COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2009 - 2013

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COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2009 - 2013

COMPREHENSIVE

DEVELOPMENT PLAN

2009 - 2013

FOR THE TOWANDA AREA,

KANSAS

Main Street Towanda KS 1910

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


COMPREHENSIVE

DEVELOPMENT PLAN

for the

Towanda Area, Kansas

2009 - 2013

Prepared and adopted by the

TOWANDA CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

Approved by the

TOWANDA CITY COUNCIL

Prepared by:

Towanda Planning/Zoning/Subdivision Administrator,

Lisa Long

and

technical assistance by

FOSTER & ASSOCIATES

PLANNINGCONSULTANTS

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


TOWANDA CITY COUNCIL

John Carson, Mayor

Darrell White, Council President

Melvin (Bill) Mills Jay Farner

Jennifer Shaults Stuart Smith

______________________________________________

Paul Erickson, City Administrator/City Clerk

Matt Engels, Deputy City Clerk

Curtis Westbrook, City Superintendent

Lisa K. Long

Planning, Zoning & Subdivision Administrator

Norman Manley, City Attorney

TOWANDA CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

David Wohlgemuth, Chairperson

Robert McCulloch

Antonio Sabala, Chris Cunningham, Jo Smith

Matt Engels, Planning Secretary

____________________________________________

PLANNING CONSULTANTS

Foster and Associates

Rice Foster Associates P.A.

2818 N Edwards Ave 1415 East Second

Wichita Kansas 67204 Wichita Kansas 67202

C. Bickley Foster, J.D. AICP – Project Planner

J. Michael Rice, AIA, Community Planner

David W. Foster, ASLA, Community Planner

Debra J. Foster, Associate Planner

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

With the anticipation of continued urban growth and future annexations and the lack of a current

Comprehensive Development Plan, the Towanda City Council and Planning Commission deemed it desirable

to have a new Comprehensive Development Plan prepared. The Planning Zoning Administrator was tasked

to undertake the challenge. Foster and Associates was chosen to assist with the work.

Special appreciation should be extended to Lisa. K. Long, Planning, Zoning and Subdivision

Administrator who developed the Comprehensive Plan survey, provided the research and information from

City records, assemblage of data, typing and drafting of chapters, distribution and collection of the plan’s

Data Collection Forms, specific maps, photography, copy, assemblage and distribution of the document.

The text was written by Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Administrator, Lisa K. Long with the technical

assistance supplied by Foster and Associates and Rice Foster and Associates.

The City Council approved the Comprehensive Development Plan Survey. This survey was then

distributed in the water utility bills to each household in the City . The survey information was used as the

citizen input for the comprehensive plan. To gain additional information from the public, the City of

Towanda Planning Commission held a informal public meeting in 2007 to gain additional input from

citizens for the Comprehensive Plan. On February 26,th the Towanda Planning Commission held a Public

Hearing to adopt this Plan document and forward to the Towanda City Council for adoption by Ordinance

on March 11, 2009.

A special thank you is extended to the various department heads of the City of Towanda who

supplied information for their departments on the data forms. Special appreciation is extended to Paul

Erickson, City Administrator/City Clerk, Curtis Westbrook, City Superintendent, and T.C.Pyle, Fire Chief,

who provided timely assistance in assembling data. Special recognition should be given to Hank Burchard

who provided materials for the early history of Towanda as a volunteer of the Towanda Historical

Museum, John Cleveland and Stan Harstine who served as previous Chairmen of the Planning/Zoning

Board and who were involved in the early development of this document.

Bickley Foster, Foster and Associates who shared his wealth of information and experience.

Debra Foster, Associate Planner, CAD operator, Rice Foster Associates: prepared map illustrations and the

city base map for the Plan and preformed the urban housing survey.

David W. Foster, Community Planner, Rice Foster Associates assisted with the Land Use component of

the Plan..

Various Departments of Butler County including Mapping, Planning, Engineering, and the County

Treasurer provided information.

Pat Shaffer, Butler County Rural Water District#5 provided information and maps to assist with the

water district information.

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i.

Robison Stock Farm-Towanda

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter

Page

1 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND REGIONAL INFLUENCE 1-1

Comprehensive Plan …………………………… 1-1

Planning Area ……………………………………. 1-5

Regional Influence……………………………… 1-6

Regional Planning & Development ………. 1-8

2 HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT ……………………………… 2-1

History of Towanda ……………………… 2-1

3 GOALS FOR PLANNING …………………………………….. . 3-1

4 ECONOMY ………………………………………………………… 4-1

5 POPULATION …………………………………………………… 5-1

6 HOUSING …………………………………………………………. 6-1

7 PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT INFLUENCES ……………… 7-1

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ii.

Chapter

Page

8 LAND USE PLAN ………………………………………………… 8-1

9 TRANSPORTATION ……………………………………………. 9-1

10 UTILITIES …………..…………………………………............ 10-1

11 COMMUNITY FACILITIES ……………………………………. 11-1

12 PLAN IMPLEMENTATION ……………………………………. 12-1

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iii.

Towanda Vintage Main Street

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure

Page

1-A Planning and Study Areas (follows page) ………….………… 1-6

1-B Regional Location of Towanda, Kansas…………………………… 1-7

2-A Towanda, Kansas 1887 Plat ………………………………………….. 2-2

4-A Families by Per Capita Income ………………………………………. 4-2

4-B Towanda Family Poverty Status …………………………………….. 4-3

5-A Population Trend 1930-2000 ………………………………………… 5-4

5-B Towanda Population vs. Metropolitan Statistical Area……….. 5-5

5-C 2000 Towanda Households……………………………………………. 5-6

5-D Family Status 2000 ……………………………………………………… 5-7

5-E Population Ancestry…………………………………………………….. 5-9

5-F Towanda Projected Population …………………………………….. 5-13

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

iv.

Figure

Page

6-A Housing Conditions Urban Area ( follows page) ………………… 6-4

7-A Soil Series (follows page)……………………………………………….. 7-3

7-B Planning Area Topography Map ………………………………………. 7-5

7-C Rural Water Districts/Flood Map (follows page)……………….. 7-8

8-A Existing Land Use (Urban Area) (follows page) ……………….. 8-3

8-B Existing Land Use (Planning Area) (follows page) …………….. 8-4

8-C Future Land Use and Functional Street System (Urban Area) 8-5

9-A Regional Highways (follows page) ………………………………….. 9-1

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LIST OF TABLES

v.

Table

Page

4-A Towanda Employers ………………………………………… 4-3

4-B Banking Activity ………………………………………… 4-4

4-C Area Mill Levy …………………………………………………. 4-5

5-A Population Trend for City, County and State 1930-1990 5-2

5-B Towanda Township Population in Decades…………… 5-3

5-C Towanda Households ………………………………………… 5-5

5-D Estimated Population 2000-2006 ………………………… 5-10

6-A Housing Types and Conditions in Towanda (follows page) 6-4

7-A Towanda Planning Area Soil Types & Characteristics ……… 7-3

8-A Existing Land Use in Towanda (June 2008)…………… 8-3

12-A Sample Capital Improvement Program Concept …… 12-12

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Towanda Area, Kansas Intro 1

Comprehensive Plan 2009 - 2013

Executive Summary

This Plan attempts to analyze the Planning Area in a “Comprehensive” manner by interrelating a broad

range of individual functions such as land use, transportation and community facilities. This

Comprehensive Plan addresses both short and long-term range planning situations which causes it to

be specific in some matters and more general in others. In either case it provides overall direction to

a given planning situation which will then need to be considered and studied in greater detail and a

decision made based on the current conditions at that point in time.

This plan is the result of three years research, planning and compilation that included a public meeting

for input and a Comprehensive Plan Survey administered to City utility customers. To prepare the plan

document, the planning process consisted of inventorying and then analyzing the existing conditions

of the area, establishing goals and setting standards, projecting future needs, deciding upon

alternative solutions to problems and selecting methods of implementing the plan. The plan text was

completed in house in the office of the Planning/Zoning Administrator with technical assistance from

Foster and Associates and Rice, Foster Associates of Wichita Kansas.

Chapter 1 Comprehensive Plan and Regional Influence

The Towanda Area Comprehensive Plan covers the period 2009-2013 to allow for the 2010 U.S.

Census. Updates are to be made to the Comprehensive Plan in 2013 in chapters of Population,

Housing and Economy. The Plan was written by Towanda Zoning Administrator, Lisa Long with

technical assistance from Foster and Associates and Rice Foster & Associates. The Towanda Planning

Area includes the City and portions of Benton, Fairview and Towanda Townships. At least once a year,

according to State Statutes, the Planning Commission shall review or reconsider the plan or any part

and propose any amendments, extensions or additions to it.

The Towanda Area Comprehensive Plan “Planning Area” comprises the city limits of Towanda plus

portions of:

• Benton Township T26S-R3E: Section 1, Section 12 and Section 13; NW4 E2 Section 24; and

NE4 Section 25.

• Fairview Township T25S-R4E: S2 Section 27, S2 Section 28, S2 Section 29 and Sections 31

thru 35 inclusive.

• Towanda Township T26S-R4E: W2W2 Section 1; Section 2 thru 11 inclusive, Section 12

except E2 NE4 and NE4 SE4; Sections 13 thru 24 inclusive, N2 N2 Section 26, N2 N2 Section

27, Section 28 except SE4; Section 29 and 30.

The overall extremities of the Planning Area are approximately seven miles north/south and

approximately seven miles east/west. This encompasses a total area of 37.94 square miles. The

Planning Area reflects the jurisdiction of the extraterritorial Subdivision Regulations incorporated as

Ordinance No. 448 on June of 1998. The delineation of this Planning Area does not create a

regulatory boundary, but identifies an area which has an influence on the planning and development

of the City and should be studied as part of what the state statutes refer to as the “total community”

for which the city is a part.

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Chapter 2 Historical Development Intro 2

Records indicate that from 1857-1869 many individuals, including James R. Mead, settled in the

Towanda area and contributed to what would later become the City of Towanda. In 1870, Reverend

Isaac Mooney filed homestead papers on the land north of present day Main Street and platted the

original town site. The town consisted of eight blocks of twelve lots each. The town was officially

incorporated as the City of Towanda in 1905.

Chapter 3 Goals for Planning

The general goals formulated for this Plan serve as basic principles to guide the preparation of the

chapters which follow. The formulation of community goals for the Towanda Planning Area has been

under the direction of the City Planning Commission using input from various sources including the

community survey. The main purpose of the goals is to improve the quality of life and encourage

economic development.

Economy

• Encourage the attraction of more local retail, service and office businesses.

• Support and promote the local businesses that exist.

• Consider the attraction of commercial business for the area zoned commercial along the highway.

• Initiate a program to encourage the improvement of building fronts in the down town area.

• Maintain the downtown area as the Central Business District by promoting the uses that strengthen

the Central Business District.

• Maintain and improve the downtown business district to reflect well on the City by promoting façade

improvements and maintance of existing buildings in the Business Districts.

• Encourage curb appeal improvement of the downtown Business District through the use of

landscaping, improved lighting and decorative art.

• Improve the downtown area with decorative benches for seating and receptacles for trash.

• Hire a staff member whose sole function is economic development and City growth.

• Encourage light industry rather than heavy industry in order to maintain the small town atmosphere

on a case by case basis.

• Promote community events and festivals that encourage visitors to the city.

Population

• Strive to attain a moderate population growth rate.

• Attract more young families to the area in order to balance the diversity of the population.

Housing

• Encourage construction of a variety of dwelling types to include single family homes, duplexes and

other multifamily homes as well as types of senior housing so as to meet the various housing needs of

the city.

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• Recognize the needs of senior citizens to help them remain in the community.

Intro 3

• Actively recruit an assisted living/nursing home into the city of Towanda.

• Enforce various City construction and sanitation codes to maintain the quality of the local housing

inventory, eliminate negative environmental conditions and preserve the tax base.

• Cooperate with the County on enforcement of construction and sanitation codes in the City and in the

Planning Area.

• Maintain and protect residential property values.

Land Use

• Plan and guide the development of land into desirable and efficient patterns consistent with longrange,

community goals and development influences.

• Recognize the various developmental limitations posed by physical and man-made features, especially

those relating to the sewer service area and flood plains.

• Concentrate urban development in and around the City so as to avoid scattered “urban sprawl” and,

thereby, maximize the efficiency and economy of providing utilities and community facilities and

services.

• Preserve good farmland from the intrusion of unnecessary non-farm uses which detract from the

productivity and amenities of the rural area.

• Preserve throughout the Planning Area those natural and unique settings of woodlands, creeks and

natural drainage ways that in addition to their environmental benefits also serve as buffers between

land uses and provide a visual amenity to the urban scene.

• Protect the character and quality of residential areas from the intrusion of incompatible land uses,

unnecessary through traffic and negative environmental features.

• Maximize development of the new K-254 Highway intersections for commercial purposes with

appropriate frontage roadways.

• Emphasize visual aesthetics to include entryways to the city, parks, open spaces, greenways and manmade

“buffers” and screening between residential and nonresidential land uses.

• Utilize the concept of “urban forestry” to encourage the planting of appropriate trees on public and

private land.

Transportation

• Classify and delineate the function, location, standards and methods of financing for local, collector

and arterial streets.

• Maintain and pave more existing streets and pave all new streets.

• In order to maintain streets and drainage consider the need for curb and gutter where it is most

feasible until a complete plan can be proposed to curb and gutter the entire City.

• Create designated bike paths and sidewalks where needed to safely move pedestrians to public

facilities including parks, schools, recreation facilities and the swimming pool.

Utilities and Storm Water Drainage

• Continue with street paving thru the year 2011, spending $30,000 per year subject to market, as

prioritized by need for maintenance of streets.

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Intro 4

• Developing a program to replace and update where needed, the City fire hydrants and the water

supply to them finishing with a system of new paint colors identifying the pressure supplied to each

hydrant.

Community Facilities

• Expand the water and sewer distribution systems in an efficient manner as development demands.

• Maintain an assured water supply.

• Maintain sewage treatment facility as needed for anticipated demand.

• Plan for additional space as needed for City Hall, Fire Department and Maintenance facilities.

• Develop more park area as needed for recreational programs designed to meet the future needs of

the entire City.

• Install modern equipment at all facilities in order to increase their appearance and usefulness and,

thus, increasing the usage.

• Create more City sponsored programs to increase the use of the Community Building.

• Integrate community and school programs, including communications and programs for all ages.

• Encourage educational opportunities.

• Continue to work with the Circle School District on making school athletic facilities available to all

residents and creating after school programs.

• Support programs that increase educational attainment.

• Continue to support the city recreation program that provides a variety of recreation opportunities.

• Develop new community facilities as needed.

Plan Implementation

• Adopt and maintain the Comprehensive Development plan document as a guide for future

development of the Planning Area.

• Maintain City zoning regulations to guide developmental activities according to the future land use

plan element.

• Maintain City extra territorial subdivision regulations to ensure the coordinated design of new

developments and to guarantee the provision of all necessary public improvements.

• Encourage citizen participation in open meetings as part of the decision making process in planning

and land uses regulations.

• Review and select various types of codes which would protect the quality of the housing inventory and

eliminate environmental concerns.

• Enforce City and zoning codes to improve the appearance, safety and health of the community.

• Continue to annex future contiguous urbanizing property when possible.

• Update and maintain with annual review the Capital Improvement Program as part of the budgetary

process to carry out orderly long range financing for public improvements.

• Pursue an active economic development program.

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Chapter 4 Economy

Intro 5

Most individuals living in Towanda commute either to Wichita or El Dorado for employment. Most

goods are purchased outside the city also as the City is lacking in an in businesses of grocery, fuel,

medicine clothing, furniture, appliances and hardware.

Towanda downtown suffers from the lost of traffic that once sustained it before K-254 went around

the City. There is a need for future economic planning for the downtown area. The following ideas

are suggested to achieve this.

• Recognize as a formal policy the appropriate relationship and mutually supportive effort needed

between the City Council and other local groups in order to promote and coordinate economic

development activities

• Encourage the development of a diversified local economic base of retail and service businesses

including consideration of a gas/convenience store and grocery.

• Determine those types of business and industrial uses which should be actively sought to promote the

most desirable and advantageous economic growth.

• Designate adequate and appropriate areas to accommodate future commercial development.

• Revitalize the central business district and prepare a streetscape plan to improve its appearance

• Continue to annually sponsor community wide events which promote the Planning Area and provide

cultural enrichment such as the annual Rushing Water Festival.

Chapter 5 Population

It is important for Towanda to strive to attain a moderate population growth rate and attract more

young families to the area in order to balance the diversity of the population. According to the 2000

Census the Towanda population was 1,338. Since the Census decennial census count, the following

July 1 st estimates of population have been made at the state and local level for the City at: 1,313

(2001), 1,333 (2002), 1,329 (2003), 1,339 (2004), 1,355 (2005) and 1,367 (2006). This reflects an

increase of 54 persons overall for a 4.1% increase for, 2001-2006. The annual increase in population

from 2001-2006 was .7% a year. The official population projection for the Towanda Area during the

Planning Period is an annual 1% increase.

