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Purpose: This section provides a way to change the Zoning Map. Zoning Map changes can occur as the result of a change in the Comprehensive Plan, changes in local conditions, or other factors allowed by Kansas law. Rezonings are usually requested by property owners to provide a suitable framework for development.

A. Applicability

This section applies to any application to amend the Zoning Map.

B. Initiation

1. A rezoning application may be filed by the Governing Body, the Planning Commission, the landowner or the landowner’s agent. Preapplication is required if the application is filed by a landowner.

2. If the rezoning involves a specific development proposal, a neighborhood meeting is required (see Section 18.40.030).

⇔ Cross-Reference: 18.40.020 (Preapplication)

C. Completeness Review

See Section 18.40.040, Completeness Review.

D. Decision

1. Notice by publication and to surrounding property owners is required (see Section 18.40.050).

2. The Planning Commission submits a recommendation and the Governing Body renders a final decision, as provided in Section 18.40.060.B. The Governing Body approves a rezoning by ordinance. A preliminary site development plan is processed and approved as part of this application in accordance with Section 18.40.110 (a separate application is not required).

E. Protest Petition

1. When an applicant submits a rezoning or special use permit application, a mechanism exists, called a protest petition, whereby property owners in the vicinity of the subject property of the application can create a requirement for a higher threshold of approval on the part of the Governing Body. The higher threshold takes the following form: if a valid protest petition is filed, an ordinance approving the rezoning or special use application shall not be passed except by the affirmative vote of at least three-quarters (¾) of the members of the Governing Body.

2. A protest against any rezoning or a special use permit application shall be filed in the City Clerk’s office no later than the end of the business day (5:00PM) on the fourteenth day following the date of the conclusion of the Planning Commission’s public hearing held pursuant to the publication notice. For the purposes of calculating the fourteen (14) day period, weekends and holidays are counted. However, if the last day is a nonbusiness day for City offices, then the filing deadline is 5:00PM on the next regular business day.

3. A protest petition must be timely filed and duly signed and verified by the owners of record of twenty (20) percent of the total area required to be notified by state statutes, except public streets and ways, located inside or outside the City’s corporate limits, in accordance with Section 18.40.050.B.

4. The Planning Official shall verify the genuineness and correctness of the signatures on the protest petition, either individually or collectively.

5. Once a valid protest petition is filed with the City, it may not be withdrawn unless every person that signed the original petition signs a verified affidavit which states and fully explains the rights being waived by the withdrawal of the protest petition. Affidavits of withdrawal must be filed with the City Clerk on or before the last regular business day preceding the Governing Body meeting for which the protest applies.

F. Rezoning for Lesser Change

1. The Planning Commission may recommend, and the Governing Body may adopt, a change in zoning which is a lesser change than the one requested, if the more restrictive district is in the same residential, commercial or industrial grouping as the district for which the change was requested. The hierarchy of districts is designated below:

2. The adoption of a lesser district shall only be approved with the consent of the applicant.

3. A change to a residential district will not be approved if the application is for a commercial or industrial district, and a commercial district will not be approved if the application is for an industrial district. Applications for Districts AG, N, D, BP, TOD, PD, or PR may not be changed to another category unless a new application is filed.

4. A planned district shall be equally restrictive as its equivalent district. However, the Governing Body may refer the application back to the Planning Commission for further consideration if it considers the referral advisable and in the best interest of the public and the applicant.

G. Approval Criteria

In considering any application for rezoning, the Planning Commission and the Governing Body may consider the criteria stated below, to the extent they are pertinent to the particular application:

1. Whether the proposal conforms to the Comprehensive Plan and any other recognized plans, studies or policies normally utilized by the City in making land use decisions.

2. The character of the neighborhood including but not limited to:

a. Land use,

b. Zoning,

c. Density (residential),

d. Floor area (nonresidential and mixed use),

e. Architectural style,

f. Building materials,

g. Height,

h. Structural mass,

i. Siting,

j. Open space.

3. The zoning and uses of nearby properties, and the extent to which the proposed zoning district is in harmony with those zoning districts and uses.

4. The suitability of the property for the uses to which it has been restricted under the applicable zoning district regulations.

5. The length of time the property has remained vacant as zoned.

6. The extent to which approval of the application would detrimentally affect nearby properties.

7. The extent to which development under the proposed district would substantially harm the value of nearby properties.

8. The extent to which the proposed district would adversely affect the capacity or safety of that portion of the road network influenced by the use, or present parking problems in the vicinity of the property.

9. The extent to which the proposed use would create excessive air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution or other environmental harm.

10. The economic impact of the proposed use on the community.

11. The gain, if any, to the public health, safety and welfare due to denial of the application as compared to the hardship imposed upon the landowner, if any, as a result of denial of the application.

12. The recommendation of professional staff.

13. Any other factors which may be relevant to a particular application.

H. Subsequent Applications

1. When a rezoning application is withdrawn by the applicant or denied by the Planning Commission or the Governing Body, the same application for the same property shall not be resubmitted for a period of one (1) year from the date of withdrawal or denial.

2. An application for a different zoning classification can be submitted at any time. In addition, a new application showing major modifications and/or revisions to the withdrawn or denied application may be submitted at any time.

I. Appeals of Final Decisions

Any person, official or agency aggrieved by a final decision on a rezoning application shall file any appeal in the District Court of Johnson County within thirty (30) days of the final decision.

J. Scope of Approval

A rezoning does not authorize development. Any development that occurs after the rezoning requires additional approval, which may include subdivision plat or site development plan approval, if applicable, and building permits and certificates of occupancy.

Any preliminary plat or preliminary development plan for a single-family subdivision in an existing RP-1 District approved prior to the effective date of the ordinance (June 17, 2014), where no final plat or plan has been approved, shall be considered expired and subject to a new application and the provisions of this ordinance.

K. Recordkeeping

A rezoning is recorded as follows:

1. The City Clerk maintains a record of all ordinances that change the zoning classification of the area or property, and

2. The Planning Division revises the Zoning Map to reflect the new zoning classification for the property.

L. Zoning Amendments

1. A request to change or remove any stipulations approved with a rezoning ordinance shall require approval of a zoning amendment application. Upon approval, the zoning amendment maintains the same zoning district classification.

2. The zoning amendment application shall follow the same review and approval procedures for a rezoning, as outlined in this section. (Ord. 17-52 §§ 20, 41, 2017; Ord. 16-20 § 4, 2016; Ord. 15-16 §3, 2015)