Westwood starts master plan process; may provide path for key development decisions

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A much anticipated comprehensive master plan project for the City of Westwood is under way that will hope to answer a number of questions about Westwood’s future, including the prospect for development of several key properties in the city.

The city council approved a contract with Shockey Consulting last month to guide the planning process, which is scheduled to take 28 weeks to completion. Last week a workshop conducted before the city council meeting focused on the scope of services that the consultant will provide.

Inside that planning schedule will be at least two public meetings and likely three. Resident input on the plan development will also come through a digital outreach platform and a steering committee of 15 people, 12 of whom are residents of Westwood.

The Shockey proposal said several important questions need to be addressed by the plan, including “How should the community make critical decisions about the future development of key locations?” Listed among those locations are the 47th Street corridor, the Entercom property at 50th and Belinder, Dennis Park, Westwood View Elementary, the Westwood Christian Church property and city hall.

A number of residents had asked that the creation of two new zoning districts for the city be delayed until a comprehensive plan could be completed. Those zoning districts were approved by the planning commission and city council earlier this summer. The new districts will allow for more dense residential development in the city, which previously was limited to single-family residential outside of planned commercial projects such as Woodside Village. No property has been rezoned for one of the more dense uses.

An Urban Land Institute task force also held a one-day review for the city earlier this year and suggested options for some of the same areas. The city now owns the Westwood Christian Church property and the Shawnee Mission School District has expressed an interest in the Entercom property.

The project also will include stakeholder interviews and a community values survey.