City of

Towanda

2000

Actual

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Population 1,338 1,313 1,333 1,329 1,339 1,355 1,367 29

% Change 1.9% .5% .4% .8% 1.2% .9% 2.2%

Chapter 6 Housing

Net

Change

2000-2006

Future housing needs for Towanda will need to reflect the aging population. This may result in the

need to actively recruit an assisted living/nursing home in the City. A continued effort to enforce

various City construction and sanitation codes is needed to maintain the quality of the existing local

housing inventory, eliminate negative environmental conditions and preserve the tax base by

maintaining and protecting residential property values.

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Intro 6

Residential use is one of the largest uses of developed urban land. In the City residential use of land is

39.5%. When transportation rights of way are excluded from the developed urban land area,

residential makes up 56.0% of the total.

Housing data from the 2000 Census of Housing was used. Of the 535 housing units in the City, 492

were occupied and 45 were vacant. Of the occupied units 412 were owner occupied and 80 were

rental units. In reference to the age of the housing, there were 63 (11.8 %) units that were

constructed prior to 1940, 197 (36.8%) from 1940-1959, 51 (9.5%) from 1960-1969, 18 (3.4%) from

1990-1994, 59 (11%) from 1995-1998 and 46 (8.6%) from 199 to March of 2000.

According to the data from the Planning Consultants and City Zoning Administrator’s field survey done

in June 2008, inside the City there were 572 housing units. There were 425 of the housing units rated

as standard, 95 as minor substandard, 41 as major substandard and 9 as being dilapidated.

Considering that the US Census 2000 revealed that 311 housing units were built prior to 1970, the

housing inventory reveals a modest proportion of substandard housing in the City.

The City has in place Building and Fire Protection Codes to govern construction in the City limits.

Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator duties currently are employed as part time.

Chapter 7 Physical Development Influences

The Towanda Planning Area is affected by many developmental influences. The most significant is the

Whitewater River Basin which lies just to the west of the City Limits. This impacts the central portion

of the Planning Area and restricts City expansion to the west. Developmental influences include: flood

plains, K-254 Highway, pipelines, the limits of the City wastewater lagoon, boundaries for rural water

districts, railroad, schools, parks, wind direction, soil condition, topography and drainage among

others.

Chapter 8 Land Use Plan

It is important for Towanda to plan and guide the development of land into desirable and efficient

land use, taking into consideration long-range, community goals and developmental influences. There

are limitations to development which include physical and man-made. Urban development should be

concentrated in and around the City to avoid urban sprawl which maximizes the efficiency and

economy of providing utilities, community services and services. In the planning area the farmland

should be preserved from the intrusion of non-farm uses. Throughout the Planning Area the natural

and unique settings of woodlands, creeks and natural drainage ways that in addition to their

environmental benefits also serve as buffers between land uses should be preserved.

In the City, residential land use comprises 177.5 acres of land. Public and semi public comprises 133.4

acres, commercial 4.0 acres, industrial 19.6, and transportation right of way 120.8. The total

developed land is 455.4 acres. Agriculture and vacant comprises 181.4 for a total of 636.8 acres of

total City area. There is plenty of land available in the City for residential development. The largest

parcel available for residential use is located on the south side of K-254 at Ohio Street Road.

Land use outside the City limits in the Planning Area, should continue to be used mainly for agriculture

purposes except for some industrial uses that should be located away from population. Urban types of

development should be encouraged close to the City, but discouraged in the outer area for they affect

the productivity and amenities of the rural area. Continuing efforts should be made to also preserve

“open space” areas such as woodlands, shelter belts and areas along the creeks and especially in the

floodplains. If continued demand for non-farm housing is experienced in the rural area and for some

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Intro 7

reason cannot be accommodated in or adjacent to the City, scattered lots should be discouraged and

platted housing areas should be encouraged.

Chapter 9 Transportation

State highway K-254 is the main road connecting Towanda to Wichita and El Dorado. The City has

good access in all directions with an adequate road system that also includes River Valley Road,

Hunter Road and SW 20 th .

The existing City street system, as currently laid out, consists of approximately 8 miles of hard

surfaced roadways maintained by the City and approximately 8 miles of gravel roads maintained by

the City and Township. In the Planning Area the Townships maintain the gravel roads within their

jurisdiction and the County maintains the hard surfaced roads outside the city limits. Towanda streets

condition range from poor in most areas to good in the newer subdivisions. Due to the lack of curb

and gutter throughout much of the town, there is almost always some erosion at the edges. Streets

were listed as one of the most important issues that Towanda was facing on the Community

Questionnaire.

Chapter 10 Utilities and Storm Water System

In the 1980’s Towanda connected to Rural Water District # 5. Currently the city has an estimated 580

water connections that use between 95,000 to 125,000 gallons of water per day or 3,030,000 per

month. Rural Water District # 5 currently allows the City up to approximately 5,000,000 gallons per

month for service. Water was a concern to the citizens completing the Community Survey. They

reported satisfaction in the quality and availability of the water but the concern was in the costs of

water for the citizens. Water lines within the city infrastructure in certain areas are in need of

upgrading. In upgrading these areas, some are also in need of more fire hydrants.

In 2007 the City began construction of a new lagoon system which is the Wastewater Treatment

Facility. The system was constructed in 2007-2008 and went online in early 2008. The projected

average daily flow from the service area’s population is based upon an assumed average daily flow

generation rate of 100 gallons per person per day. This plant is designed to have an average daily

capacity of 0.256 mgd. This should provide adequate capacity for the next 20 years.

Electric service for the urban area and some of the Planning Area is provided by Kansas Westar. Butler

Rural Electric provides electric service for other parts of the Planning Area. Kansas Gas Service

provides gas service for the Urban Area and the Planning Area depends on independent propane

companies for their supply of utility gas. Telephone and cell phone service is available from many

companies that serve the area. Cox Communications serves the City with cable service.

With the location of Towanda near the Whitewater River and the Planning Area topography drainage

is an important issue. The lack of curb and gutter in most of the City requires continued maintenance

of the ditches and drainage areas.

Chapter 11 Community Facilities

Towanda City Hall is located in a metal building at 110 South 3 rd that was built in 1979. The Fire

Department also shares this building with City Hall. The Fire Department has outgrown their portion

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Intro 8

of the building as the newer trucks now push or almost exceed the size limitations of the narrow truck

bays.

City Hall houses the City Administrator, Utilities, Court Clerk, Treasurer and the Zoning Administrator.

The Council Room is at City Hall and doubles as the Court Room once a month. The office area

consists of an open room containing workstations with a separate room for the City Administrator.

In order to address the needs of Towanda the following community facilities may be needed during

the planning period.

Chapter 12 Plan Implementation

A notice for the Planning Zoning Commission’s public hearing for the Towanda Area, Kansas

Comprehensive Plan 2009-2013 was published on February 4, 2009, 20 days prior to February 26 th ,

2009. After the public hearing and the intent for adoption of this Plan document by the Towanda City

Planning Commission the Plan will be forwarded to the Towanda City Council on March 11, 2009 for

consideration of approval by publication of an ordinance.

A signed notice will be extended to the Benton, Towanda and Fairview Township Trustees, the Butler

County Commissioners, Butler County Administrator, Butler County Planning Director, Circle Unified

School District as well as members of the Towanda Economic Development Board, former Towanda

Planning Commission Chairmen, Park/Recreation Board, and other interested parties in the area

twenty days prior to the meeting for approval of the Towanda Area, Kansas Comprehensive Plan

2009-2013 by the Towanda City Council by Ordinance.

Copies of the completed plan will be available also at the Towanda Public Library and the Circle

High School Library.

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Chapter 1 1-1

Shumway Lease in Towanda field

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND REGIONAL INFLUENCE

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

When formally adopted by the Towanda City Planning Commission and approved by the City

Council by ordinance, this document will constitute the Comprehensive Development Plan for the

Towanda Area for the period 2009 - 2013. Thus, this becomes the official Comprehensive Plan for the

City of Towanda, Kansas and thereby replaces in its entirety the Comprehensive Development Plan of

1977-1995 dated September 1977. Whereas the former plan prepared for the Planning Commission by

Foster and Associates, Planning Consultants, is replaced, it nevertheless remains a valuable source of

information, history and ideas for planning. The new plan document was ordered for update by the

Planning Commission and the City Council. The document was prepared by

Planning/Zoning/Subdivision Administrator, Lisa Long, with technical assistance of Foster & Associates,

Planning Consultants, and Rice Foster Associates, P.A., Landscape Architects Planners, both of

Wichita, Kansas. Additional assistance was provided by the City Administrator and Staff. Information

for the plan was assembled and a Towanda Comprehensive Plan Resident Survey was conducted early

in the planning stages in 2005-2006, developed and initiated by the City Planning/Zoning/Subdivision

Administrator.

The “Towanda Planning Area” as delineated for this Plan includes the City and portions of Benton,

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Fairview and Towanda townships which is illustrated in Figure 1-A and described later in this chapter.

The Area recognized that the City’s activities both effect and are affected by the surrounding area.

The preparation of this Plan is important first, because of the age of the previous one, and second,

because of the recent annexation and expansion of the City and a new capital improvement of the

sewer lagoon system.

This Plan attempts to analyze the Planning Area in a “comprehensive” manner by interrelating a

broad range of individual functions such as land use, transportation and community facilities. For

example, the location of a school or park as a community facility are related to the residential land use

they serve and to the transportation system they operate upon. The fact that a comprehensive plan

addresses both short and long-term range planning situations causes it to be specific in some matters

and more general in others. In either case, a plan should provide overall direction to a given planning

situation which will then need to be considered and studied in greater detail and a decision made

based on the current conditions at that point in time.

References will periodically be made to the “Planning Period” which is the 5-year period from 2009

- 2013. For this type of plan, this period appears to be the practical limits for forecasting possible

future situations and needs and allows for the inclusion of the next U.S. Census of 2010 for an

update. Prior the year 2013, the City shall begin and complete the addenda to add current

information from the 2010 Census data. Information for Chapters on Economy, Housing and

Population will need updated to reflect the 2010 Census data. This should comprise approximately six

pages of update. This update to the Comprehensive Plan will require publication notice and the same

process any changes to the Comprehensive Plan would require. This update can extend the Plan to at

least the year 2020.

Some references are made to the “near future” which implies a period something less than five

years. A basic issue is to consider whether an existing facility will last throughout the “Planning

Period” or need to be modified or replaced in some way due to changing conditions or changes in

population.

Legal Basis

The State enabling statutes provide for a broad interpretation of what constitutes a plan.

According to the statutes for Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Regulations in Cities and Counties in

K.S.A. 12-741, et seq. a planning commission

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“is hereby authorized to make or cause to be made a comprehensive plan for the development of such city and any

unincorporated territory lying outside of the city but within the county in which such city is located, which in the

opinion of the planning commission forms the total community of which the city is a part.”

In effect, the Planning Area could not extend into Sedgwick County.

In the preparation of such a plan according to K.S.A. 12-747, the planning commission

“…shall make or cause to be made comprehensive surveys and studies of past and present conditions and trends

relating to land use, population and building intensity, public facilities, transportation and transportation facilities,

economic conditions, natural resources and may include any other element deemed necessary to the comprehensive

plan…..” and “…shall show the commission’s recommendations for the development or redevelopment…” of the

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planning area.

For the plan to become effective when completed, it must be formally adopted as a whole or in

parts by a resolution of the planning commission after a 20-day advertised public hearing. Adoption

must be based on a majority vote of the total membership. A certified copy of the plan or part

thereof, together with a written summary of the hearing, shall be submitted to the governing body.

Following such adoption, the governing body completes the process by approval and publication of an

ordinance. The governing body may either:

(1) Approve such recommendations by ordinance ….;

(2) Override the planning commission’s recommendations by a 2/3 majority vote; or

(3) Return the same to the planning commission for further consideration, together with a statement specifying the basis

for the governing body’s failure to approve or disapprove. If the governing body returns the planning commission’s

recommendations, the planning commission, after considering the same, may resubmit its original recommendations

giving the reasons therefore or submit new and amended recommendations. Upon the receipt of such recommendation,

the governing body, by a simple majority thereof, may adopt such recommendations by the respective ordinance…, or

it need take no further action thereon. If the planning commission fails to deliver its recommendations to the governing

body following the planning commission’s next regular meeting after receipt of the governing body’s report, the

governing body shall consider such course of inaction on the part of the planning commission as a resubmission of the

original recommendations and proceed accordingly.”

An attested copy of the comprehensive plan and any amendments thereto shall be sent to all other

taxing subdivisions in the Planning Area which request a copy of the plan.

The plan or part thereof “… shall constitute the basis or guide for public action to insure a coordinated

and harmonious development or redevelopment which will best promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience,

prosperity and general welfare as well as a wise and efficient expenditure of public funds.” Although the Kansas

Supreme Court views the adoption and annual review of a comprehensive plan as a “legislative

function,” note that a plan is still a “guide” and actual implementation must take place within the

democratic process of local government and other agencies. On a nationwide scale, the

comprehensive plan and the role it plays in the planning and implementation process is assuming an

increasingly important role in land use litigation. The consistency of the plan with the implementation

“tools”, especially zoning and subdivision regulation, is often at the center of such litigation.

At least once each year according to state statutes, the planning commission shall review or

reconsider the plan or any part thereof and may propose amendments, extensions or additions to it.

Amendments to the plan in the future are made by the same procedures as for the original adoption

process.

Planning Process

City planning may be defined as a decision-making process which is expressed in the form of a

plan through a series of physical, social and economic goals, policy statements and/or plan proposals

with the broad objective of attaining a better living environment. In other terminology, planning

involves the application of hindsight to correct the mistakes of the past, seeks ways to preserve the

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est of the present, and uses foresight to cope with the technological problems and changing

conditions of the future. Effective planning should be farsighted, but nevertheless realistic in terms of

the existing area resources and potential capabilities. It should be adaptable to changing community

needs and opportunities. The success of comprehensive planning depends on a knowledge and

understanding of the “public interest.” Such interest, when expressed in a plan, must still gain

approval through the democratic processes.

A basic purpose of planning is to help guide the use of land in an orderly manner which would

minimize the conflicts between the various users of land and to provide accompanying community

services in an efficient manner. With the rising cost of such services and the desirability of improving

the quality of the environment, there is a significant need for and responsibility upon government

now and in the future to provide services in an economical way. Most physical facilities follow rather

than lead development to the extent that compromises in the locations of community services affect

the efficiency and, thus, the cost for services on a long-range basis. To prevent such situations, the

process of planning is a means of making better short-range decisions by relating them to long-range

plans.

To prepare the plan document, the planning process consists of inventorying and then analyzing

the existing conditions of an area, establishing goals and setting standards, projecting future needs,

deciding upon alternative solutions to problems and selecting methods of implementing the plan.

Throughout the process, officials and citizens should be involved to the maximum extent feasible,

have access to the plan materials and have a method of communicating an input of their ideas and

reactions. To the extent feasible, this planning process has been followed in the preparation of this

comprehensive development plan for the Towanda Planning Area.

References will be made periodically in this document to the Towanda Comprehensive Plan

Resident Survey which was distributed to each city resident in a mailing. Of the near 500 survey forms

distributed to households in the City, 88 were returned which represents an 18% return. Although

this percentage of return is low, the results on some topics were near unanimous.

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Use of the Plan

This Comprehensive Plan has many uses. While there are several noted below, others are referred

to throughout the text, particularly in Chapter 12 on Plan Implementation:

1. To compile information and provide Plan proposals upon which City officials can base short - range decisions within the

context of long-range planning.

2. To serve as a guide for the overall development of the Planning Area including assistance to potential developers.

3. To serve as a planning and legal basis for the preparation and adoption of new City Zoning Regulations and as a guide for

making reasonable decisions on zoning and special use applications.

4. To provide a statutory prerequisite for the preparation and adoption of new City Subdivision Regulations and for the review

and approval of plats based on growth policies and the availability of community facilities.

5. To plan for orderly annexations.

6. To balance community development with the economical provision of community facilities and services.

7. To encourage long-range fiscal planning policies such as capital improvement programs.

8. To assist in selecting and applying for state and federal grant programs which would benefit the City and the Planning Area.

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9. To coordinate efforts, avoid duplication and establish a working relationship for implementing plan proposals between the

City and other cities; Towanda, Benton and Fairview townships; Circle U.S.D. 375; the Butler County Economic Development

Board; the Butler County Board of Commissioners; the Butler County Planning Commission; the State of Kansas; and the

federal government.

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PLANNING AREA

For purposes of this Plan document, the “Planning Area” referred to herein and sometimes called

the “Towanda Planning Area” comprises the city limits of Towanda plus territory outside city limits

which is located in portions of Benton T26S-R3E , Fairview T25S-R4E and Towanda T26S-R4E

townships within the following legal description:

T26S-R3E: Section 1, Section 12 and Section 13; NW4 E2 Section 24; and NE4 Section 25.

T25S-R4E: S2 Section 27, S2 Section 28, S2 Section 29 and Sections 31 thru 35 inclusive.

