Kansas rural housing program could help bring more options to Pittsburg

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This satellite image shows the location of the proposed rural housing district, located in South Pittsburg (Apple Maps, Feb. 2020)

More housing options could soon land their way in Southeast Kansas with a little help from the state. The Kansas government is encouraging development in communities with the Rural Housing Incentive District (RHID) program.

Here’s how it works:

Pretend you are a property developer. You buy an empty plot of land and build a 100-unit apartment complex complete with a pool, laundromat and bike trail.

Later, the county assesses your land and finds that you have more than quadrupled the original property value!

Because you helped bump up the land’s value, the RIHD provides the city funding to partially refund you for bringing more housing to the area and contributing to the city’s, county’s and state’s economic growth with more localized spending.

This could soon be a reality for the City of Pittsburg.

The city commission signed off on a resolution at Tuesday night’s meeting that would get the ball rolling on future plans for a plot of land just south of Pittsburg High School (pictured). The land’s current assessed value sits at around $140.

This satellite image shows the location of the proposed rural housing district, located in South Pittsburg (Apple Maps, Feb. 2020)

Although Tuesday night’s resolution simply declares the city’s intent to adopt the program, developers are already laying the foundation for the land’s future.

Pittsburg optometrist and lot owner Dr. Shane Kannarr has been working with the Pittsburg Planning and Zoning Commission to build four single-family houses on the property. Each house would be built on a one-acre lot.

“We’re very excited to have the community, the city, the county, USD 250’s support to bring more housing to Pittsburg, and to help people continue to reside in the community and see the community support its residents with the state program.”

Dr. Shane Kannarr, property owner

In addition to the houses, the Planning and Zoning proposal will encompass infrastructure improvements within the land district, including road repairs and utility lines. The final plan will later be brought before the city commission.

The resolution allows the city to start the process for formally creating the district. The next step is a hearing scheduled for the March 24 Pittsburg City Commission meeting, where leaders will hear public input on adopting the program. From there, the city will decide whether to move forward. That meeting kicks off at 5:30 pm.

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