During the engagement process, the City provided balanced and objective information to the community participants enhancing their understanding of problems, alternatives, opportunities and solutions. Those involved took the vision and goals established in the City’s Ignite! Strategic Plan and developed policies, strategies, and a future land use plan to implement them over the next 20 years. The process resulted in a plan, but also strengthened community partnerships.
The Lee’s Summit Ignite! Comprehensive Plan offered multiple opportunities for residents and businesses to engage and share their vision for a vibrant community and continue the path forward to an exceptional quality of life for all generations.
Response to COVID-19
Community engagement activities started in July 2020 after establishing a modified engagement strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional in-person engagement opportunities pivoted to digital engagement tools and virtual stakeholder meetings to meet CDC guidelines for social distancing. The virtual tools and techniques focused on safety while maintaining an inclusive, meaningful, multi-faceted, adaptable, innovative and creative engagement process. Even during a pandemic, the Ignite! Comprehensive Plan offered many ways for thoughtful and diverse input on important community topics.
The City of Lee’s Summit Comprehensive Plan’s online presence (igniteourfuture.net) provided in-depth information about community planning areas. It also served as a vital engagement hub for numerous activities. These opportunities offered convenient ways to participate, including:
- discussion forums
- podcast series
- big ideas quick poll
- conversation kits
Branded kiosks with iPads were distributed throughout the community to drive engagement on the Ignite! Comprehensive Plan website and allow participants to complete surveys in person. Three locations offered the kiosks:
- City Hall
- Longview Community Center
- J. Thomas Lovell Jr. Community Center
Lee’s Summit’s Creative Services Department also provided communications to residents, business owners, and community partners to encourage participation in the online engagement tools. Social media posts, the City Portal newsletter and e-blasts distributed information to the community related to engagement opportunities. Mapping the online survey respondents that provided their contact information helped ensure a geographic representation of the community.
COVID-19 prompted the creation of the Pulse Panel to ensure diverse representation and quality input throughout the engagement process. The 79 members of the Pulse Panel reflected a representative crosssection of the Lee’s Summit community. The Pulse Panel participants completed a series of quick polls on topical issues to ‘take the pulse’ of the community.
Topical Focus Groups
A series of four virtual focus group discussions provided an opportunity to gain perspective on housing, economic development, workforce development, and design guidelines. Participants represented a range of local and regional organizations:
- Cityscape Residential
- Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street
- Home Builders Association
- Kansas City Area Economic Development Council
- Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce
- Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council
- Lee’s Summit Housing Authority
- PRAXM Management
- University of Central Missouri
Throughout the planning process, residents participated in three virtual workshop opportunities to gather in-depth feedback on the community’s goals and preferences related to the various plan elements.
Community Workshop #1 – November 2020
Participants from each of Lee’s Summit’s four Council Districts provided input on the 5 Big Ideas and shared feedback related to community priorities.
Community Workshop #2 – January 2021
As a continuation of the November workshop, participants engaged in more detailed discussions about the Big Ideas of innovative industrial and sustainable infrastructure.
Community Workshop #3 – April 2021
This final workshop allowed participants to learn how community input on the 5 Big Ideas influenced the draft plan. Attendees provided feedback on the Future Land Use map, Activity Centers, and topics of connectivity, proximity and open space.
Boards, Commissions & Community Partners
City employees presented draft elements of the Ignite! Comprehensive Plan to several City Boards and Commissions and Community Partners. Feedback from these organizations helped refine the plan topics. The groups included:
- Arts Council
- Livable Streets Advisory Board
- Parks & Recreation Board
- Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council
- Lee’s Summit R-7 School District
- Property Reserve, Inc.