T26S-R4E: W2 W2 Section 1; Section 2 thru 11 inclusive, Section 12 except E2 NE4 and NE4 SE4;

Sections 13 thru 24 inclusive, N2 N2 Section 26, N2 N2 Section 27, Section 28 except SE4; Section 29

and Section 30.

The overall extremities of the Planning Area are approximately seven miles north/south and

approximately seven miles east/west. This encompasses a total area of 37.94 square miles. The City

itself consists of 636.8 acres or almost one (.995) square mile. The entire area is within Butler County

and is delineated in Figure 1-A as the Planning and Study Areas. The Planning Area reflects the

jurisdiction of the extraterritorial Subdivision Regulations incorporated as Ordinance No. 448 in June

of 1998.

The delineation of such a Planning Area does not create a regulatory boundary as such, but

identifies an area which has an influence on the planning and development of the City and, therefore,

should be studied as part of what the state statutes refer to as the “total community of which the city

is a part.” Any extraterritorial jurisdiction for subdivision or zoning regulations cannot exceed the

Planning Area as delineated nor be more than three miles from the city limits and not more than onehalf

the distance to another city.

REGIONAL INFLUENCE

The speed of communication and transportation vehicles today make it necessary that planning

for an area take into account the significance of “the region” which affects it. Regions vary in size

depending upon physical, socioeconomic, cultural and/or governmental situations. The most notable

links within a region are often physical in nature. For example, an underground water supply which

provides water to one part of a region might be greatly affected in quantity and quality by the need

for water in another part. Airports, railroads, highways and bridges all provide links within a region

and beyond. Such transportation facilities coupled with modern vehicle have led to the increased

mobility of people and, thus, broadening their area of influence for economic, social and cultural

functions.

Newspapers, radio and television stations and the postal service as part of an overall

communications system are a major influence upon the activities within an area. People are often

motivated to shop and attend cultural and sports events in those areas from which such

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communications originate. The convenience of the telephone system as a means of communication

for social, economic and emergency purposes influences the population’s area of contact and, thus,

their activities. The internet service has added a world-wide dimension to communication that can be

made available to each household and business enterprise.

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Geographical Location

As shown on the Regional Location map, Figure 1-B, Towanda is located at the midpoint of the

western boundary of Butler County and in the south central portion of Kansas. Butler County is the

state’s largest, covering an area 42 miles North-South by 34 miles East-West or 1,428 square miles. It

is bordered by Greenwood and Elk Counties on the east, Marion and Chase Counties on the north,

Sedgwick and Harvey Counties on the west, and Cowley County on the south.

FIGURE 1-B GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF TOWANDA KANSAS

The City of Wichita, which had a population of 344,289 in 2000, is located in Sedgwick County

about two and one-fourth miles west of the County line. All of Butler County is included in the Wichita

Metropolitan Area which includes Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner counties. Most of Butler

County, particularly the western part, is influenced to a large extent by the proximity of this urban

center. One of the most significant influences in any area is the communications network, i.e.,

television, radio, and newspapers, and most of the regional communications serving Butler County

originate in Wichita.

Towanda is also influenced considerably by its proximity to El Dorado, which is located about ten

miles east. It is the County seat and largest city in the County with a population of over 12,000. K-254

Highway, which runs just north of Towanda, links the cities of Wichita and El Dorado. Selected cities

in Kansas and their approximate highway mileage from Towanda are listed below.

Wichita 26 El Dorado 10 Andover 14

Augusta 10 Newton 40 Salina 102

Manhattan 123 Topeka 118 Kansas City 176

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Nationally, Towanda is located approximately 220 miles south and east of the geographic center

(Lebanon KS) of the continental United States and approximately 333 miles west of the 2000 U.S.

Population Center of the Nation which is located in Phelps County, Missouri about 2.8 miles east of

Edgar Springs, Missouri.

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Communication

The Southwestern Bell Telephone Company now known as (SBC) provides modern telephone

service with many options to the City. This system provides Towanda with local service to the area

and long distance dialing is necessary to call all other cities unless a customer chooses the additional

priced Metroplus service which extends telephone service to over a quarter of a million phones in the

metropolitan area from Sedgwick on the north, Goddard on the west, Mulvane to the south and east

to El Dorado,. A total of 22 cities are served by this system in Butler and Sedgwick counties. In

addition, a number of local service providers have emerged offering local dialing service and/or long

distance telephone service. SBC has also reentered the long distance market in Kansas as AT&T.

Wireless communication facilities have been greatly expanded to provide better coverage of the

City and surrounding area. There are numerous wireless providers that cover the Towanda Planning

Area.

The El Dorado Times is published daily Monday-Saturday and currently serves as the City’s

official newspaper for legal notices. The Wichita Eagle is published daily and locally delivered, the

Augusta Daily Gazette is available six days a week and the Andover Journal Advocate is published

once a week.

Television reception in the Planning Area is excellent with three national and three regional

networks plus public broadcasting available from stations in Wichita-Hutchison. Cox Communication

also serves the City with cable and digital television and internet service. Satellite TV service is also

available. Many AM and FM radio stations and satellite radio programming can be received.

In most regional aspects, the Towanda Planning Area is considerably influenced by Wichita and

El Dorado for employment, shopping, cultural and sporting events, health facilities, information

systems and other activities.

REGIONAL PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

The economies of using natural and man-made resources on a scale that all persons may enjoy a

better quality of life make it necessary to provide many public and private services and facilities on a

regional basis. In addition to many intergovernmental agreements between groups of cities and

counties, numerous state and federal agencies operate by regional divisions. There are many

“economies of scale” when operating regionally and the City is most likely represented in many

regional organizations indirectly through the Butler County Board of Commissioners. References will

be made periodically in this document to such regional organizations and activities.

In the late 1960’s, the Governor of Kansas designated 11 major Planning and Development

Regions of the State with 25 sub-regions. Butler, Harvey and Sedgwick Counties were known as the

Central Plains Sub-Region 042 of the State of Kansas. This was part of the larger 13-County

Southeast Central 04 Region. Many regional organizations were formed to coincide with these

delineations.

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To provide coordination for items of regional concern, the Central Plains Tri-County Planning

Committee was formed in 1971 by Butler, Harvey and Sedgwick counties. In 1999, it was reorganized

with the addition of Reno County and named Central Plains Quad-County Planning Forum. The

purpose has shifted from undertaking regional planning studies to a discussion forum of mutual

regional concerns. The Forum consists of each of the Boards of County Commissioners plus one ex

officio member from each of the planning commissions having the “largest geographical area of

jurisdiction” which in Butler County is the Butler County Planning Board. The Wichita-Sedgwick County

Metropolitan Area Planning Department (W-SCMAPD) has primarily assisted the Committee in most of

these efforts with additional assistance from the other county planning board staffs. The Forum

operates not as a legally formed regional planning commission under K.S.A. 12-744(c), but jointly

cooperates as a matter of intergovernmental agreement. Cities wishing to coordinate their planning

effort with the Quad-County group may do so by contacting their Butler County Representatives.

In addition to the Central Plains Forum, there are as many as 20 or more types of other regional

planning, development and service structures which perform many different functions for the local,

state and federal levels of government. These include such activities as health services for the aging,

economic development, highways, manpower, mental health, libraries, agricultural services, soil and

water conservation, watersheds and numerous others. Many of these regional groups which are

created by local governments are financed and appointed by, or served on, by members of the Butler

County Board of Commissioners. Not all such organizations now follow the original regional

delineations of the state and some functions combine into two or more regions. Because of reduced

state and federal funding in recent years, a number of organizations are in a changing status and

some have disbanded. Having never been dependent on federal financing and having a very limited

budget, the Central Plains Forum has not been affected.

One of the most successful groups in this period of budget constraints, which could be of

assistance to Towanda, is the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD). With a

limited staff in Wichita, it serves the 13-county 04 Region plus Marion County. SCKEDD carries out a

wide variety of economic development efforts and evaluates local projects for their potential success.

They also conduct a multi-county weatherization program. A further description of their activities is

contained in the Economic Development section of Chapter 4.

The Hutchinson regional office of the K.S.U. Cooperative Extension Service in cooperation with

their local Butler County educational office in El Dorado serves to provide a wide variety of information

on development, but does not write applications or provide grant monies. Training programs have

been conducted on the “how to“ of community development and on leadership for officials and civic

leaders. It is very active statewide in implementing the PRIDE Program for cities.

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Chapter 2 2-1

1910 View (facing south) of Main Street with a gazebo located in intersection of 3 rd and Main.

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

Knowledge of the past historical development of an area is often important to an understanding

of its future. Factors which influence growth or change may extend their effects for decades.

Buildings change their purposes over periods of time as the type and intensity of uses vary. Their

location, however, most often becomes a focal point to attract further growth. Almost like the natural

features of an area, transportation routes when once laid out have a sense of permanency that

endures for generations. For example, the location of one-third of the streets and highways in the

nation were laid out before the automobile was even invented.

Many urbanizing areas seem to suffer from the inheritance of street patterns in their core areas

which were laid out as small villages decade’s ago. This has led to the decline of many a central

business district in this age of the automobile. The mixed development of rural and urban types uses,

being neither fully one nor the other and not suburban either; are generally cauterized by a

disconnected series of small and often dead end streets that form no interrelated pattern. These socalled

“urban” areas, originally formed outside the boundaries of incorporated cities, have often

historically become blighted areas.

Figure 2-A depicts the Towanda area in 1887. The town was originally platted well and still has

the main streets it began with. These Original Town sections were platted and developed with a

gridiron street system with relatively short blocks, i.e., 300 feet.

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Figure 2-A Towanda 1887

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Streets in the northeast part of the City, west of the railroad, which were laid in the mid 1900’s are

platted in longer blocks, i.e., 1,280 feet. Streets in the Timber Point and Sun View Heights

Development that were laid in the 2000’s, in the far north east portion of the city, are more modern

with curvilinear streets and cul-de-sacs.

The following account of the historical formation and development of Towanda was prepared for

this Plan by compiling various published reports, information from the Comprehensive Development

Plan 1977-1995, old newspaper accounts, City records and information from local historian Hank

Burchard of the Towanda Historical Museum.

HISTORY OF TOWANDA

The following selected events from the chronological history of the Towanda Area show us the

factors that brought change and caused development, some of which is still affecting it today. This

history was taken from various sources, newspaper accounts and information from William G. Cutler’s

History of the State of Kansas 1883 published by A.T. Andreas, Chicago Illinois.

1854-1858

The first territorial legislature designated Butler County as one of the original 33 counties of the State.

It was named in honor of Andrew P. Butler, a Senator from North Carolina. William Hildebrande was

its first settler in 1857 near El Dorado, and by 1859, 50 families had settled in the north central area

and the County government was formally organized.

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In 1857 a town company was organized and proceeded to take the preparatory steps toward giving to

the world what was fondly hoped would prove the “metropolishood” of Butler County, if not of the

Arkansas Valley. The coming city was laid out on what was the farm of A.W. Sterns, section seven,

township twenty six, range four. A pearl hunting expedition in the Whitewater River by the Towanda

Town Company was found to be worthless by a New York expert. The depression of this discovery

and the malarial breath of the Whitewater plunged the Town Company into the fever and plague and

they went east to their wife’s relations or some foreign country. The town site was abandoned.

The first settler in the Towanda area was C.L. Chandler. Having little success in his search for gold, he

was returning with a wagon train of other gold prospectors by way of the Santa Fe Trail. Near what is

now north Butler County, they encountered a party of Indian traders who told them glowing tales of a

place to the south along the Whitewater River. After hearing the tales, Chandler and two others

headed south in search of the big spring glowing from under the hill, where Towanda now stands.

They found lush bluestem; a clear, flowing stream full of fish; lots of green trees along the banks; and

an abundance of elk, deer, antelope, and buffalo feeding nearby. Chandler built a cabin in 1858 on

the east side of Whitewater River, making this the second Towanda Site.

1859-1863

In December of 1859 it stopped raining entirely. Crops failed and were not enough to feed the people.

Bread was hauled in from Leavenworth by the wagon loads. The range animals survived although it

did not rain until September 1860 as reported to “Towanda News” by Daniel Cupp in 1916.

The origin of the town’s name is unknown, but records show the post office was called “Towanda”

when established in 1860. The most widely believed thought is that Towanda is an Osage Indian

word meaning “many waters” or “rushing waters” as stated in writings by an early settler.

In 1860, D. L. Cupp, farmer relocated to Towanda as a native of Pennsylvania. He was one of the

first settlers of this part of Kansas. Mr. Cupp served as the Towanda postmaster.

In 1863, Chandler sold his buildings and land for $3 an acre to James R. Mead, Towanda was the last

settlement on the way west to (Santa Fe) New Mexico. All territory west of the Whitewater River was

Indian Territory.

James R. Meade came to Towanda from the Smoky Hills region of Kansas in the summer of 1863.

Along the Saline River he and two other men had established a trading business and traded with

many Native Americans and supplied other traders as well. The trading post he would establish at

Towanda would be his second.

In 1863, S. C. Fulton, farmer and stock raiser relocated to Towanda as a native from Ohio. He

managed thru the primitive times and overcame them more successfully than few of the other early

settlers.

1864-1868

In 1864 the Wichita and allied bands of Indians, refugees from their homes in the Indian Territory,

settled along the Whitewater, Walnut and Little Arkansas rivers to subsist on the buffalo then very

abundant.

In the fall of 1864 the government sent an agent, Major Milo Gookins, who established his agency for

these Indians at Towanda occupying one of J. R. Mead’s buildings until the winter of 1867.

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“Meads Ranch” became a very active trading post. (3 rd town site east of the 2 nd town site) An Indian

agency was established in the building in 1864 and operated until the Indians were moved to the new

Indian Territory in 1867. The Indians came to exchange furs for food, staples, blankets and trinkets.

It was here that Colonel Leavenworth made his headquarters and negotiated with “Santana,” Chief of

the Kiowa’s, and “Heap of Bears,” the great Medicine Chief of the Arapahos. This resulted in the

Treaty of Medicine Lodge.

In 1867 a school house was built of logs west of what is now Second Street.

The Indians were removed to their old home on the Washita River in Indian Territory 1867.

In the spring of 1868, J. R. Ralston farmer and stock raiser came to Towanda and would settle on

Section 29. He was a native of Ohio and a progressive agriculturist.

A. J. Ralston farmer and stock raiser arrived in Towanda in January of 1868 in company with his

brother J.R. settling on the Whitewater close to Towanda on Section 17 and was among the first

settlers in that part. He was one of the solid farmers of the county. He served as Trustee of the

Township, and was a member of the G.A.R.

In the spring of 1868, Harrison Stearns, farmer and native of New York, came to Butler County

settling in Towanda Township. He was a prominent agriculturist and a member of the Christian

Church.

1869-1873

In 1869 a post office, trading post and general store were constructed.

Eli Lytle, a native of Ohio, reared in New York where he learned the millwright trade settled on the

Whitewater in 1869. He was among the earlier ones in this part and would be the future proprietor of

the Whitewater Mill in Towanda.

In 1869 Duncan McLaughlin a native of Virginia settled in Towanda. He would reside on Section 21. A

farmer and stock raiser he also served as Treasurer of the township and held minor offices.

In March of 1869, George Murry, farmer and stock raiser of Towanda located here as a native of

Ireland being one of the pioneers. He closely identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In the spring of 1870 L. M. Hobart, a native of Vermont, came to Towanda settling in Section 20. In

the spring of 1871 he was elected as the Justice of the Peace. He was elected again in 1880.

In 1870 Hon. Isaac Mooney, Postmaster, born in Ohio came to Kansas locating in Towanda and

becoming one of the pioneers. He built a large hotel and took an active part in developing the first

enterprises of the place. He was appointed Postmaster soon after his arrival. He was elected to the

State Legislature in 1870 and was a Republican. He was an active worker in the temperance cause

and contributed amply towards furthering its interests in Kansas. Early in life he became connected

with the Christian society in Towanda and other places.

In 1870 Mead sold his property. Isaac Mooney purchased the trading post and the 200 acres, south of

present Main Street, for $2000. Rev. Mooney then filed Homestead papers on the land north of Main

and platted the original town site. Mead moved to Wichita becoming a founding father of that City.

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In 1870 Reverend Isaac Mooney laid out ten acres into lots, and the town moved out of the valley in

to its present location. Mooney encouraged the town’s early development by offering free lots to new

settlers and by donating the land for the original cemetery. The town consisted of eight blocks of

twelve lots each. Streets were sixty-six feet wide except Main Street which was 100. The first house

on the town site was erected by G.W. Baker, and used as a drug store.

In 1870 the original log school house was replaced by a frame building.

During 1871, Rev. Mooney built a large hotel and barn and the other settlers put up residences. Rev.

Mooney’s hotel became a Mecca for travelers and a center for local activity.

By 1871 several modern store buildings had been erected, and Towanda was known as the trading

center for all the country within 20 miles. It was the division point for two stage lines running between

Emporia and Humboldt.

In the spring of 1871, Simon Wait farmer and stock raiser and a native of New York, became one of

the early settlers of this part of Butler County. He settled on Section 19, Towanda.

