comply with the approved development plans for the property. While some minor modifications can be made, changes that are considered substantial require consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council at a public hearing.
Substantial changes include any of the following:
Public hearings give residents and applicants an opportunity to address the Planning Commission or City Council prior to decisions on proposed developments.
All rezoning and special use permit and some preliminary plan requests require a public hearing. The Planning Commission agenda will indicate when a public hearing is required for an item.
Share your comments on a development by:
The Governing Body welcomes resident and public feedback about development proposals that are open for public comment.
When speaking at a public hearing, the following suggestions will help Planning Commissioners or City Council take your public comment into full consideration.
In order to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to speak, the Chair person may limit the time for each speaker. If you represent a large group of residents or need other accommodations, please let the project’s case manager know in advance.
The City Council Chamber has technology for speakers with presentations. This technology includes:
Staff will be available during public meetings to assist you with presentation equipment. If you intend to use the available technology as part of your presentation, or need any special accommodations, please contact the project’s case manager in advance by calling 913-895-6217 or emailing email@example.com.
Property owners adjacent to proposed developments can file protest petitions for pending rezoning, preliminary plan, and special use permit applications requiring a public hearing.
Valid protest petitions impact the approval requirements for an application.
A protest petition is valid if 20 percent of the land area within the notification ring is represented by the signatures of the property owners. Property owners signing the petition must:
For additional requirements, see the instructions included with the protest petition form.
The petition may be filed with the City Clerk’s Office beginning the day after the Planning Commission makes a final recommendation on the item but no later than by the end of business 14 days after.
Rezoning, Special Use Permits, Preliminary Development Plans, and Revised Preliminary Development Plans
If a valid protest petition is submitted for any of these applications, ten of 12 City Council members must approve the application during a City Council meeting.
Without the protest, only seven votes in favor of the application are required.
Preliminary Development Plans for Non-Residential Uses in a Residential District
These protest petitions are for buildings, schools, religious institutions, and similar non-residential uses. Unless a valid protest petition is submitted for non-residential applications within a residential district, the action of the Planning Commission is final.
When a valid protest petition is filed, the application must be approved by seven of 12 City Council members.
Contact the Current Planning Division at 913-895-6217 for detailed information about the protest petition process.
You also may wish to contact a private attorney to ensure your petition is completed correctly.
Residents can learn about development proposals a number of ways.
There are many options to stay aware of development proposals near your home or business.
In some cases, residents living near proposed developments will receive postcards from the city and a certified letter from the applicant informing them of potential changes.
Notices of public hearing are also posted on the properties themselves.
We share information about new proposals and Planning Commission agenda highlights on the city’s social media channels. Or, sign up for e-newsletters.
Search the map to see proposals that could be coming to your neighborhood. Or, browse around and see what’s new.