Douglas County Commission to consider food system chapter of Horizon 2020 comprehensive plan

The Douglas County Commission will consider on Wednesday a Douglas County Food System Plan that is to be part of the Horizon 2020 update of the Lawrence-Douglas County comprehensive plan.

In a memo to commissioners, Lawrence/Douglas County food policy coordinator Helen Schnoes wrote that the plan represents the first time a food policy component has been included in a Lawrence-Douglas County comprehensive plan.

Schnoes wrote that the plan was developed through public participation that included 13 focus groups and five public forums. According to the plan’s introduction, its purpose is to help guide how food is produced, bought, consumed and disposed of in Lawrence and the county.

The report establishes five goals for the community and provides strategic recommendations on how they can be realized. The five goals:

• Ensure agricultural producers, food entrepreneurs and food-sector workers thrive in the regional economy.

• Prioritize natural resource conservation and maintain working lands to promote soil health as county cities grow.

• Build and design county communities to ensure food access, foster health and eliminate food deserts.

• Foster an equitable food system.

• Elimination of food system waste.

Commissioners are being asked to approve or modify the plan. The plan will also be presented to the Lawrence City Commission for consideration.

Commissioners will meet again at 6 p.m. Wednesday to consider a rezoning and site plan application from R.D. Johnson Excavating. The applicant is seeking rezoning for agricultural to industrial use of 30 acres at 1705 North 1399 Road to store excavated materials.

The Douglas County Commission meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. A complete agenda can be viewed at