In the spring of 1871, W.C. Wait, farmer and stock raiser, native of New York arrived in Towanda. He

located on Section 7 Towanda. He was a member of the G.A.R.

W. D. Wait farmer and stock raiser, born in Illinois as the son of Simon became a resident of Butler

County in the fall of 1871. He settled in Towanda on Section 19.

In 1873, Eli Lytle built the Whitewater Mill at Towanda which was a two-run structure. He contributed

amply toward the growth and development of Butler County. He was also a Mason.

In 1873 J. S. Braley, farmer and carpenter born in Ohio, located to Towanda. He resided on Section

15 and was one of the early settlers. He was known for much of the carpentry in this area and many

of the old landmarks were of his work. For five years he served as Justice of the Peace and held

minor offices. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity.

1874-1878

Crops were destroyed by grasshopper invasions in 1874.

In the fall of 1874, J. W. Tucker farmer and stock raiser came to Towanda. He was born in

Connecticut. In Towanda he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and merchandising. He had the first mail

contract between Towanda and Peabody and was one of the pioneers of Towanda. He sold the first

hardware in the town. He was one of the most active politicians in the county and was the first Justice

of the Peace of Towanda. being appointed by Governor Harley. He was a member of the G.A.R. and a

pensioner.

In 1875, John Turner came to Towanda Township. Born in England he learned the trade of

shoemaking in his native country. He identified with the Church of England. He was one of the

extensive wool growers of this county.

Crops were again destroyed by grasshopper invasions in 1876.

D. Russell, physician and druggist born in New York, settled in Kansas in the fall of 1876 and in 1879

received a certificate of the Kansas State Medical Examining Board to practice medicine in the State of

Kansas. He practiced the drug business in Towanda.

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1879-1883

On February 2, 1882 W.G. Mitchell, native of Illinois came to Towanda and later settled on Section 5

Township 26 Towanda and was one of the enterprising young farmers of the township being a farmer

and stock raiser.

In January of 1883, W. B. Montgomery a merchant and one of the most active young businessmen in

Butler County began general merchandising in Towanda. He also handled the lumber trade of the

town and dealt in produce. He was a native of Indiana, a member of the K of P. and the I. O. O. F.

In the spring of 1883, A. C. Frazier contractor and plasterer settled in Towanda as a native of Iowa.

For several years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in El Dorado before coming to Towanda.

In 1883 with the advent of the St Louis, Ft. Scott & Wichita Railroad, Towanda entered on a new

epoch and devoted herself to growing forgotten aspirations for a metropolis and was content with a

medium and growing size and a large business district.

1883 The Missouri Pacific Railroad was built through Towanda running from El Dorado to Wichita with

connecting lines with the Frisco running from Augusta to Wichita and the Santa Fe from Florence to

Douglass.

In 1883, a local telephone exchange was installed to the Butler County Telephone and Electric

Company. This merged with the Missouri-Kansas Telephone Company in 1916. and was later

purchased by the Southwestern Bell System in 1957.

In the spring of 1883, George W. White, a native of Michigan settled in Towanda. He was the

proprietor of the National Hotel.

On May 1, 1883 the Kullmann Brothers hardware merchants established trade in Towanda and

carried an excellent stock of shelf and heavy hardware, tin ware and agriculture implements. Peter

Kullmann was a tinner by trade born in 1852 and his younger brother J.C. Kullmann, a miller by

trade born in 1859 were natives of Illinois.

1884-1888

In 1885 the Masonic Lodge # 30 received its charter and erected a beautiful stone building at the

corner of South Third and Main.

1886 A brick school structure was erected on the present site of the Elementary School on North

Street.

1885 The Town boasted of a good town hall, and businesses of A. Swiggett’s Cheap Cash Corner

(store), Mr. J. M. Braley Harness Shop, S.L. Jones & Co. Real Estate/Land/Loan and Insurance Agent,

J. M. Burnham Blacksmith Shop, McDowell & Estes Livery Stable, Van Denberg Brothers Lumber

Business, National Hotel, Kullmann Bros Hardware, M.P. Westcott General Merchandise Store, E. G.

Richards Contractor and Builder Commodious shop, M.A. Daub Bakery, Houghton & Edwards Wagon

Making and Carpentering, E.S. Potts Daisy Barber Shop, Dr.'s Godfrey, Beeson and Russell, Gear

Brothers Painters, Mrs. M.A. McCain Milliner and Dressmaker, E.C. Denny & Bros proprietors of

extensive grocery and dry goods, Post Office, Palace Drug Store, Towanda Herald, I. Mooney Real

Estate and Insurance Business, Porter & Hawkins City Meat Market, H.A. Boyden Shoe Repair Shop,

J.W. Tucker Store of Wichita, Roller Mills flour, H.A. Boyden painter and grainer, D.O. Verocker

Restaurant and Baker and Pool and Billiard Parlor, J.E. Sorter Commodious Livery and Feed Stable,

Miltenberger & Boyden Plastering, W.H.Young coal dealer, Reid & Garst Blacksmiths, L.M. Pace

Railroad Station Agent, W. O. Denny large steam cane mill and sugar factory and Strang first class

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


Brick Kiln. At this time it was reported that water was good and found at a moderate depth and the

Whitewater River had sufficient water power for running any kind of machinery.

1888-1893

In 1892 a tornado destroyed many of the town’s buildings and killed eight people. At a half mile in

width it started at a point five miles southwest of Rose Hill where the four counties, Butler, Cowley,

Sedgwick and Sumner corner. The first damage was reported in Andover. It traveled almost due north

several miles then veered to the northeast. There seemed to be two clouds that traveled almost

abreast and were each about 300 yards wide, while the track of the storm in general was about one

mile in width. Almost every house from the west end of Main Street to Westcott’s store was

demolished and from the southwest to northeast was leveled. In the east part of town a half a dozen

houses were left standing damaged. Wichita and El Dorado sent trains with doctors to aid and

transport the injured. The business portion of town was ruined. Two rows of what was a good

business street were in ruined condition. Destroyed were: a livery business and barn, office of the

Towanda Herald, forges of Andy Johnson and R.M. Read, lumberyard, two hotels, Dr. Russell's drug

store, barbershop, Maxwell’s Meat shop, McOrban's General Merchandise store, Kullman Hardware

and R. E. Russell's office. Hatton’s Bakery survived and was used as a morgue. The west part of town

suffered the worst. The entire Main Business Street was swept away. Dr. Russell's office, Orban's

store, the Loncer hardware store and two other store buildings in the direct path of the storm were

wrecked, but still standing on the south side of the street. The buildings on the south side fell in the

street and stopped there. The north side was completely swept away.

1894-1903

Towanda Masonic Lodge # 30 a.f. & a.m. purchased a lot on the southeast corner of South 3 rd and

Main Street.

1904-1908

1905 The town was officially incorporated as the City of Towanda.

1909-1913

The brick school structure previously erected in 1886 was replaced by a new structure in 1911 on

North Street.

In 1912 an electric lighting system was installed at a cost of $4,000.

For many years, the great spring which flowed from the mouth of a small cave on the west edge of

town, provided the town’s water supply. In 1912, the City built a retaining wall above the spring to

keep rock and dirt from filling it up. During the oil boom, the water became contaminated with oil

and high salt content and unfit for use.

During the early 1900’s an embroidery club grew and in 1912 became the EMB (Every Member Busy)

Club.

On May 16, 1912 fire was discovered in the general store of W.A. Hammond at about 3 a.m. The fire

spread to the K & P Building on the west and Johnston’s building on the east. The alarm was given

and the whole of Towanda population responded but in the absence of any water works it was useless

to try to stop the fire where it originated and all efforts were turned to saving the contents of the

doomed buildings and keep the fire confined to them alone. Businesses that suffered damage included

the K & P Lodge, Ford Bolton Drug store, W.A. Hammond general store, two story cement block

2-7

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


uilding, A. R. Johnson’s frame building, blacksmith shop, Wittenborn, Dr. Morton, Morris Brothers

Undertaking, MW of A, and the Electric Light Company.

2-8

On May 30, 1912 a second fire of the month was discovered in the morning about 12:30, in the Wait

building, endangering the whole business section on the south side of Main Street. The city had taken

the precaution of having a big tank of water on the street ready for use saved these buildings. It was

believed then that the fires were of incendiary origin.

In 1913 the EMB (Every Member Busy Club) opened the first library with 85 volumes. This library

apparently failed, because records show that the Nakomis Club would later start the present library.

1914-1918

1917 The first public water and sewage systems were built. The sewage system being simply

collection lines which dumped into the Whitewater River.

1917 (February 22nd) It was reported in the Towanda News that Towanda now has a real oil well. Oil

was struck at the Ralston No. 1 with a good showing of oil. The well was located a mile east and onehalf

mile north of town.

1919-1928

In 1925 a massive brick church was built at the corner of North Third and High Streets as a memorial

to Rev. Mooney. This church served as a local landmark for half a century.

1929--1938

In 1936 the GWFC Nokomis Club started the Towanda Public Library as the Towanda Library in the

Sudcliff Drug Store located on Main Street downtown.

1939-1948

The backroom of the Towanda Masonic Lodge was portioned off for the Library.

1949-1958

In 1954 a high school building was added to the brick structure (school) built in 1911.

1956 A sewage treatment plant was constructed on Pool Road, south of town.

1958 A new grade school building was added to the school.

1959-1963

1959 The city assumed responsibility for the library.

In 1959 most of the local streets were paved.

1961 The Library expanded and used the large area that later became the dining area on the first

floor of the Masonic Lodge where the Mason’s met for their meals.

In 1963 Circle High School was built.

1964-1973

In 1966 the Fairview Township board members discussed with Towanda City Council needed fire

protection. Motion was made to enter into agreement with the Township to provide fire protection.

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The Towanda Mayor proclaimed 1970 as Centennial Year based on the platting of the town of

Towanda on March 24 th 1870, even though records show the town existed prior to that.

2-9

1970 The Lions Club asked the City to participate in the Centennial Celebration. Plans were made to

include a parade, buffalo barbeque, dance, whisker contest and donkey ball game.

1970 The city purchased Frederick lumberyard property for $5000 to relocate the fire station and city

garage.

December of 1970 the City annexed Circle High School into the city.

1972 The City held a special park and pool election for the construction of a full size swimming pool,

wading pool, two ball diamonds, picnic shelter, picnic tables, playground equipment, lagoon drainage

ditch, driveways and parking areas. The project originated by the Towanda Lions and they helped

purchase the 10 acre lot with other organizations who raised $5000 towards the land purchase. The

cost of project was set at $201,436 with a grant to cover half the cost. The mill levy would need

raised 5 to 6 mills to retire the bonds. Votes were 261 yes and 194 no.

1972 Towanda voters approved a bond issue to construct a new fire station and maintance shop

facility on South Third Street at the site of the old lumberyard. The project was not to exceed

$27,000. The proposed fire station building would measure 36 feet x 88 feet x14 feet, with six bays

for the cost of $16,492. Half of the cost was to be absorbed by Towanda Township. The proposed

maintenance shop was to measure 40 feet x 50 feet x14 feet, for the cost of $9,840.00. The total cost

would be spread over ten years with a 2.53 mill levy increase.

1972 The City valuation was certified at $1,325,394.

In 1973 the budget was approved without protest at $101,056.45.

December 1972 the City joins PRIDE with the Lions Club as sponsoring agent.

The former lumberyard property on Third Street was designated as the first PRIDE project to make

Towanda a “better community.” Construction on the fire station and maintenance garage would start

in the early spring of 1973.

In 1973 a new fire station and maintenance building were erected.

1974-1978

In 1974 a 10-acre park site was purchased and a new ball diamond and swimming pool constructed

south of the city on Pool Road. This would become the City Park.

It was during this time that the State of Kansas took over Main Street for Highway 254. The road that

curved around the spring was straightened to run along the side of it. The once clear, flowing stream

full of fish and the stone arch bridge over it were destroyed, leaving only an occasional trickling of

water.

1977 The Mooney Church at Third and High was torn down due to high maintenance costs.

1979-1983

Bonds were issued for a Senior Citizens Center and Recreation Hall for the City.

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1984-1988

A bond was passed for the construction of the new library that would be located on Highland Street.

1987 The new library building on Highland was dedicated and opened.

1989-1993

On Friday April 26 1991 (99 years after the devastating tornado in Towanda in 1892) the Wichita

Andover tornado formed at 5 p.m. near Anthony KS 40 miles SW of Wichita. At 5:57 a larger tornado

touched down 1 ½ miles SW of Clearwater and remained on the ground for 46 miles. It moved thru

Haysville, South Wichita, and then strengthened to violent status and hit Greenwich Heights, NE of

McConnell AFB then crossed into Butler County. At 6:40 it hit Andover continued NE passed outside

Towanda and started to weaken as it moved NW of El Dorado. Then a 4 th tornado formed over El

Dorado Lake and remained on the ground 20 miles then lifted NE of Cassoday. All total 17 people

were killed, 298 injured and a total of $272 million in property damage resulted. Towanda was lucky

this day.

1994-1998

To make the two lane highway K-254 safer, the Kansas Department of Transportation constructed a

four-lane at grade highway starting near Kechi to the west and ending at El Dorado on the east. The

new expressway currently bypasses on the north side of Towanda.

The Towanda Lodge gave the Towanda Masonic Lodge building, located at 401 Main, to the City to be

used as a historical museum building.

1999- Mid 2008 (Present)

In 2008, construction was complete and the city went online with the new sewer lagoon located south

of town on 40 acres purchased in 2007.

2-10

HISTORICAL PRESERVATION

Preservation and recognition of historical events and places should be part of the planning

process. To assist communities in the State, an inventory of Kansas historic, architectural,

archeological and cultural resources was begun in 1969 by the Kansas State Historical Society. In

their work, the Historic Preservation Department staff uses guidelines established by the National Park

Service under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The survey is a continuing process and

the state encourages local groups to bring their structures and sites to the state’s attention.

Currently Towanda has one listing on the National Register of Historical Places, the Towanda

Masonic Lodge No. 30 A.F. and A.M. listed in 2004. It is the building that currently houses the

Towanda Museum located at 401 Main Street. The historical significance is the Event and

Architecture/Engineering of the building. T. R. Reed is listed as the architect or engineer. It was built

in the late 19 th and early 20th Century in the Modern movement style. Historically this building served

functions of commerce/trade, education, government and social. Its uses included a library, meeting

hall, post office and specialty store.

With 150 years of past history, it would seem probable that other sites and places of interest could

be identified in Towanda that would be worthy of preservation or useful in an adaptive form. As any

new developments progress, it is important to be reminded of the city’s past history.

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Chapter 3 3-1

Towanda Oilfield Circa 1912

PURPOSE

GOALS FOR PLANNING

Determining planning goals and objectives is considered a very important step in the planning

process. Such goals take into account not only the physical needs of a community, but also relate to

social, economic and governmental considerations. From these goals, it is possible to establish overall

policy guidelines which can be used to formulate the contents of the comprehensive plan and to

facilitate the decision-making process of government.

Successful people are usually goal oriented. The same is true of communities, i.e., those that

have recognizable common goals lay the basis for achieving the kind of community in which the

residents desire to live, to work and to find cultural and social satisfaction.

Having goals make it possible to determine priorities when various activities compete for money,

time and manpower. With goals established, better coordination of efforts and resources becomes

possible. This is true not only in the interrelationship of one governmental agency to another, but the

relationship between private enterprise, property ownership and governmental projects. If the goals

of any one agency or individuals are not in accord with an overall project, there is usually a lowering

of efficiency and an increase in cost and time in achieving the final results. Goals, therefore, can

provide a method of establishing efficient working relationships and often make difficult tasks

achievable.

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The general goals formulated for this Plan serve as basic principles to guide the preparation of the

chapters which follow. Further refinement of the goals and objectives is achieved by various plan

proposals and policy considerations related to the subject of each chapter.

GOALS PROGRAM

The formulation of community goals for the Towanda Planning Area has been under the direction

of the City Planning Commission using input from various sources including the community survey.

3-2

GENERAL GOALS

In addition to the extensive planning policies and proposals contained throughout this Plan

document, major goals for the Towanda Planning Area are listed, but not in order of priority. The

main focus has been to improve the quality of life and encourage economic development.

Population

Economy

• Strive to attain a moderate population growth rate.

• Attract more young families to the area in order to balance the diversity of the population.

Housing

• Encourage the attraction of more local retail, service and office businesses.

• Support and promote the local businesses that exist.

• Consider the attraction of commercial business for the area zoned commercial along the highway.

• Initiate a program to encourage the improvement of building fronts in the down town area.

• Maintain the downtown area as the Central Business District by promoting the uses that strengthen

the Central Business District.

• Maintain and improve the downtown business district to reflect well on the City by promoting façade

improvements and maintance of existing buildings in the Business Districts.

• Encourage curb appeal improvement of the downtown Business District through the use of

landscaping, improved lighting and decorative art.

• Improve the downtown area with decorative benches for seating and receptacles for trash.

