PARSONS, Kans. — In the state of Kansas, it’s required for cities to come up with a comprehensive plan, which acts as a guide the city will follow for the next decade.
The City of Parsons wanted to take this a step further, and thanks to collaborative efforts with its community, a new plan has come together.
“Economic development used to be very specifically defined, those lines have blurred,” said Parsons Director of Economic Development Jim Zaleski,
Thanks to a partnership with community-planning firm Verdunity, the City of Parsons has come up with its most recent comprehensive plan.
“It addresses everything in the city, from housing to retail, transportation, planning and zoning…We can refer to it, literally over the next decade.”
“Planning and zoning map, future use map, so we have ideas of where we want to concentrate things such as housing, where we want to concentrate things such as retail or industrial,” added Zaleski.
This roadmap for the city breaks down the trends the city has seen in things like housing and other forms of economic development.
“Tourism in our last two years has moved to the outdoors and the acceptance of nature as outdoor tourism and that does really well for Southeast Kansas.”
Using those trends helps combat issues in housing seen across the state.
“One of the challenges facing all rural states, but Kansas specifically, is the number of rooftops.”
“How do you keep up with the housing necessities for an industrial based such as Parsons.”
“This plan takes the theory of Strong Towns very seriously.”
“Multi-use housing, multi-use facilities.”
“Retail on the bottom floor, residential on the top floor.”
“So we look at it not only using it as a reflection of the past but a roadmap into the future.”
City commissioners will vote on whether or not to accept the plan on January 3rd.