Overland Park, Kansas

Project: Stakeholder charrette for master plans, implementation strategies, and form-based code for downtown and two nodes along major auto-oriented corridors

Client: City of Overland Park, Kansas

Contact: Leslie Karr, Manager, Current Planning 913.895.6196

Status: Charrette October 2009; code writing completed January 2010, adopted January 2011. 

Overland Park, a thriving suburb of Kansas City, is oriented along the Metcalf Corridor. While continuing to grow, the city also has several auto-oriented corridors with dead and dying strip shopping centers at several major intersections. Ferrell Madden led an interdisciplinary team in studying Downtown Overland Park, the Metcalf Corridor and adjacent retail nodes—reviewing previous vision plans, analyzing traffic patterns, and exploring the current and future market potential—to produce detailed master plans, potential implementation strategies, and a new form-based code for the targeted districts, in order to encourage infill, redevelopment and revitalization.

In the early fall of 2009, the Ferrell Madden team traveled to Overland Park to gather information and gain greater understanding of the Metcalf Corridor. This review and analysis laid the foundation for the work to follow. The next month, a week-long urban design charrette, involving business and property owners, local real estate developers, citizens, and staff began looking in greater detail at the study areas—the urban design, the traffic and transportation considerations, and the underlying economic and market conditions.

The analysis lead to several conclusions—such as the fact that the city had a large surplus of land zoned for retail/ commercial development—which were incorporated in the plan, strategies and code. The project focused on transforming the nodes into mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, neighborhood centers, with improved connectivity to the surrounding areas. A particular goal for the downtown was to build on the character and scale of the historic fabric, differentiating it from surrounding communities by its inherent sense of place.

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