• Hire a staff member whose sole function is economic development and City growth.

• Encourage light industry rather than heavy industry in order to maintain the small town atmosphere

on a case by case basis.

• Promote community events and festivals that encourage visitors to the city.

• Encourage construction of a variety of dwelling types to include single family homes, duplexes and

other multifamily homes as well as types of senior housing so as to meet the various housing needs of

the city.

• Recognize the needs of senior citizens to help them remain in the community.

• Actively recruit an assisted living/nursing home into the city of Towanda.

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• Enforce various City construction and sanitation codes to maintain the quality of the local housing

inventory, eliminate negative environmental conditions and preserve the tax base.

• Cooperate with the County on enforcement of construction and sanitation codes in the City and in the

Planning Area.

• Maintain and protect residential property values.

3-3

Land Use

Transportation

• Plan and guide the development of land into desirable and efficient patterns consistent with longrange,

community goals and development influences.

• Recognize the various developmental limitations posed by physical and man-made features, especially

those relating to the sewer service area and flood plains.

• Concentrate urban development in and around the City so as to avoid scattered “urban sprawl” and,

thereby, maximize the efficiency and economy of providing utilities and community facilities and

services.

• Preserve good farmland from the intrusion of unnecessary non-farm uses which detract from the

productivity and amenities of the rural area.

• Preserve throughout the Planning Area those natural and unique settings of woodlands, creeks and

natural drainage ways that in addition to their environmental benefits also serve as buffers between

land uses and provide a visual amenity to the urban scene.

• Protect the character and quality of residential areas from the intrusion of incompatible land uses,

unnecessary through traffic and negative environmental features.

• Maximize development of the new K-254 Highway intersections for commercial purposes with

appropriate frontage roadways.

• Emphasize visual aesthetics to include entryways to the city, parks, open spaces, greenways and manmade

“buffers” and screening between residential and nonresidential land uses.

• Utilize the concept of “urban forestry” to encourage the planting of appropriate trees on public and

private land.

• Classify and delineate the function, location, standards and methods of financing for local, collector

and arterial streets.

• Maintain and pave more existing streets and pave all new streets.

• Continue with the paving of intersections thru 2011 spending $30,000 per year subject to market

replacing 4 per year as prioritized by need for maintenance of streets.

• In order to maintain streets and drainage consider the need for curb and gutter where it is most

feasible until a complete plan can be proposed to curb and gutter the entire City.

• Create designated bike paths and sidewalks where needed to safely move pedestrians to public

facilities including parks, schools, recreation facilities and the swimming pool.

Utilities

• Continue with the manhole rehabilitation program thru the year 2011 spending 10,000 per year in

rehabilitating manholes in the city.

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3-4

Community Facilities

Plan Implementation

• Complete the installation of new water lines on Clay hill Road thru 2009, thus improving the quality of

existing services and providing additional capacity to serve growth, improving the overall system.

• Developing a program to replace and update the City fire hydrants and the water supply to them

finishing with a system of new paint colors identifying the pressure supplied to each of them.

• Expand the water and sewer distribution systems in an efficient manner as development demands.

• Maintain an assured water supply.

• Maintain sewage treatment facility as needed for anticipated demand.

• Plan for additional space as needed for City Hall, Fire Department and Maintenance facilities.

• Develop more park area as needed for recreational programs designed to meet the future needs of

the entire City.

• Install modern equipment at all facilities in order to increase their appearance and usefulness and,

thus, increasing the usage.

• Create more City sponsored programs to increase the use of the Community Building.

• Integrate community and school programs, including communications and programs for all ages.

• Encourage educational opportunities.

• Continue to work with the Circle School District on making school athletic facilities available to all

residents and creating after school programs.

• Support programs that increase educational attainment.

• Continue to support the city recreation program that provides a variety of recreation opportunities.

• Develop new community facilities as needed.

• Adopt and maintain the Comprehensive Development plan document as a guide for future

development of the Planning Area.

• Maintain City zoning regulations to guide developmental activities according to the future land use

plan element.

• Maintain City extra territorial subdivision regulations to ensure the coordinated design of new

developments and to guarantee the provision of all necessary public improvements.

• Encourage citizen participation in open meetings as part of the decision making process in planning

and land uses regulations.

• Review and select various types of codes which would protect the quality of the housing inventory and

eliminate environmental concerns.

• Enforce City and zoning codes to improve the appearance, safety and health of the community.

• Continue to annex future contiguous urbanizing property.

• Update and maintain with annual review the Capital Improvement Program as part of the budgetary

process to carry out orderly long range financing for public improvements.

• Pursue an active economic development program.

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Chapter 4 4-1

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

ECONOMY

The economy of a planning area is a highly influential determinant of its potential for growth. This

section is intended in a very limited way to analyze the economic characteristics of the City in

particular and to assess the needs for and potential of future economic development efforts. Obtaining

published economic data for a city of less than 10,000 in population is difficult. Using what is available

most often lacks a sense of timeliness. For example, income data from the 2000 Census of Population

was complied from 1999 data and income status and unemployment changed frequently in the 2000

economy. The Kansas sales tax records which annually report on retail trade are not complied by

cities, just counties.

To provide an overview of data, information is summarized for this and the next two chapters from

the 2000 U.S. Census of Population and Housing, available on the U.S. Census Bureau website,

http://www.census.gov, using various links including Special Reports, American Fact Finder, American

Community Survey and the Current Population Survey, and other local sources as referenced herein.

The State Data Center (SDC) Program, created in 1978, is one of the Census Bureau’s longest and

most successful partnerships with the states. The Kansas SDC’s are the State Library of Kansas, the

Division of the Budget in the State Department of Administration, the Policy Research Institute (PRI)

at the University of Kansas, the Center for Economic Development & Business Research at Wichita

State University and the Population and Research Laboratory at Kansas State University.

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Summary of 2000 Towanda City Census Data

4-2

• Total population 16 years of age and older 974; (495 female; 479 male); in the civilian labor force 698

(71.7%); consisting of 381 (79.5%) males and 317 (64%) females.

• Employed total 664 (68.2%); males 358 (74.7%); females 306 (61.8%). Not in labor force 276 (28.3%);

consisting of 98 (20.5%) males and 178 (36%). females.

• Occupation for employed persons age 16 and over by category were: Total 664 persons; Management,

Professional and related—167 (25.2%); Service—120 (18.1%); Sales and Office—155 (23.3%);

Construction, Extraction and Maintenance—96 (14.5%); Production, Transportation and Material Moving—

126 (19.0%).

• Employed persons 16 years and older by industry were: Total 664 persons; Agriculture, forestry, fishing,

hunting and mining—11 (1.7%); Construction— 53 (8.0%); Manufacturing—162 (24.4%); Wholesale

trade 7 (1.1%); Retail Trade—70 (10.5%); Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities—33 (5.0%);

Information— 9 (1.4%); Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Rental Leasing—26 (3.9%).

• Considering all forms of transportation, those who drove to work alone 529 (80.5%); carpooled 86 (13.1

%); walked 22 (3.3%); public transportation 0; other means 4 (0.6%); worked at home 16 (2.4%).

• The mean travel time to work was 23.4 minutes.

• Median 1999 household income was $41,875. Median family income was $47,188 and the Per Capita

income was $17,815.

Figure 4-A

Families by Per Capita Income

Number of Families by Annual Per Capita Income

140

120

129

100

80

60

40

20

0

less than $10,000

71

60

41

34

13

17

8

$10,000-$14,999

$15,000-$24,999

$25,000-$34,999

$35,000-$49,999

$50,000-$74,999

$75,000-$99,999

$100,000-$149,000

$150,000-$199,999

2 0

$200,000 or more

Number of Families

Data Source: 2000 U.S. Census of Population

• There were 375 families in Towanda in 2000. Of these, 19 (5.1%) traditional families and 3 (8.8%)

female head of household families had incomes ranking them below the poverty level. There were 86

(6.5%) individuals of the total population that were ranked below the poverty level of which 35 (9.0%)

were children age 18 or under living in poverty; and 7 individuals (5.0%) were age 65 or older and living

in poverty.

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4-3

Figure 4-B Towanda Family Poverty Status

Family Poverty Status

400

350

300

250

200

150

100

50

0

Above Poverty Families

(356)

Data Source: 2000 Census of Population

Below poverty Families (19)

Below poverty Female HH

Families (3)

Questionnaire and Local Data

Where people are employed has a great deal of influence on where they shop. Many people

are employed either in El Dorado or in the Wichita Metro area and shop in those areas. According to

the Towanda Comprehensive Plan Survey, residents reported that growth should be encouraged

regarding new businesses downtown. In specific, the Community Survey respondents were asked

about what new businesses and services were needed. Summations of their suggestions were:

commercial, office, industrial, downtown, and new businesses in general. In review of the surveys, the

citizens just wanted to see new businesses come to Towanda. Currently the City does not have a

grocery store, fuel station or convenience store. Groceries, fuel, medicine, clothing, furniture,

appliances and hardware items have to be purchased outside the City.

There are a few other types of businesses and employers located in Towanda, USD 375 Circle

School District and Dustrol are the largest of the employers. Major employers in the Planning Area and

their employment numbers as of January 2007 are listed below in Table 4-A.

Table 4-A Towanda Employers (2008)

Name of Firm Product or Activity Estimated Local Employees

U.S.D. 375 School Dist Education K-12 210

Dustrol Road Construction 100

Interstate Battery Warehouse/sales 5

Ace Construction Construction 10

City of Towanda Government 9

2008 Phone Survey

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The total employment for the two major employers is 310. Due to the small size of Towanda, data

separating male and female employees was not available. There are other smaller businesses and

employers in the Planning Area that provide additional employment positions. The majority of the

residents who are employed, work in cities other than Towanda. Towanda is located approximately

eight miles west of El Dorado and within 17 miles east of Wichita which provides a large base of

employers where job opportunities exist. As of May 21 st 2008, there were advertised on a major

employment website 618 jobs within 30 miles of Towanda.

Towanda has one bank that is locally owned. Banks are a considerable asset to the entire area.

Shown below in table 4-B are the changes in assets, deposits and loans over a period of years for the

area bank.

Table 4-B Banking Activity

TOWANDA STATE BANK

As of March 31 st (Reported in 000’s of dollars)

Year Assets Deposits Loans

2002 7,760 6,744 5,472

2003 7,986 6,953 5,656

2004 8,014 6,988 4,806

2005 7,461 6,368 4,478

2006 7,733 6,633 4,588

2007 7,791 6,686 4,924

2008 7,939 6,884 4,971

4-4

Consulting with the above Table 4-B on the assets, deposits and loans for the Towanda State

Bank reported as of March each year, during the years of 2002-2004 the bank experienced an

increase in assets and deposits. During the time of 2002-2003 the amount in loans increased until the

years of 2004 and 2005 when it experienced a decrease in loans. During 2005 both assets and

deposits experienced a slight decrease. From 2006-2008 it experienced an increase in assets, deposits

and loans.

The total tax rate of an area is important to residents and businesses. Potential businesses also

study the past record of an area to determine the stability of the tax structure as an aid to foretell the

future with particular attention to bonded indebtedness. Towanda has low debt. In 2008 it had only

12% of the Kansas Statute allowed 30 % of the amount of tax assessed as a debt limit. The major

source of public revenue for the City is a 20% advalorum property tax, fees for services and motor

vehicle taxes. Shown below in Table 4-C is a summary of relevant tax information for the City,

Planning Area, County and State.

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4-5

Table 4-C Towanda Area Mill Levy Local and State

Tax Rate (Mills)

Tax Entity 2004 2005 2006 2007

City of Towanda

(Valuation)

55.400 53.475

(5,460,428)

53.130

(5,670.337)

50.682

(5,906,719)

U.S.D. 375 50.757 53.207 52.209

(134,409,395)

52.430

(155,491,220)

Benton Township

(Valuation)

11.112 10.651

(12,388,520)

10.820

(12,896,495)

10.369

(13,925,301)

Fairview

Township

(Valuation)

22.982 23.872

(3,957,357)

22.95

(4,935,637)

22.741

(5,054,639)

Towanda

Township

(Valuation)

15.206 15.177

(10,646,422)

15.469

(11,364,331)

15.700

(12,135,822)

Butler County 35.70 35.932 35.723 35.440

Kansas 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50

ECONOMIC POLICIES

There are hundreds of organizations competing for economic development in Kansas and so an

organized effort is often needed to meet the competition. Cities know that water supply, sewers,

transportation, labor force, reasonable taxes, land availability and so forth are all assets to attract

economic activity. The result is that most viable areas have those assets. According to a poll,

however, of the 200 members of the American Economic Development Council, they cited “Quality of

Life”—all those cultural, educational and residential advantages to families as the most important

reason for a company to relocate or stay where it is.

In Kansas it is estimated that 89% of all businesses have 25 or less employees and 77% have 10

or less. These account for 50-60% of all the employees in the state. Dun & Bradstreet Corporation in

surveying business found that small businesses with less than 100 employees generated more that

one-half of the jobs in the nation in 1990 and businesses with fewer than 20 employees would

account for 32%. While small businesses represent the best opportunity for Towanda, it must be

remembered that 90% of economic development usually occurs from entrepreneurs already in the

community.

An idea of what 100 new factory workers mean to a city is illustrated by the following estimates:

351 more people, 97 more families, 75 more school children, $1,700,000 more in payroll per year,

$490,000 more bank deposits, $565,000 more retail sales per year, one more retail establishment and

68 more non-manufacturing employees.

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


As to which types of economic development would best benefit the Towanda Area, a more

detailed analysis would need to be done. A general observation would be modest size manufacturing

plants, retail and service businesses and offices for the central business district.

The City has an Economic Development Advisory Board which meets monthly at City Hall. The

City is also assisted in its efforts by Butler County Economic Development which has offices in El

Dorado. It undertakes a very broad range of activities in carrying out its mission of county wide

economic development.

Based on responses of citizens, the forgoing economic data and other elements of this Plan, the

following policies should be considered in order to enhance the local economic conditions.

1. Recognize as a formal policy the appropriate relationship and mutually supportive effort needed between the City Council

and other local groups in order to promote and coordinate economic development activities

2. Encourage the development of a diversified local economic base of retail and service businesses including consideration of a

gas/convenience store and grocery.

3. Determine those types of business and industrial uses which should be actively sought to promote the most desirable and

advantageous economic growth.

4. Designate adequate and appropriate areas to accommodate future commercial development.

5. Revitalize the central business district and prepare a streetscape plan to improve its appearance

6. Continue to annually sponsor community wide events which promote the Planning Area and provide cultural enrichment such

as the Rushing Water Festival.

4-6

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


Chapter 5 5-1

Robisons Stock Farm, Towanda KS

POPULATION

POPULATION ANALYSIS

A basic step in the planning process is to analyze the characteristics of the people living in the

Planning Area. Such an analysis, combined with a determination of the future population potential,

provides a necessary basis for determining the area’s existing and future needs with respect to land

use, public facilities and other matters of planning concern.

While people help to shape development in the Planning Area, its physical, social and economic

characteristics in turn affect the characteristics of the people. By recognizing such interrelationships,

it is possible to more effectively develop policies which will encourage favorable characteristics and

redirect or minimize unfavorable trends.

The main source of population data is from the decennial censuses of population conducted by the

Bureau of the Census of the U.S. Department of Commerce and available on the U.S. Census Bureau

website, http://www.census.gov, using various links including; Special Reports, American FactFinder,

American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey. The State Data Center (SDC)

Program, created in 1978, is one of the Census Bureau’s longest and most successful partnerships

with the states. The Kansas SDC’s are the State Library of Kansas, the Policy Research Institute (PRI)

at the University of Kansas, the Center for Economic Development & Business Research at Wichita

State University and the Population and Research Laboratory at Kansas State University. In addition,

annual estimates are now prepared by the State Demographer for Counties and Cities by the Kansas

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


Division of the Budget jointly with the Bureau of the Census. The latter arrangement is designated as

the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates. There is a one year lag time in

collecting the data and releasing the results. To update the data, cities are asked to inform the

Division of any annexations. Unless informed of annexations, the Division assigns growth to the

unincorporated area of their particular county. In time, such assignments can have an effect upon

revenue allocations to cities from federal and state sources that use population in their funding

formula. Therefore, the state must be informed of any annexation that Towanda experiences.

While various publications of the Bureau of the Census provide population data, more detailed

information is available from their web sites as referenced in Chapter 4 on Economy. County wide

census information is also maintained and projections made for their comprehensive plan by the

Butler County Planning Board staff.

TRENDS IN POPULATION

Table 5-A shows the population trends for Towanda, Butler County and the State of Kansas for a

70 year period. The table shows that Towanda has experienced an increase of 1,500 people, (i.e.,

from 374 to 1338) between 1930 and 2000 for a 216% increase which is an average increase of 214

people per decade. The highest population was 1,338 in 2000. The largest decrease was an 11.8%

decline between 1930-1940. Except for two decades that reported a decline overall the population

pattern shows the City experienced continued growth. The two decades that experienced a decline

were between the decades of 1930 and 1940 (11.8%) and 1980-1990 (11.9%). Of the thirteen cities

that are incorporated in Butler County, Towanda is sixth largest in population. The 2000 population for

the other cities in the County was: El Dorado (12,659), Andover (9,114), Augusta (8,608), Rose Hill

(3,896), Douglass (1,799), Benton (819), Leon (648), Whitewater (639), Potwin (438), Elbing (208),

Latham (164), and Cassoday (128).

