Comprehensive Plan

Since the late-1970s, the city has maintained a Comprehensive Plan that directs, coordinates, and evaluates the city's development and progress and ensures continued orderly development of our community.

The Comprehensive Plan is not an exact blueprint of the city's future, nor is it a static document. The plan is a policy guide that is reviewed annually and can change with development cycles, the changing economy and resident views.

The four books, elements and maps of the Comprehensive Plan guide development toward established community goals. Certain plan elements have separate maps, which are reviewed and updated as part of the annual review of the Comprehensive Plan to ensure that the information remains timely.


Goals for Overland Park

Goals are a basic part of a community's planning process, providing direction to those whose decisions in some way change the community.

To ensure the usefulness of goals in a community's planning process, it is essential to maintain them as distinct statements supported by policies.

Goals for Overland Park, one of four Comprehensive Plan books, contains land use goals that address design specifics, such as site and building orientation, appropriate locations for different uses, and the relationship of one use to another.

Comprehensive Plan Implementation

The Plan Implementation book is one of two documents that reflect the city's policies for directing land development. It is comprised of a number of sections including:

  • Comprehensive Plan Implementation
  • The Future Development Plan, which describes the Future Development Plan categories and explains how to compare the plan map with the zoning map and typical land uses.
  • Study Areas provide a quick reference to past and present study area reports which are used to evaluate the appropriateness of proposed land use changes.
  • Plan Policies, which decribe various Governing Body and Planning Commission land use related policy resolutions used in evaluating development plans.
  • Specific Plans provide an update on area studies that are still active.

Comprehensive Plan Use

The city uses the Comprehensive Plan as a policy guide for directing future land development.

The plan is used to evaluate development proposals, forecast future service and facility needs, and qualify for state and federal grant programs. The plan complements other planning tools, including the Zoning/Unified Development Ordinance and various design guidelines and standards.

The Comprehensive Plan also can be used by:

  • Homeowners, homes associations and neighborhood organizations to identify proposed land uses and planned roadways in their area or throughout the city;
  • Developers to identify where they can locate and, for residential uses, at what density they can build;
  • Other agencies, including school districts, county government and utility companies, to help forecast future service needs; and
  • Surrounding cities to help them evaluate the appropriateness and compatibility of their own plans for proposed land uses and roadways.

Other factors may weigh in a decision and result in approval of a proposal that conflicts with the Comprehensive Plan.

Changing the Comprehensive Plan

Kansas state statutes recognize that changes in anticipated development will take place and provide for an annual review of the Comprehensive Plan by the Planning Commission and City Council to ensure it does not become obsolete. The city follows Kansas state statute when amending the Comprehensive Plan, but also includes additional steps to allow for greater community participation.

Proposed amendments may be developed from suggestions of the Governing Body, Planning Commission, staff, department directors, landowners and other governmental agencies. The Comprehensive Plan Committee, a subcommittee of the Planning Commission, holds a series of workshops to direct and review the development of the amendments. At the conclusion of the workshops, public hearings are held before the Planning Commission and the Governing Body.

Adoption by the Governing Body via ordinance is the final step in the amendment process.

The annual review of the Comprehensive Plan involves updating all changes in land use, goal statements, and city policies that have occurred during the previous year as a result of rezoning, special use permits, other plan approvals or special studies.

For answers to other questions about the Comprehensive Plan, contact the Planner of the Day at 913-895-6217.