A neighborhood is a geographic area in which the residents have a common sense of identity or perceive that they have common interests. Neighborhoods are a basic building block of Olathe and are the areas that most residents consider “home”. Neighborhoods vary widely in size, composition and configuration throughout Olathe, reflecting the diversity of its residents. Neighborhoods can be formed or united by any number of geographic or demographic factors.
Mixed Use Residential Neighborhoods
The Mixed Use Residential Neighborhood features a carefully integrated mixture of housing of various styles, sizes, and densities generally located within a five to ten minute walk of neighborhood-scale commercial, civic or open space uses. The mix of housing types is oriented more toward attached multifamily units than detached single-family units. True mixed use development is encouraged and other limited commercial and service uses are also permitted. While densities will vary from place to place, average residential densities in the Mixed Use Residential Neighborhoods will average above six dwelling units per acre. Mixed Use Residential Neighborhoods will feature highly-connected street systems, sidewalks, bikeways and transit facilities that contribute to the multimodal character.
The typical neighborhood pattern in Olathe since the close of World War II has been that of a conventional neighborhood design. The Future Land Use Map designates conventional neighborhoods for most of the planning area. Conventional Neighborhoods typically consist of single-family housing on individual building lots. PlanOlathe includes policies to maintain and promote the distinct character and identity of Olathe’s neighborhoods, and encourages neighborhoods that provide a variety of housing types, prices, and styles to enable a range of economic levels, age groups, and lifestyles to live within a community. Neighborhood Centers are distributed throughout Olathe neighborhoods to provide local access to convenience goods and services, reduce the need for lengthy drives, and promote walkability. An extensive open space network integrates with Olathe neighborhoods to provide residents with recreational amenities, mobility options, and environmental benefits.
Conservation / Cluster Neighborhoods
Conservation/Cluster Neighborhoods balance the protection of sensitive environmental features with the development rights of property owners. The density of development is clustered on the more buildable portion of the property, leaving the balance to be undeveloped as open space. House sites are identified to take advantage of views and access to the preserved land, and streets are designed to access the house sites in a manner that minimizes disturbance of natural areas. Development and housing costs may be reduced by minimizing the necessary infrastructure and providing energy efficient home design. The resulting subdivision may have more compact areas of development, but less paving and more open space when compared to conventional neighborhoods. Conservation subdivision designs are especially appropriate in areas containing steep slopes, woodlands, drainage corridors or other valued natural features.
These new Conservation/Cluster Neighborhoods will also be located to acknowledge the presence of the many existing rural and semi-rural subdivisions which function as part of the Olathe community and to provide, in some cases, transition between existing urban development and rural or open lands.