Shawnee set to write city’s first long-term plan in 33 years — and officials want residents’ input

Shawnee is seeking public input on a comprehensive plan to update the development guide and vision of the city.

Shawnee is seeking public input on a comprehensive plan to update the city’s development guide and vision.

Shawnee city staff recently launched a survey as the first step to garner public opinions on things like shopping, entertainment, dining and nightlife; services and city amenities like parks and recreation; and also development of the city’s housing stock.

The survey also asks participants to weigh in on critical issues facing the city, including “NIMBYism” and fear of change, a lack of a unified city plan, trust among residents and government and division on the Shawnee City Council.

The city adopted its current comprehensive plan in 1987.

‘Achieve Shawnee’ looks to guide city for next 10 to 20 years

City leaders and staff in September kicked off the process to develop an updated comprehensive plan titled Achieve Shawnee. The comprehensive plan is used to guide Shawnee over the next 10 to 20 years, according to city documents.

“The comprehensive plan is a long-range planning document that guides the city’s future growth and development, its priorities, and its services,” city staff wrote. “It is a road map that helps us visualize where we want to go as a city and how we get there. Your input in the comprehensive planning process is essential in determining the destination—the vision—for the City of Shawnee.”

Once again, Shawnee stakeholders were asked to consider addressing items like the “east-west divide,” as the city is split by I-435 and topographical challenges with development in the central portion of Shawnee. Additionally, stakeholders could consider whether to prioritize tourism, revitalization of downtown and family-friendliness of the city’s hometown feel.

Housing also remains a key issue in consideration of the comprehensive plan, according to survey questions. One question asks participants to specify which housing types are “most needed and appropriate” in Shawnee. Options include single-family homes, townhomes and duplexes, apartments, mixed-use spaces (commercial/office below residential) and accessory dwelling units.

Survey elements

Survey participants will be asked to identify up to three things about Shawnee that are the most important to them. The options include:

  • Culture: Protect and maintain Shawnee’s current culture of family-friendliness, recreation, and hometown feel
  • Economic development: Promote Shawnee as an attractive place for businesses to locate and thrive, and create a business-friendly environment
  • Entertainment/nightlife: Add more fun and engaging activities for all ages and encourage businesses that support nighttime activity (e.g., restaurants, bars, etc.)
  • Housing options: Increase diversity in the city’s housing options, including type, size, cost, and amenities
  • Outdoor recreation/environment: Protect, maintain, and expand upon parks, green spaces, trails, and athletic facilities
  • Creating destinations: Increase the variety of activities within a certain area of the city or along a particular corridor that incorporate shops, housing, offices, and other business types
  • Design and appearance: Enhance the impression of Shawnee through aesthetic improvements in new developments, reuse of or redevelopment of vacant buildings, enhanced public spaces and corridors, and well-maintained landscapes

The types of survey questions are a result of preliminary feedback from the visioning workshops in October by the Comprehensive Plan Stakeholder Committee, according to city documents.

A hard copy survey is also available at the city clerk’s counter at Shawnee City Hall.

More details are available at on the planning process and survey. The survey will be open until Feb. 1, 2021.