Lawrence City Commission to consider adopting new comprehensive plan

City leaders will soon consider adopting the new Lawrence-Douglas County comprehensive plan that will help shape the area’s growth for the next 20 years.

As part of its consent agenda for its Tuesday meeting, the Lawrence City Commission will consider adopting Plan 2040 on second reading. Commissioners already gave initial approval to the plan, which has a new growth policy that prioritizes infill development and adds requirements for developers who want to expand the city’s boundaries.

Some have voiced opposition to Plan 2040’s growth policy, contending it will increase the cost of development and housing. Proponents of the policy have maintained that the city cannot afford to grow in any and all directions, and that growth needs to be focused in certain areas to manage city infrastructure costs.

The plan will replace Horizon 2020 and covers land use in the city of Lawrence and the unincorporated areas of Douglas County. A steering committee has spent the last several years drafting the plan, and the Planning Commission reviewed the plan earlier this year and is recommending it for approval.

Once the City Commission adopts the plan, it will move to the County Commission for review. Any changes made by either body will then go back to the Planning Commission.

The only item on the commission’s regular agenda for Tuesday is an executive session to discuss pending litigation. The justification of the executive session, which is estimated to take approximately 30 minutes, is to keep matters of attorney-client privilege confidential at this time, according to a city staff memo to the commission.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.

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