Table 5-A POPULATION TREND FOR CITY, TOWNSHIP,

COUNTY AND STATE

Towanda

Towanda City % Township % Butler % Kansas

1930-

2000 %

Change Area Change County Change Change

1930 424 1,227 35,904 1,880,999

1940 374 -8.82% 906 -26.20% 32,013 1.80% 1,801,028 -4.30%

1950 417 11.50% 809 -10.70% 31,001 -3.20% 1,905,299 5.80%

1960 1,031 347.00% 1,427 76.40% 38,395 23.90% 2,178,611 14.30%

1970 1,190 15.40% 1,669 17.00% 38.658 0.69% 2,249,071 3.20%

1980 1,332 11.90% 2,040 22.20% 44,782 15.90% 2,364,236 5.10%

1990 1,289 -3.23% 2,160 26.30% 50,580 12.90% 2,477,574 4.80%

2000 1,338 3.80% 2,727 26.00% 59,482 17.60% 2,688,418 8.50%

Net Change 914 216.00% 1,500 122.25% 23,578 65.70% 807,419 42.93%

U.S. Census 2000

5-2

Towanda was incorporated in 1905 and had a population of only 275 in 1910. During the

following decade the City’s population increased to 718 by 1920 due primarily to the oil boom in Butler

County. This decreased to 424 in 1930 and 374 in 1940, and then increased slightly to 417 in 1950.

Towanda experienced a moderate population growth of 914 persons since 1930 for a total population

increase of (216%). Compared to the Township, County and State it was a larger increase, but due to

the low number of Towanda’s population in 1930 not a large gain. Towanda Township

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


experienced an increase of 1,500 persons (122%), Butler County 23,579 persons (65.7%) and the

State 807,419 persons (42.9%).

The substantial rate of increase in population for Towanda and the County between 1950 and

1960 are attributed mainly to the overall development of the Wichita Metropolitan Area during that

period. Towanda has been a part of the Wichita Metropolitan Area (MA) since the 1970’s. The Wichita

MA consists of Butler, Harvey and Sedgwick counties. In June of 2003, Sumner County was added

creating a four-county MA population of 581,379.

The County’s population became relatively stable since 1960. Although Towanda’s growth rate

decreased tremendously from the boom of the 1950’s, it still experienced a growth of 15.4% during

the 1960’s. During the 1960-1980’s, Towanda continued a healthy growth pattern (1970 15.4%, 1980

11.9%). After 1980 the growth stopped and the population numbers dropped. Between the years of

1980-1990, the population fell 3.23% (43 persons) and since then the growth has been slow. Growth

for years 1990-2000 was only 3.8% (49) persons.

Towanda Township, (unincorporated area) surrounding the City, experienced, a measured growth

of 76.4% between the years of 1950-1960, which coincides with the Wichita Metropolitan Area

growth that occurred during that time. The population has exhibited continued growth since 1930 of

between 17%-26.3% for a net change since 1930 of 1,500 persons or a 22.2% increase in growth.

Compared to the City proper, Towanda Townships’ growth has been more constant, not falling during

the 1990-2000 as Towanda City had.

5-3

Table 5-B

Towanda Township Population in Decades

1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

1,227 906 809 1,427 1,669 2,040 2,160 2,727

The population numbers show, as a result of urban sprawl, an overall increase of 1500 persons and growth of 22.2% since 1930.

The historic population trend for Butler County is attributed to the county being physically the

largest in size, the ninth largest in population and one of the fastest growing counties in the State. In

2000 Butler County had a population of 59,482. Sixty-three percent (63%) of its population lived in

cities in 1990 and 37% in the unincorporated area. While Butler County gained 21,087 people in

population from the years of 1960-2000, Sedgwick County, with a population of 452,869 added

109,638 people with 89,586 of them residing in Wichita. While Wichita at 344,284 in 2000 added

40,273 people in 10 years; it grew mainly in the 1940s (46.4%) and 1950’s (51.4%). Substantial

increases have occurred from annexation. The so-called flight from the center city now underway is

benefiting numerous smaller cities including Andover, Benton, Towanda and beyond into the

unincorporated areas. Furthermore, there is also a pattern of Wichita drawing workers for

employment, but finding housing outside the City. Sedgwick and Butler counties’ share of the states’

population has risen over a 40 year period.

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-4

Figure 5-A Population Trend 1930-2000 City, Township, County and State

10000000

1000000

100000

Population Numbers

10000

1000

Towanda City

Township

Butler Co

State

100

10

1

1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

Year

Kansas is considered to be one of the slower growing states in the nation. As reflected in Figure

5-A the State experienced growth of 23.4% in 40 years (1960-2000) which may be compared to over

29.78%, for Towanda, 35.2% for Wichita, 31.9% for Sedgwick County and 54.9% for Butler.

Compared to the United States, as a whole, Kansas has proportionally decreased from 1.53% of the

U.S. population in 1930 to .096% by 2000. Not only did Kansas have an out-migration between the

years of 1980 to 1990 of 63,411 people or 2.7% of the total population, but the “brain drain” is real in

terms of college graduates. Net migration is the statistical result of subtracting the number of deaths

from the number of births minus the increase of population during the decennial period. Because of

slow growth and out migration, the State Division of the Budget projected the states rate of increase

to decline from 4.8% during 1980-1990 to 3.4% for 1990-2000 and be at 2.1% for the year 2030.

This 40 year projection would still add 303,039 people. On the other hand, Butler had 3,064 births

and 1,859 deaths and with an increase of 5,798 people during 1980-1990. The County actually

showed a net in- migration of 4,593 people or 10.3% of the 1980 population.

The 2000 population count for the Nation was 281,421,906 which is a 13.2% increase from the

248,709,873 in the 1990 census. During this same period, Kansas had an 8.5% increase.

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-5

COMPARISON OF REGIONAL POPULATION AGE

The 2000 data for Towanda is summarized from web site information of the U.S. Census of

Population. The age of population for Towanda is compared to the Wichita Metropolitan Area in Figure

5-B. Notice the similarity in the age make up of the two populations compared.

Figure 5-B

Towanda and Wichita MSA Population

Towanda Population 2000

12%

8%

24%

Under 5 years

5-19 years

56%

20-64 years

65 years and older

Wichita Metropolitian Statistical Area Population

2000

12% 8%

Under 5 years

23%

5-19 years

20-64 years

57%

65 years and older

2000 Census of Population

• Of the total Towanda 2000 population of 1,338 there were 492 occupied households of which 384

(78%) were occupied by “families”. Married couple families represented 325 (66.1%) of the total

households. The number of family and married couple family households increased during the years of

1990 to 2000 Family households increased from 369 (1990) to 384 (2000) and married couple

families 314 (1990) to 325 (2000). See Table 5-C and Figures 5-C & 5-D.

Table 5-C

Towanda Households

Year 1990 2000

Total Households 448 492

Family Households 369 384

Married Couple Families (314) (325)

Unmarried Family Households (55) (59)

NonFamily Households 79 108

1990, 2000 Census of Population

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-6

Figure 5-C

Towanda Household Family Status

2000 Towanda Households

400

350

300

250

200

Family

Non Family

150

Non Family

100

50

0

Family

Number of Households

2000 Census of Population

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-7

Figure 5-D

Marital Status of Towanda Family Households

2000 Status of Family Households

350

300

250

200

150

Married Family Household

Unmarried Family Household

100

Unmarried Family Household

50

0

Married Family Household

1

Number of Households

2000 Census of Population

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-8

• Of the 1,008 people 15 years and over, 688 (68.3%) were married, 80 (7.9%) divorced and 40 (4%)

widowed of which 36 (90.0%) of the latter were female.

• 102 (7.6%) were under the age of 5 years.

• 174 (45.4%) were of elementary school age.

• 327 (24.5%) were between the age of 5-19 years.

• 108 (28.2%) were in high school.

• 66 (17%) were in college.

• 946 (70.7%) were 18 years and older.

• 161 (12%) were 65 years and older.

• There were 17 grandparents living in households with grand children and 11 or 64.7% of those as

responsible for grandchildren as caregivers.

• 698 (71.7%) of those 16 years and older were in the labor force.

• 161 (12%) were over 65.

• The median age of the Towanda population was 34.5 years. This was lower compared to Butler

County (35.9), Kansas (36.3) and the U.S. (35.3).

• Of the population age 5 and over there were 1,229.

• In 2000, 630 (51.3%) lived in the same house in 1995, 589 (47.9%) lived in a different house in the

U. S. A. in 1995 and 10 (0.8%) lived outside the U. S. A. in 1995.

• Of those who lived somewhere other than Towanda in 1995, 365 (29.7%) lived in the same county,

224 (18.2%) lived in a different county and 141 (11.5%) lived in the same state while 83 (6.8%) lived

in a different state.

• 98 (13.4%) of the population age 21-64 years had a disability and of those 41.8% were employed.

• There were 141 of the population over 65 and a reported 56 (39.7%) had a disability.

• Native born U.S.A. 1,309 (99.0), born in Kansas 1,025 (77.5). Born outside the U.S. 8 (0.6%),

Foreign born 5 (0.4%), Naturalized citizens 4 (0.3%). Population that was not a citizen 1 (0.1).

• Primary ancestries of the population were: German 287 (21.7%), Irish 165 (12.5%), English 125

(9.5%), U.S. or American 109 (8.2%) and French 70 (5.3%).

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-9

Figure 5-E

2000 Towanda Population Ancestry

2000 Population Ancestory

22%

44%

12%

German

Irish

English

US/American

French

Other

9%

5%

8%

2000 Census of Population

• Other ancestries of the population included: Czech 2 ( 0.2%), Dutch 29 (2.2%), French Canadian 6

(0.5%), Greek 1 (0.1%), Italian 15 (1.1%), Norwegian 8 ( 0.8%), Polish 19 (1.4%), Scotch Irish

20 (1.5%), Scottish 41 (3.1%), Slovak 4 ( 0.3%), Swedish 6 (0.5%), Swiss 14 (1.1%), Welsh 12

(0.9) and other Ancestries 161 (12.2%).

• Population 5 years and older who speak language other than English at home 10 (0.8%), English

only 1,219 (99.2), Spanish 4 (0.3%) and other Indo European languages 6 (0.5%).

• Racial Composition of the Population was those of one race 1,311 (98.0%), White race 1,295

(96.8%), Black 5 (0.4%), American Indian 5 (0.4%), Asian 3 (0.2%), and of other race 3 (0.2%).

• The 2000 Towanda population (1,138) consisted of 682 (51.0%) females and 656 (49.0%) males for a

51%/49.0% division. (Usually there are a higher proportion of females due to more males being in the

military, plus the fact that females live longer. On the other hand, Butler County for the year 2000 had

a 49.8%/50.2 division.)

A review of the 2000 data shows the proportion of retirees, i.e., those 65 and older, increased

from 121 (1990) to 161 (2000). The proportion of minorities has decreased from 25 (1990) to 16

(2000). Near the end of the Planning Period there will be an increasing interest in facilities for senior

citizens.

Since the 2000 decennial census count of 1,338 for the City, the following July 1 st estimates of

population have been made at the state and local level for the City at: 1,313 (2001), 1,333 (2002),

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


1,329 (2003), 1,339 (2004). 1,355 (2005) and 1,367 (2006). This reflects an increase of 54 persons

overall for a 4.1% increase from 2001-2006. The annual increase in population from 2000 to 2006

was .7% a year.

5-10

Towanda Township, between the years of 2000 and 2006, experienced a 1.61% increase for 44

persons. This averages to an annual increase in population from 2000 to 2006 of .2%. For the same

period the County’s population increased from 59,482 to 63,147 ranking it as one of the ninth largest

populated counties. Butler County experienced an increase of 6.2% in population for a total of 3,665

persons for the years of 2000 to 2006 which averages to an annual increase in population of 1.24%.

The State of Kansas experienced an increase of 2.8% in population for a total of 75,657 persons

for the years of 2000 to 2006 which averages to an annual increase in population of .5%.

Table 5-D ESTIMATED POPULATION 2000-2006

City of

Towanda

2000

Actual

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Population 1,338 1,313 1,333 1,329 1,339 1,355 1,367 29

Net

Change

2000-

2006

% Change 1.9% .5% .4% .8% 1.2% .9% 2.2%

% of

County

Population

2.2% 2.2% 2.2% .2% 2.2% 2.2% 2.2%

Towanda

Township

Area

2000

Actual

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Net

Change

2000-

2006

Population 2,727 2,708 2,732 2,725 2,736 2,753 2,771 44

% Change - .7% .9% -3% .4%

.

6%

.

7% 1.6%

% of

County

Population

4.6% 4.5% 4.5% .5% 4.4% 4.4% 4.4%

Butler

County

2000

Actual

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Net

Change

2000-

2006

Population 59,482 59,964 60,468 60,984 61,689 62,376 63,147 3,665

% Change .8% .8% .9% 1.2% 1.1% 1.2% 6.2%

% of State

Population 2.2% 2.2% 2.2% 2.2% 2.3% 2.3% 2.3%

Kansas 2000

Actual

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -

Net

Change

2000-

2006

Population 2.688,410 2.702.466 2,714,792 2,727,042 2,738,356 2,748,172 2764075 75,657

% Change .5% .5% .5% .4% .4% .6% 2.8%

% of U.S.

Population 1% .9% .9% .9% .9% .9% .9%

Source: Kansas Certified Population-Kansas Secretary of State


5-11

FUTURE POPULATION

Effective planning should be based on reasonable expectations of future population. Properly

anticipating the future population increases the likelihood that services and facilities will be available

at the time and in the places they are most needed.

Certain nationwide trends and forecast should be noted which to some degree could affect the

local Towanda forecast for the year 2013. All of the data below is available on the U.S. Census

Bureau website, http://www.census.gov. using various links including Special Reports, American

FactFinder, American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey.

According to the U.S. Census 2000, 281.4 million people were counted in the United States, a

13.2% increase from the 1990 Census of 248.7 million. According to present trends and assumptions

for fertility, mortality and international migration, the population is projected to increase by 9.5% by

2010, 28.9% by 2030 and 48.2% by 2050. By 2050 nearly half of the United States is projected to be

a racial or ethnic minority. By percentage, the racial breakdown could be 50.1% White, 24.4%

Hispanic, 14.6% black, 8.0% Asian and 5.3% other races.

The Total Fertility Rate TFR has fluctuated sharply since the peak of the Baby Boom in the late

1950’s when the fertility rate was more than 3.5 births per woman. By the mid 1970’s the TFR fell by

one half to about 1.8 births per woman. During the 1990’s the TFR fluctuated between 2.0 and 2.1

births per woman a rate still below the level required for the natural replacement of the population

about 2.1 births per woman. By June 2000 the estimated TFR was 65 births per 1000 women.

Hispanic women had the highest rate with 95 births per 1000 women. White non Hispanic women

were considerably lower at 60 births per 1000 women. Black women had 63.2 births per 1000 women

and Asian/Pacific Islanders 54.6 per 1000 women.

The size of the American family is rapidly decreasing, thus, affecting the average persons per

household size which nationally dropped from 2.63 in 1990 to 2.59 in 2000. In Kansas the average

dropped from 2.97 in 1970 to 2.62 by 1980 and to 2.51 in 2000. In 2000, Butler County was 2.67 and

Towanda dropped from 2.88 in 1990 to 2.72 in 2000.

Nationally, the proportion of elderly persons over 63 (now 12.4%) is projected to increase to

21% by the year 2030. The size of this age group is especially important for the future of the health

care system.

• Average life expectancy has risen from 73.7 years in 1980 to 75.4 in 1990 and to 77.0 by 2000 with

males at 74.3 and females at 79.7

• The geographical mobility rate (defined as people who lived in a different home in 2000 than in 1995)

from 1995 to 2000 for the population 5 years and older was 45.9%. (Towanda’s was 47.9 % .)

Those who moved within the same county 24.9% (Towanda 29.7% ). Small cities are having

increasing difficulties in retaining young people. People ages 25 to 39 had a mobility rate of 64.9%.

If they were young (age 25 to 39), married and college educated, the rate was 72.3% and 75% if

they were young (25 to 39), single and college educated.

• By the year 2000, it was hard to define the “typical” American household. Families still dominate

American households, but less so today than in 1970. In 2000, 69% of America’s households were

families. In 1970, families represented 81% of all households. Almost 10% of the population lived

alone. About 5% lived in households in which the people were not related and about 3% lived in

group quarters such as nursing homes.

• Within family types, the decline in married couple families with children was especially dramatic, falling

from 40% of all households in 1970 to 24% in 2000. At the same time, the share of households

composed of married couples without children remained relatively stable at about 30%. The

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


percentage of family households with no spouse present grew significantly, rising from 11% to 16%

and the percentage of households composed of people living alone swelled from 17% in 1970 to 26%

in 2000.

