Land Use Principles
These Land Use Principles guide future development and the recommendations of this plan.
Develop in a pattern that is cost-effective to maintain excellent city services
Provide more choice for housing, transportation, jobs, shopping and entertainment
Promote retail employment success by concentrating people into high-quality places with unique character
Transition land-use patterns and intensity to make sure uses are compatible and complementary maintaining community character
Connect people to vibrant places with multiple transportation options
Conserve resources for future generations
Developing in a pattern that limits infrastructure investment involves compact, contiguous development. The more people per acre of development, the more tax revenue available to provide the highest quality city services Lee’s Summit expects.
Residents want more choice and housing, residential lot sizes and housing price points, things to do, places for visitors to stay, and transportation options. Residents want job growth, more types of businesses, a variety of shopping areas, and different types of jobs and workspaces.
Over the past 20 years, people came to Lee’s Summit because of their quality single-family neighborhoods. Residential Category 1 traditional single-family will continue to be the largest category in the future land use. Over the next 20 years, Lee’s Summit will continue to add more choices increasing the variety of housing types and price points.
Residential, Category 1
Residential, Category 2
Residential, Category 3
Creating quality, authentic places for locals and daily livability increases property values and tourism dollars. Local, authentic experiences outside of the Downtown are lacking. Increasing this type of development throughout the community as directed by the Future Land Use map increases choice and economic resiliency.
Concentrate development into walkable Activity Centers and Priority Corridors. The more people who are within walking distance of commercial development, the more likely it will be sustainable and resilient over time.
For Activity Centers to be walkable, locate medium and high-intensity Category 2 and 3 land uses within a 15-minute walk from the middle of the Activity Center, and internal circulation must be designed to connect to a sidewalk and trails system. Activity Centers should include approximately 2,000 people in housing units within the 15-minute walk radius to support one block of commercial/office/retail. Residential Category 1 development is discouraged from locating in Activity Centers and Commercial Nodes.
Strip development along commercial corridors is auto-oriented and with shallow lot depths making redevelopment difficult. Increase density in major corridors following the Design Principles for strip development and the Access Management Plan.
Land uses, scale of buildings, architecture and design will all be compatible and complementary with each other with transitions. The example above shows the type of transition desired in an Activity Center next to a corridor. Note how the intensity of development transitions from more intense to less intense, commercial to residential. The “typical existing” illustrates the common type of development in Lee’s Summit prior to 2021. The Future Land Use Plan includes Residential Category 2, 3, and Mixed-Use Land Use adjacent to Industrial Land Use to allow for live/work neighborhoods.
Compatible and complementary uses should be considered as part of a Live/Work development. Live-work development works best in pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, on lively mixed-use streets (sometimes above shops) where there are easy opportunities for one to step outside and encounter others in “interactive spaces” such as courtyards, and that are transit-oriented developments. Live/ work neighborhoods are sometimes called Zero Commute Housing and can be more affordable because of lower transportation costs.
Multimodal transportation recommendations included in the Thoroughfare Master Plan, Greenway Master Plan, and Capital Improvement Plan build connectivity and access for all ages and abilities.
The Greenway Master Plan provides “wheel and spoke” connectivity to tie all Activity Centers to the heart of the community, the Downtown, and to the region through the Rock Island Trail which will connect to the Katy Trail across Missouri in the future.
Access to transit is limited currently. New development and redevelopment should be designed to accommodate current and future transportation technologies to provide choice and connectivity.
Lee’s Summit got its name because it is at the top of many watersheds and is surrounded by water bodies used for recreation. Any body of water may reasonably be expected to contain some contaminants. The types of contaminants depend on many factors and can originate from a wide range of sources. Water quality is measured by a set of criteria established under the Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations, which are enforced by the state of Missouri. The state’s water quality criteria established by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) includes chemical, physical, and biological properties that are necessary to protect the beneficial uses of a water body. Waterways not meeting the water quality criteria are deemed ‘impaired’ by MDNR. Big Creek is the only stream within Lee’s Summit on the impaired waters list of MDNR.
The primary reason to improve air quality is to achieve better health outcomes, such as reduced instances of bronchitis, asthma, and premature mortality. Improving air quality has its costs, including the capital and operation and maintenance costs to businesses that are required to install pollution control equipment, as well as the costs of regulations related to improved fuel economy. Air quality is important to the quality of life but also influences business and residential location decisions impacting growth. The Kansas City region is currently in attainment of air quality regulations.
Protect natural green infrastructure, providing places for recreation, preserving important environmental and ecological functions, sustaining wildlife corridors and enhancing quality of life.