City hires consultant for 'traditional' code
City commissioners on Tuesday unanimously agreed to spend $251,500 to hire a consulting firm to help create a development code that will allow for the construction of "traditional" neighborhoods.
The contract with PlaceMakers, a California-based consulting company, will allow the city to create a code incorporating Traditional Neighborhood Design, which is a concept that designs developments with a mix of uses and in a style more similar to a downtown or a turn-of-the-century neighborhood.
The group will be in town from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6 to conduct meetings with city commissioners, planners and interested residents. The seven-day "charrette" process will focus on developing ideas of how areas of town could be redeveloped or expanded using a traditional neighborhood design, if property owners choose to do so.
Areas the city has selected are downtown area, near 19th Street and Haskell Avenue, 23rd and Louisiana streets, and 25th and Iowa streets.
The consultants also will be looking to show how new areas south of the Wakarusa River and west of the South Lawrence Trafficway could be designed using a traditional neighborhood concept.
Impact fees to face discussion on Dec. 12
City Manager David Corliss alerted commissioners that he'll likely ask them to have their first significant discussion on creating impact fees at the city's Dec. 12 meeting.
He told commissioners that his staff is working on a plan that would use impact fees to help pay for additional park purchases.
Impact fees are a one-time fee charged to developers based on the size of their projects. The fees offer a way, besides normal taxes, to help cities pay for certain city services.