Skip to main content
This section is included in your selections.

Purpose: this section establishes a process to bring land dedicated or reserved for public use back to private ownership.

A. Applicability

1. This section applies to the vacation of all or part of any street, alley or public reservation. This includes, but is not limited to, public utility or drainage easements, dedicated building setback lines and access control. For purposes of this section, “vacation” or “vacate” means the act of reverting land that is dedicated or reserved for public use to private ownership. All vacations must be approved by the Governing Body or Planning Commission in accordance with this title and Kansas law.

2. This section provides three (3) ways to vacate property:

a. By plat;

b. By ordinance; or

c. By petition.

B. Initiation

1. An application to vacate by plat is filed with the Planning Official.

(⇔ Note: the application is online at

2. An application for vacation by ordinance is filed both in the office of the City Clerk and with the Planning Official.

(⇔ Note: the application is online at

3. A Petition for Vacation may be filed by the City at the direction of the Planning Commission or Governing Body or by any owner of property on which the street, alley or public reservation lies or adjoins. A petition to vacate is filed with the City Clerk and a copy of the petition given to the Planning Official. The petition shall include the information required for a lot split application (see Chapter 18.94 and K.S.A. 12-504 to 12-506, as amended).

4. Where this section requires public notice, the applicant shall mail (at its cost) a notice to all owners of record of lands, easements or other property rights located within the area subject to the application. The mailed notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be in letter form. The notice shall state the time and place of the hearing, a general description of the proposal, the legal description and general street location of the property subject to the vacation, a statement explaining that the public may be heard at the public hearing, and a map of the property.

C. Completeness Review

See Section 18.40.040, Completeness Review.

D. Decision

1. Vacation by Platting or Replatting

A vacation by platting or replatting is approved by the Planning Commission, following mailed notice (see subsection B.4 above) and hearing as provided in Section 18.40.060 and K.S.A. 12-512b. The following language, or language substantially similar to the following language, shall appear on the face of the plat:

The undersigned proprietor of said property shown on this plat does hereby dedicate for public use and public ways and thoroughfares, all parcels and parts of land indicated on said plat as streets, terraces, places, roads, drives, lanes, avenues and alleys not heretofore dedicated. Where prior easement rights have been granted to any person, utility or corporation on said parts of the land so dedicated, any pipes, lines, poles and wires, conduits, ducts or cables heretofore installed thereupon and therein are required to be relocated, in accordance with proposed improvements as now set forth, the undersigned proprietor hereby absolves and agrees to indemnify the City of Olathe, Kansas, from any expense incident to the relocation of any such existing utility installations within said prior easement.

2. Vacation by Ordinance

a. All or part of a street, alley or public reservation may be vacated by ordinance adopted by the Governing Body, following public notice (see subsection B.4 above) and hearing as provided in Section 18.40.060.

b. Following the adoption of the ordinance, the City Clerk shall file a copy of the ordinance certified by the City Clerk as a true and correct copy, in the office of the City Clerk and in the office of the Register of Deeds.

c. The City may reserve rights-of-way and easements as provided in K.S.A. 12-512a.

3. Vacation by Petition

a. The Planning Commission and Governing Body shall approve a petition to vacate after public notice and hearing as provided in K.S.A. 12-504 and 12-505 and the procedures set out below.

b. The Planning Commission shall consider the petition at a public hearing, following notice as provided in K.S.A. 12-504. The Planning Commission shall then make and submit a recommendation to the Governing Body. At the conclusion of * the hearing, the Planning Commission shall submit its recommendation on the application to the Governing Body.

c. Prior to the hearing before the Governing Body, notice of the hearing shall be published for two (2) consecutive weeks, containing a full description of the property and stating that a petition has been filed in the office of the City Clerk praying for the vacation and that on a certain date the petition will be presented to the Governing Body for a hearing and that all persons interested can appear and be heard under the petition. The Governing Body shall approve the petition and shall order by ordinance that the vacation be made, if it determines from the evidence that the criteria in subsection E below apply.

d. A petition shall not be granted if, at the time of or before the hearing, a written objection is filed with the Governing Body by any owner or adjoining owner who would be a proper party to the application but has not joined.

e. A petition to vacate lot frontage is processed by the Governing Body as provided in K.S.A. 12-513 to 12-516 .

f. The City may reserve rights-of-way and easements as provided in K.S.A. 12-512a.

4. Vacation of Undeveloped Subdivision

When no lots of a platted subdivision have been sold, the subdivider may request the vacation of the plat in accordance with Kansas statutes prior to the time that public improvements are installed. Where a plat is vacated for a subdivision for which bonds or other surety have been filed assuring the construction of public improvements, the surety shall be returned to the subdivider.

E. Approval Criteria

Refer to K.S.A. 12-505 or to K.S.A. 12-514 for the vacation of lot frontage.

F. Subsequent Applications

The rules for final plats apply (see Section 18.40.160.F).

G. Scope of Approval

If a petition, plat or ordinance of vacation is approved, ownership of the vacated area reverts as provided in K.S.A. 12-506.

H. Recordkeeping

A petition or ordinance of vacation is recorded as provided by law (refer to K.S.A. Chapter 12, Article 5).

* Editor’s Note: Incorrect word was used in Ordinance 19-56. Error corrected October 16, 2019.

(Ord. 19-56 § 6, 2019; Ord. 15-16 §3, 2015; Ord. 06-85 § 1, 2006; Ord. 02-54 § 2, 2002)