The Blue Springs City Council will get a chance to vote on the same zoning changes and new design standards that Planning Commissioners unanimously approved Monday.

The Blue Springs City Council will get a chance to vote on the same zoning changes and new design standards that Planning Commissioners unanimously approved Monday.

Sheila Solon, chairman of the Multi-family Task Force, offered most of Monday’s presentation, which was meant to allow those commission members present to give their opinions.

The proposed changes, if passed by the City Council, will be included in the city’s Unified Development Code, specifically to zoning laws and the implementation of design standards.

Reviewing information from several metro communities, Solon said Blue Springs will closely align itself – at least regarding zoning changes and in new design standards – with Olathe.

Proposed changes include:

Developers will meet with adjacent neighborhoods and discuss  plans for the proposed development, as well as discuss methods utilizing the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, a program taught by police to developers. Projects will require 40 percent of open space compared to the current 10 percent requirement. Developers will be permitted to build as high as five stories compared to three stories, currently in effect. Solon and Parker said the idea is to increase open space by allowing developers to “build up.” Front-facing garages will be required with increased set-backs. Regarding design standards, Parker said projects will have  to have variety in design, eliminating any “cookie cutter design.” Also, large empty exterior walls will be prohibited.


“We’re also requesting that projects blend in with surrounding and existing architecture,” Parker said.

Developers will be encouraged to design projects that “mix,”   or blend different types of projects. That includes townhomes, condominiums, single-family homes in one area. Projects will be connected by walkways and bike paths, too. In addition, projects will be designed to be crime-preventing. For instance, landscaping will be designed to be open, which will allow for greater property exposure.


Members of the Multi-family Task Force were thanked by the commission Monday night for their work. The task force had held nine meetings and two work sessions to discuss the proposed changes, Solon said.

“Hopefully when new projects are finished,” Solon said, “the people will be happy with what changes are there.”

Commission member Chris Henning questioned Solon about the practicality of implementing changes based on some of the area communities, including Overland Park.

“We’re Blue Springs, and not Overland Park,” Henning said.

But Solon said that developers have overwhelmingly approved of proposed changes during informal meetings, and that most of the changes are based on Olathe standards.

“We pulled parts (from other community standards) that would work in Blue Springs,” she said.