• Changes in birth rates, delayed marriages and increased divorces have all contributed to smaller

household size. In 1970, the median age for first marriage was 21 for women and 23 for men. By

2000, the median had risen to 25 for women and 27 for men. The majority of men and women,

however, do marry eventually. In 2000 about 74% of men and women aged 35 had been married and

by age 65, 95% had been.

5-12

• Urbanization in cities of 2,500 and more increased from 69.9% in 1960 to 75.2% by 1990. Using

different urban/rural criteria for 2000, the urban population was 77.6% and the rural, 22.4%. The

cities in Kansas which are growing the most are in metropolitan areas.

• In 1992 a projection of population was prepared for the state and for each county by the State

Demographer in the Kansas Division of the Budget. Kansas was projected to increase from 2,477,574

in 1990 to 2,645,887 by 2010, a change of 6.8% or about 4,200 per year as an average. Butler

County was projected to increase from 50,580 in 1990 to 60,224 by 2010 which would add 9,644

people or an average of 482 annually. In actuality, Butler County reached 60,534 people by the 1 st of

July 2000 estimate.

Cities do not normally grow in straight line projections, but are prone to spurts of growth.

While the City of Towanda was incorporated in 1910 and then had a population of only 275, its

population has continued on for a 97 year period and experienced overall growth. Growth spurts

were experienced during 1905 and in 1910 due to the oil boom in Butler County in the following

decade where the City’s population increased to 718 by 1920. Towanda also experienced a

population boom during 1950-1970 due to the overall development of the Wichita Metropolitan Area

during that period. In addition to the City’s growth since 1960, there had been a corresponding

population increase in rural Towanda Township around the City.

For the 1977-1995 Comprehensive Plan, which was extended to 2000, the Wichita-Sedgwick

County Metropolitan Area Planning Department in May of 1977 projected Towanda to grow at the

same rate it did during 1960-1970 (1.4% annually) reaching a population of 1,694 by 1995. This

population number has not been reached yet even in the year of 2007.

A graphic portrayal of the past and potential population is depicted in Figure 5-F. The Population

and Estimated/Projected Population are based on a 1% annual increase in population thru 2013. As

a foreseeable goal, the population figure of 1,467 people for the year 2013 is adopted. It would

mean an increase of 100 people from the U.S. Census population estimate of 2006 or a .07%

increase. This estimate appears more realistic based upon previous growth pattern.

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


5-13

Figure 5-F Population and Estimated/Projected Population

Based on a 1% annual increase in City of Towanda’s population from 2008 - 2013

Towanda Population Projection

1500

1450

1400

population

1350

Series1

1300

1250

1200

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

years starting 2000

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2111

2012

2013

1338 1313 1333 1328 1339 1355 1367 1381 1394 1408 1423 1437 1451 1467

While this becomes the official population forecast for this Plan document and all land use,

transportation and community facility planning will be based on this figure, it will be important to

continually review this matter during the annual review of the comprehensive plan.

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


Chapter 6 6-1

Early Housing in the oilfield located in Section 11 Towanda

HOUSING

The type of housing in the City of Towanda is a prime consideration for planning and bears greatly

upon the quality of life which attracts homeowners to the City. Understanding the difficulties in

obtaining and maintaining proper housing for all the people is important for future planning efforts in

the Planning Area.

The significance of housing can be more clearly realized when one considers that the residential

areas are the largest users of developed urban land, e.g., 39.0% in the City, and the major source for

the City’s tax revenues. In fact, when transportation right’s of way (ROW’s) are excluded from the

developed urban land area, residential makes up 65.5% of the total. The economic importance of

housing is not confined to the tax structure because a healthy housing market benefits many

businesses including construction, real estate, insurance, banking, building materials, design and

many retailers. As a result of the multiplier effect” the exchange of money for these services and

supplies enhances the areas total economic environment. Another important factor is that an

adequate housing supply increases the opportunity to attract new businesses and their employees.

A house is usually the largest single investment for a family or individual and with its surroundings

a source of great influence upon family development and happiness. While a nice house does not

guarantee a suitable home life, the lack of proper facilities can be a deterrent to desirable life styles.

Houses that have unsanitary conditions or lack play space are a drawback to proper child

development. Elderly persons that have houses that are difficult to maintain experience financial

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


concerns and physical discomfort. Often young, single and married persons and retirees view the lack

of desirable housing accommodations as a reason to migrate to another community.

While the past few years have brought lower interest rates, to encourage high volume construction

and selling of houses, it has created a crisis nationwide in the sub prime mortgage market due to poor

lending practices. This has lead to an unprecedented number of foreclosures in newer housing. While

this problem is being addressed nationally, the cost of housing is still a major barrier for many people

in buying a house. For this reason, many communities and the homebuilding industry are continually

assessing their policies and techniques in order to build so-called “affordable housing” or “starter

homes” It should be a responsibility assumed by both public and private interests. This chapter

analyzes housing statistics and suggests ways in which desirable housing goals may be attained.

SUMMARY OF HOUSING STATISTICS

This section provides a variety of data to give an overall picture of the housing situation in the

City, Information will be presented from the 2000 U.S. Census of Housing and the field survey of

housing conditions conducted in June of 2008 by the Planning Consultants and City Zoning

Administrator. Computer data from the U.S. Census of Housing was obtained from the same source

as for the economic and population data referred to in Chapters 4 & 5 and available on the U.S.

Census website, www.census.gov, through various links. One should be aware that housing data as

distinguished from population data is more likely to be a sampling from a mail distribution and,

therefore, more subject to error. While important housing data was collected on a 100% basis, the

sampling ratio in 2000 was only one in six households for a variety of other housing related data.

2000 Occupation of Housing Units in

Towanda

2000 Occupation of Housing Units in Towanda

6-2

500

400

Owner

Occupied

Number of

Housing Units

300

200

100

Renter

Occupied

0

Owner Occupied

Renter Occupied

Series1

Series2 412 80

2000U.S.CensusofPopulation

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6-3

2000 U.S. Census of Housing Data for City of Towanda

• Of 537 housing units in the City, 492 were occupied and 44 were vacant.

• Of the 492 occupied units, 412 were owner occupied and 80 were rental units.

• There were 399 (74.6%) of the 492 occupied units used as single family dwellings, 14 (2.6%) were

used as multiple family housing units and 122 (22.8%) were manufactured/mobile homes.

• Of the 535 total housing units, 124 (23.3%) had 4 or less rooms, 165 (30.8%) consisted of 5 rooms,

135 (25.2%) consisted of 6 rooms, and 111 (20.8%) had more 7 or more rooms

• In reference to the age of the housing in Towanda, there are 63 (11.8%) units that were constructed

prior to 1940, 197 (36.8%) from 1940-1959, 51 (9.5) from 1960-1969, 72 (13.5%) from 1970-1979,

29 (5.4%) from 1980-1989, 18 (3.4%) from 1990-1994, 59 (11%) from 1995-1998, and 46 (8.6%)

from 1999 to March of 2000.

Houses Built in Towanda by Year of Construction

Number of Houses Built in a given year

consisting of 5 rooms or more

160

140

N u m b e r o f U n its

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

1939 &

Prior

1940-

1949

1950-

1959

1960-

1969

1970-

1979

1980-

1989

1990-

1994

1995-

1998

1999-

2000

Housing Year of Construction

• Year householder moved into unit by percentage before 1969 was 12.4%; 1970-79 16.5%; 1980-

1989 12.2%; 1990-1994 14.3%, 1995-1998 25.1% and from 1999- March 2000 19.6%.

• Means of heating: 406 (82.7%) by utility gas, 75 (15.3%) by electricity, 8 (1.6%) by bottled gas and

2 reported as using no heating fuels.

• Lacking in services include: 2 (0.4%) lacked complete plumbing facilities, 1 (0.2%) lacked complete

kitchen facilities and 22 (4.5%) lacked phone service.

• 26 persons in occupied housing were of a minority race.

• 18.1% (89) of the occupied housing units had one vehicle; 47.9% (235) had two vehicles; and 29.1%

(143) had three or more. 4.9% (24) units had no vehicle available.

• Median gross rent was $525.

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• Gross rent as a percentage of household income in 1999 represented less than 15 % for 16 renters;

15-19% for 13 renters, 20-24% for 6 renters, 30-34% for 2 renters and 35% or more for 15 renters.

• Median owner costs for mortgaged and other housing costs were $745, un-mortgaged was $271.

6-4

• Monthly owner occupied costs as a percentage of household income in 1999 represented less than

15% for 142 owners; 15-19% for 58; 20-24% for 35; 25-29% for 17; 30-34% for 16; 35 % or more

for 40.

• Median value of owner occupied units was $60,400.

Area Housing Median Value - 2000 Census

$140,000

$120,000

$100,000

$80,000

$60,000

$40,000

$20,000

$0

Towanda

El

Dorado

Benton

U.S.A.

2000 U.S. Census of Population

Additional Housing Data

According to data from the Planning Consultants and City Zoning Administrator’s field survey,

inside the City as recorded in Table 6-A, there were 571 units with 443 single family site-built

dwellings, 1 duplex, 4 triplex and 4 mobile homes on individual sites outside manufactured home

parks. Inside the four manufactured home parks, there were a total of 128 manufactured/mobile

homes. Most of the newer housing is in the northeast quadrant of the city.

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Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


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Building permits issued for residential housing construction for the following years were: 1999(2),

2000 (0), 2001 (11), 2002 (3), 2003 (8). 2004 (10), 2005 (4), 2006 (2) and 2007 (4) for a total of 44

units or an average of 5 per year.

While there are limited local resources for residential construction, there are adequate contractors and

suppliers in surrounding cities of El Dorado and Wichita. There are several real estate agents in the

area. The four manufactured home parks in the City do have ample space for more manufactured

homes.

HOUSING CONDITIONS

Data on the condition of housing is very useful in assessing the overall quality of the housing

inventory and to note trends that need particular attention. As part of the field survey of housing

conditions conducted in June 2008, the housing structures in the City were rated according to the

following four categories;

Standard – A housing unit with no visual defects or only slight defects which could be corrected by the homeowner during the

course of regular maintenance.

6-5

Substandard, minor—This is basically a sound structure in need of minor repairs which may be more than anticipated from

regular home maintenance.

Substandard, major—Such a structure is in need of major repairs beyond normal maintenance and may include some

structural deficiencies which are financially worth fixing.

Dilapidated – Structures which are mostly vacant and in such state of disrepair as not to be suitable for habitation nor

economically feasible to rehabilitate. (Note: It may be financially feasible in today’s market for some persons of reasonable skills

to fix up a dilapidated structure. Unless this is done properly such a repaired structure may still be a blighting influence on the

adjacent area.)

Only exterior housing conditions were evaluated, thus, an assumption basic to its accuracy is that

a house’s exterior condition provides a direct indication of its overall condition. While this may not be

true for every individual house, it is generally considered to be a reasonable assumption. Another

factor which should be recognized is that a certain degree of subjectivity is inherent in a survey of this

nature, i.e., different people viewing the same structure might have different observations and

conclusions. Despite these limitation, this type of survey is the best possible within reasonable

constraints and its results are very purposeful to a housing analysis.

The results of the consultants housing survey are mapped on Figure 6A and are statistically

summarized in Table 6-A for the total City. The survey rated 318 (71.8%) of the single family dwelling

units of housing as standard, 79 (17.8%) minor substandard, 40(9.0%) major substandard and 6

(1.4%) as being dilapidated. Considering the fact that the 2000 Census of Housing revealed that 311

units were built prior to 1970, this survey should be viewed as showing that the housing inventory has

a modest proportion of substandard housing. The survey results for the mobile homes rated 107

(83.6%) as standard, 17 (13.3%) as minor substandard, 1 (0.8%) major substandard and 9 (1.6%)

as dilapidated.

A fair evaluation of housing involves not only the structural condition, but the overall appearance

which has an affect not only upon its value to the property owner, but whether it creates a blighting

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effect upon the neighboring properties. Factors affecting appearance include poor lawn maintenance,

inappropriate items stored on porches, deteriorated sidewalks, deteriorated outbuildings, broken

gutters, improper outdoor storage and so forth.

A factor not as apparent is “functional obsolescence” which occurs due to the age of the

structures. Obsolescence is evidenced by kitchens and bathrooms becoming outmoded, storage space

limited, plumbing and electrical wiring deteriorating, air conditioning lacking and garages and

driveways having room for only one car. When interior obsolescence is added to observed exterior

deterioration, usually more housing units would be added to the substandard category. This may be

true for Towanda as according to the 2000 Census of Housing, 63 (11.8%) of the existing housing

units were constructed prior to 1940 and 197 (36.8%) between the years of 1940-1959.

While age may be the major factor in the deteriorated housing conditions, other factors or a

combination of them contribute to the situation:

1. Environmental effects of nearby commercial and industrial land uses, dilapidated buildings and nearness to the railroad and

major truck activity.

2. Inadequate initial construction.

3. Poor drainage and soil conditions.

4. Lack of income for proper maintenance or to purchase better accommodations.

5. Out of town ownership and rental use.

6. Older population who may be unable to physically maintain the property.

Deteriorating houses create a blighting effect which spreads like a cancer which is hard to

contain and does not cure itself. It slowly erodes the tax base and the value of nearby property. It

discourages the infilling of new houses and the fixing up of others. It affects the overall “image” of a

city. Some cities in urban renewal projects found that paving the streets made the properties more

valuable and visible and, therefore, they were maintained better.

Except for some small lot sizes, the layout of the lots themselves is good. Houses located in the

original part of town have shorter blocks and more side street parking as well as longer driveways,

although many still have one car garages. Most of the houses in the North part of the City (excluding

the developments of Timber Point and Sun View Heights) have longer blocks and shorter drives,

many one car garages and limited parking. The newer subdivisions of Timber Point and Sun View

Heights have adequate drives and parking and modern designed streets. There are a few mobile

homes found in the original and the North part of the City. These existed prior to zoning restricting

them. Current Zoning Regulations allow residential-designed manufactured homes in R-1 Single Family

Residential Districts. City Zoning Regulations should be consulted as the definition and standards for a

residential-designed manufactured home.

Many of the environmental problems in the City represent temporary situations that could easily

require both individual motivation and community effort to be eliminated. The use of sanitation, grass

mowing, inoperative vehicle and the abatement of dangerous structure ordinances are usually

necessary to eliminate hard core problems. The most lasting solution to the overall problem is

homeowners taking pride in their property and their City. Code Enforcement duties are the

responsibility of the Zoning Administrator.

Due to increased enforcement of City codes in the last few years, there has been a reduction in

the excessive number or concentration of such factors although there is a considerable amount that

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6-6


needs to be resolved. Even a modest number of these conditions can discourage further investment in

existing dwellings or new housing on nearby vacant lots. These environmental conditions generally

tend to parallel housing conditions, i.e., those lots with the worst housing often have the most

negative environmental factors.

There is no one solution to such a long-standing housing problem; however, this chapter will

provide ideas. It should be viewed as an important factor for the City’s attention since it affects both

the affordable housing inventory and the business areas.

Environmental Conditions

A variety of environmental factors often have a negative effect not only upon the quality of the

housing itself, but also upon the general appearance of an entire neighborhood and the health and

welfare of the residents. As part of the previously described Planning Consultant’s field survey, some

negative environmental factors in the City’s residential areas were observed as follows:

6-7

• Some excessive vegetation in drainage areas.

• Unsightly outdoor storage.

• Repair or storage of inoperable vehicles in open areas.

• Deteriorated outbuildings and garages.

While there was not an unusually excessive number or concentration of such factors, even a

modest number of these conditions can discourage further investment in existing dwellings or new

housing on nearby vacant lots. City residents responded to this type of concerns in the

Comprehensive Plan Survey of 2005 by listing such problems as follows: When given an open question

to answer titled:

Question # 6. What are the three most important issues you feel Towanda is facing today The most popular answers were: A

poor image of town, condition of property (bad) and lack of community pride.

Question # 7. What are the three changes in the community over the last 5 years that concern you the most The most

popular answer was the condition or appearance of the town and downtown area as bad.

Question # 10. Which of the above items do you think are the most important services for the city to provide The most

popular answer was property conditions being bad, (needing) cleanup.

Considering the myriad of environmental problems that can occur in rural areas, the area outside

the City for the most part shows a general lack of such problems except a few situations. They are not

located in areas that might be annexed readily.

CONSTRUCTION, HEALTH AND PLANNING CODES

In addition to an appeal to private initiative, one of the best ways to maintain and improve the

quality of the housing inventory is through the adoption and enforcement of construction, health and

planning codes. Their overall purpose and legal basis for enforcement is to protect the health, safety,

property and general welfare of the individual and the community. This purpose is achieved by setting

standards for materials and/or performance; establishing the administration for approving permits,

licenses, cases or plats; and creating enforcement procedures for inspection and appeals. Among the

many reasons for adopting such codes are:

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• Housing which is constructed to code standards provides the buyer with some minimum safeguards to

protect the investment and provides a better chance of more years of productive service.

