Olathe is making strides to grow and develop in a healthy, efficient, and sustainable manner. PlanOlathe’s future land use framework is an important tool to achieve the community’s Vision, preserve and promote community character, and fulfill citizens’ desires to elevate Olathe to one of the top quality of life cities in the nation.
As illustrated in the Future Land Use Map, Olathe is poised to continue to be a strong economic force within the region. Innovation, technology, education, medical, office, science, distribution, industrial and downtown areas will provide an expansion of the job base, and enable Olathe to enhance its role as an employment center for the region. Districts with a distinct character and focus of activity will help to build upon existing economic success and emerging strengths. With a whole greater than the parts, these districts will leverage existing activity to promote new similar and complementary uses, attract new businesses, and create opportunities for spinoffs and partnerships (see Districts).
A series of self-sustaining commercial centers at a variety of scales and intensities spread throughout the community will provide an alternative to commercial strips and retail development on every corner. These centers will range from a place to buy a cup of coffee to a place to work in new multi-story commercial and office developments (see Centers). Located within walking distance of these new centers will be a varied mix of housing, ranging from traditional single family units to new lofts (see Neighborhoods).
There is potential for Olathe’s greenway and park system to be unmatched in the region. Larger primary greenways will become locations for new and enhanced regional parks, lakes, recreational areas and trail hubs. Smaller secondary greenways will include trails that connect Olathe’s parks with its centers, employment districts and neighborhoods (see Greenways).
As the plan is implemented, transportation options will not focus solely on the automobile. Instead, the Plan promotes mobility that encompasses a range of possibilities to move from one place to another. In the Future Land Use Map, corridors will define the areas where transportation and land uses are linked. Land uses and densities are located to support transit within or near these corridors. New transit options will share these corridors with the car (see Corridors), connecting to adjacent regional systems. Options will include more efficient modes of transit such as high frequency bus, bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail. Bicycle and pedestrian paths will use on-street facilities and an off-street trail network to link residents to employment and activity centers.
The Future Land Use Plan and its Framework Elements are based on the idea that measures such as integration of public transit; protection of the environment; balance of jobs and housing; and design of complete communities can actually reinforce a community’s social fabric and long-term economic vitality. Four major Framework Elements work together to achieve the vision of PlanOlathe: Centers, Corridors, Neighborhoods and Greenways. Overlaying the Framework Elements are Districts. These Districts will play a unique role in achieving Olathe’s future, by creating distinct places where transportation, employment and residential uses are strategically focused. The Future Land Use Framework Elements and Districts are further explained in this chapter.