• It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to maintain the value of a house if, through the lack of codes

or their enforcement, the neighborhood is permitted to deteriorate.

• Codes reduce the effects of blight and their effective enforcement can also be used to rehabilitate

blighted conditions.

• Insurance rates are lower where codes are effective in reducing hazards both in the home and

neighborhood.

• Since most mortgages today are resold to a larger secondary lender, code standards are necessary to

establish the quality of the housing especially by way of construction and sanitary codes.

• The tax base is strongly dependent upon the assessed valuation of housing. Unless the quality of

construction is built into them initially and maintained, the tax base is slowly eroded.

• A community’s ability to attract and hold desirable employers and productive workers is often related

to the overall general appearance and “livability” of a community.

6-8

Type of Codes

No one code covers all the features of construction, health, planning, etc. To efficiently protect the

health, safety and welfare of the public and their property, a number of codes should play a role. A list

of the most useful of these codes and a brief description of each follows.

BUI LDI NG CODES govern the construction requirements for all types of buildings by regulating their

design, methods of construction, quality of materials, types of use, degree of occupancy, site location

factors and certain equipment required for their construction and operation. Energy and historic

preservation standards are more recent additions.

PLUMBI NG CODES are responsible for regulating both sanitary sewer and fresh water carrying

systems.

ELECTRI CAL CODES safeguard persons, buildings and their contents from hazards arising from the

use of electricity in new and remodeled structures.

MECHANI CAL CODES serve to protect individuals and property by controlling the design,

construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation and maintenance of heating,

ventilating, cooling, refrigeration systems, incinerators and other heat producing equipment.

FI RE PREVENTI ON CODES prescribe regulations for safeguarding life and property from the

hazards of fire and explosion.

SANI TATI ON CODES regulate a wide range of health concern including sewage disposal,

abandoned and inoperable vehicles, pest and animal control and environmental features in and

around buildings such as outside storage, unused construction materials and bulky waste that often

lead to health hazards and blighting conditions.

HOUSI NG CODES are concerned with the quality of the residential environment and affect the

upkeep and maintenance of existing dwellings. They can be enforced on a house-to-house inspection

basis, complaint system or triggered by a change in ownership or renter.

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DANGEROUS STRUCTURES ORDI NANCES cause the repair or removal of dangerous and unsafe

structures by the owner or the city.

“CI TY BEAUTI FUL” ORDI NANCES are a method of removing or causing the repair of unsightly

and blighted structures to promote beautification. Such ordinances are often combined with the

minimum standards found in housing codes. They can be used for principal and accessory structures.

WEED MOWI NG ORDI NANCES establish a maximum standard for the height of vegetation. It

causes the owner to mow it or the city will and assesses the cost to the owner.

MANUFACTURED HOME PARK CODE cover such items as water, sewer, drainage, street and

parking facilities in manufactured home parks as well as their service areas, density, open spaces and

recreational areas, refuse disposal methods and utility connections. Such codes cannot control the

actual location of the manufactured home parks since this can only be accomplished by zoning

regulations. Such a code can be used over time to upgrade older parks.

ZONI NG AND SUBDI VI SI ON REGULATI ONS differ from the other codes described herein in many

ways, including their procedures for preparation, adoption and administration. While their general

purposes are much broader than those of the other codes, they can have significant effects upon the

housing itself and the pattern of development. Zoning Regulations are used to regulate the location

and use of buildings and the uses of land for residential and other uses; set standards for maximum

building size, height and extent of lot coverage; conserve and protect property values; and facilitate

the adequate provision of community facilities, utilities and open space. Because existing

nonconforming uses are “grandfathered-in,” problem situations are slow to be rectified and other

codes are needed to bring about desired improvements. Subdivision Regulations are designed to

ensure the harmonious development of residential areas and other land uses; provides for the

necessary streets and utilities and their proper location; determine an appropriate design for lots and

streets; and guarantee the installation of the public improvements. Both of these regulations are

discussed further in Chapter 12 on Plan Implementation.

Model Codes

There are a number of organizations nationally and now internationally which prepare and keep

up-to-date “model” codes for regulating construction standards and procedures. The Kansas State

Department of Health and Environment can provide assistance on sanitation codes. The League of

Kansas Municipalities maintains a website of “sample” ordinances from other cities, but care must be

exercised in using them because they may not always represent a set of “model standards” for local

applications.

A major difference between locally prepared codes and national ones is that the former are often

“specification” codes which describe in detail exactly what materials are to be used, the size and

spacing of units and the methods of assembly. The national codes prescribe the objective to be

accomplished and allow broad leeway to the designers in selecting the materials and methods that

achieve the required results, thus, they are considered to be “performance codes”. The added benefits

of model codes include:

• Relatively simple yet adequate standards for construction.

• Available at less cost than the probable expense of drafting a comparable local code.

• Reflect more expertise and capability of keeping abreast of modern

construction technology.

6-9

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6-10

• Training sessions for building inspectors on the various model codes are

periodically available.

• Uniform in content and, therefore, builders, architects, engineers, lenders,

etc., find it convenient to work with codes with which they are most

familiar.

• Free from local prejudices.

• Prepared by code organizations who operate nationally and internationally

and who are available to provide technical assistance on more complex

structural plans.

• Periodic review by technical committees and scheduled revisions to update standards.

• More acceptable to state and federal agencies where a community is undertaking grant projects,

especially that of housing.

EXISTING AND RECOMMENDED CODES

Towanda adopted new Zoning Regulations by Ordinance No. 462 effective May 4 th, 1999 which

replaced regulations adopted .in 1980. These regulations govern the use of land and the location of

buildings within the city of Towanda, Kansas; establishing Zoning District boundaries and the

classifications of such districts; adopting by reference an official map of zoning districts; defining

certain terms used in said regulations; regulating the maximum dimensions of buildings and other

structures through bulk regulations and lot areas; regulating the location and size of signs; providing

for and regulating vehicular parking space; reestablishing the Board of Zoning Appeals and prescribing

its duties; providing for the appointment of a Zoning Administrator and prescribing his or her duties;

providing for fees to be charged for amendments, appeals and permits; establishing a means for

amending said regulations, map and ordinance; providing for penalties for violation of its provisions

and a means of enforcement. New Subdivision Regulations were adopted by Ordinance No. 448 on

June 16 th 1998, governing the subdivision of land located within the City of Towanda, Kansas, and

certain extraterritorial jurisdiction as defined therein. Regulations governing Manufactured Home Parks

and Trailer Camps were adopted by Ordinance No. 460 on April 16, 1999, that govern the licensing

and development standards for manufactured home parks and trailer camps in the city of Towanda,

Kansas; providing for administration, inspection, enforcement, remedies and penalties;.

Presently Towanda has adopted the following codes for building and fire protection

Ordinance No. 525. :

with

CABO ONE and TWO FAMILY DWELLING CODE 1995

INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL CODE 1998

UNIFORM ADMINISTRATIVE CODE 1994

NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE 1998

UNIFORM BUILDING CODE 1997

UNIFORM PLUMBING CODE 1997

UNIFORM FIRE CODE 1997

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Locally prepared codes updated in 2005 include: housing, dangerous structures, mobile home

park, inoperable vehicles, nuisances, sanitation, animal control, weed mowing, moving structures

and fire works.

While there are various national model codes available, the so-called “Uniform Codes” prepared by

the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) have been used widely in Kansas and by the

State. In recent years these have evolved into new “International Codes” published by the

International Code Council (ICC). Their 2006 Editions include Building, Residential, Mechanical,

Plumbing, Fuel Gas, Property Maintenance, Private Sewage, Existing Building and Fire Code. As a

supplement to the codes, the National Electrical Code of 2008 is available from the National Fire

Protection Association. There is also a Sign Code available for those cities needing more detailed

standards and procedures on this subject. For more information, the ICC’s website is www.iccsafe.org.

Many of these codes can not only be adopted by a city, but extended for three miles into the rural

area if zoning or subdivision regulations have already been extraterritorially put in place. With

technology constantly changing in the building field, maintaining current knowledge of the codes is

important to effective enforcement. The state wide organization of building code administrators has

now successfully promoted classes at community colleges in Kansas and there are national training

sessions as well.

The removal of abandoned and inoperative vehicles has been further enhanced by a new state

statute which permits cities to sell such vehicles after a period of due process provisions. Health and

safety codes are more effective than waiting for the long range benefits of the Zoning Regulations

since they can be immediately enforced, Zoning operates under a clause which for the most part

“grandfathers-in” existing structures and uses as “legal, nonconforming ” when they were considered

legal under zoning earlier or built when there was no zoning.

While some cities employ full-time building inspectors to administer construction codes and code

enforcement officers for nuisance situation, such an undertaking is not necessary at this time as the

population of Towanda does not support such an endeavor. Currently Towanda has a part-time

Zoning Administrator and a part-time Building Inspector although if the population were to increase

with new development, the need may arise for full-time positions. Housing conditions and nuisance

situations will not solve themselves by the passage of time and, in fact, it will get worse without some

type of regulatory intervention.

Manufactured, modular, sectionals and “prefabs” are all forms of housing constructed in factories

today. Due to the high cost of housing, they are a solution to the housing situation for an increasing

number of people. A manufactured home costs about one half the per square foot cost of a site built

dwelling. Provided they meet local construction codes, modular, sectionals and prefabricated units are

usually permitted by zoning regulations any where that site-built housing can be constructed because

of the similarity of lot sizes needed. For the latter reason, multiple-wide manufactured homes are

sometime accommodated on such lots since their shorter length permits them to be oriented parallel

to the street.

The longer 70’-90’ single-wide manufactured homes pose a problem in that, if placed parallel to

the street, they create a wide frontage which significantly increases the cost of utilities and streets. If

the latter is placed perpendicular to the street and intermixed with site-built houses, the extension of

the manufactured home into the rear yard tends to reduce the open space and privacy of adjacent

neighbors. In actuality, “single-wide's” angle the structure on the lot in order to permit more of the

left side windows to have some view of the street. The effect is to further cause some disorientation

in the relationship of two dissimilar types of structures. In general the intermixing of single-wide

manufactured homes with site-built houses tends to depreciate the value of the latter.

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6-11


In 1974, the U.S. Congress changed the name “mobile home” to “manufactured housing”. The

Kansas Legislature began the renaming process in the state statutes in 1984 and an extensive Kansas

Manufactured Housing Act was passed in 1991 as K.S.A. 59-4201, et seq. A nationwide certification

process was initiated in 1976 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which set

standards for all such housing under the federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety

Standards Act, otherwise known as the “HUD Code.” Manufactured homes which achieve such

certification override any local construction codes, except for the manner in which they are installed,

i.e., hooked up to other utilities, skirted, placed on a permanent foundation and /or anchored. Kansas

has statutes requiring the state architect to establish tie down design standards under K.S.A. 75-1226,

et seq. While this has been accomplished, the state does not enforce them locally, but regulates the

design where they are manufactured. There is a new Uniform Code for the installation of

manufactured housing which provides standards for the placement of such homes. Homes which do

not meet the new national standards are still referred to as “mobile homes” of which almost all of

them were built prior to 1976.

Effective January 1, 1992, the Kansas Legislature adopted in the recodified planning and zoning

statutes mandatory provisions for a “residential-design manufactured home” in K.S.A. 12-742 and

763. Zoning regulations cannot be adopted now or enforced in the state which excludes such homes

from single-family residential districts solely because they are manufactured homes. Such homes must

at least meet the minimum standards of the HUD Code, be 22 feet in width, have a pitched roof and

siding and roofing materials customarily used on site-built houses and be placed on a permanent

foundation. Additional architectural and aesthetic standards may be adopted in local zoning

regulations to ensure their compatibility with site-built housing. Such statutes do not preempt or

supersede valid restrictive covenants running with the land. Towanda’s Zoning Regulations provide for

residential-design manufactured homes in single-family zoning districts with attached additional

aesthetics standards.

In the Planning Area outside the City, the County administers Zoning Regulations on the

placement of single-wide manufactured homes that differs from the City. The County also administers

a sanitary code for the disposal of sewage and obtaining water supplies along with their zoning,

subdivision and floodplain regulations. In 1999 the County began enforcement of construction codes

in all of the unincorporated area and in those cities requesting such service. The model codes

currently in effect outside Towanda are the 2003 Uniform Plumbing Code, 2004 NFPA (National Fire

Prevention Association), 2003 International Building Code, 2000 Uniform Mechanical Code, 2003

International Residential Code and the 2002 National Electrical Code.

HOUSING PROGRAM

When private financial institutions in an area are unable to provide mortgages for low and

moderate income persons on an affordable basis of terms and conditions, various federal housing

assistance programs may be considered. Many housing assistance programs are all legally in effect

and many have existed for 50 years. Each administration of the federal government together with the

Congress evaluates these programs then revises and selects the particular sections to suit their goals

and budget. Because elderly and handicapped persons have been heavily affected by the cost of

housing, assistance for them has been supported and may well continue; however, many other

programs have not been adequately funded in recent years. These have often been administered by

the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

(HUD) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The City does not have a Local Housing Authority to seek grants and build housing for moderate

income elderly, handicapped persons or low income families.

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -

6-12


The Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing was reorganized to separate the housing

function. The latter function is now named the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation. In addition to

the “Home Investment Program (HOME),” the agency funds other types for housing rehabilitation, tax

credits for constructions and other programs targeted to low and moderate income individuals and

families. More information may be found on their web site at www.kshousingcorp.org.

Given the life cycle of people and families, their housing needs change. If housing is not available

as a choice when that demand occurs, it can be reason to either not move to a community or leave.

About one in five householders change their dwellings each year in the United States. Today, there

are fewer persons living in the average household due to the high divorce rate, the increasing number

of career young people who delay marriage or having children, and an aging population in which more

elderly individuals choose to live alone. Even the so-called former typical American family of a father

who goes to work, a wife as a homemaker and two children is now a minority of the families in the

nation today. While nationwide there is more demand now for affordable sized houses, duplexes,

apartments, condominiums, modular's and manufactured housing; a limited market exists for site-built

senior housing and single family houses in Towanda.

Assuming the average number of persons per household in the City in 2000 (2.72) stayed the

same during the Planning Period, and based on a population increase of 100 persons from 2000 to

2013, the additional units needed would be 37, i.e., almost 2.85 annually. A few more units will be

needed to replace those lost to fire, other hazards, demolitions and normal attrition to changing land

uses. In addition to building new, a major effort should be undertaken to preserve and improve the

existing housing inventory.

The PRIDE Program could enable the City to receive technical assistance from the KSU Cooperative

Extension Service. Volunteer members serve on a PRIDE Committee. As a result of assessing the

needs of the community, various clean up projects among others are identified. “Clean Up Days” are

sponsored in the spring; an annual stump removal program is conducted to remove dead trees and

stumps on the public right of way and the “Junk your Clunker” program to remove untagged and

inoperable vehicles. “Lawn–of-the-Week (or Month)” awards are given to encourage landscaping and

beautification efforts of homeowners and commercial establishments. Whereas such a committee

could be very useful, dedicated volunteers would be necessary to make it successful.

In view of the housing situation and its importance to the City, the following list of ideas should

periodically be reviewed to determine their applicability to the current housing situation. Committees

of officials and/or concerned citizens may be needed periodically to implement ideas selected for

priority.

1. Encourage the County to create a county wide housing authority which would undertake to rehabilitate existing housing and

build new housing in cities.

2. Open up new areas for residential development as needed by working with landowners and potential sub-dividers to extend

streets and utilities.

3. Evaluate the list of construction, health and planning codes as described in a preceding section and adopt or revise those as

needed to improve and maintain the quality of housing and the related environmental conditions.

4. Maintain a regular reporting system to monitor the status of the housing inventory through the use of building/zoning

permits for both construction and demolition and review the proposed housing objectives.

5. Promote the construction of more duplexes and multiple dwelling units to provide a wider choice in housing and more rental

units.

6. Recognize that modular, prefabricated and manufactured homes will be necessary to supplement the construction of sitebuilt

homes to meet housing expectations.

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7. Encourage the construction of housing for the elderly and the handicapped as needed as well as “starter homes” for new

families.

8. Study possible locations and encourage the infilling of vacant lots where streets and utilities are more readily available.

9. Promote efforts to balance the tax base with nonresidential rateables so the burden is not as high on residential property.

10. Initiate a continuing program to remove or cause to rehabilitate blighted houses and outbuildings.

11. Clean up activities should be encouraged and organized annually with more community involvement. Continue the annual

“Spring Clean Up” day as a joint public and private effort to improve environmental conditions and the

appearance of the community.

12. Conduct a “Lawn of the Week” or “House of the Week” recognition program.

13. Use high school volunteers or community groups to undertake house painting projects for elderly and handicapped

residents.

14. Create a Beautification Committee or use the Park/Recreation Board to enhance the appearance of the community,

especially the “Gateway Streets”.

15. Maintain and update the five-year Capital Improvement Program to monitor the ability of the City to fund special

assessments and other financing to support residential development.

16. Support and encourage the use of the County’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program for tax abatements on new housing

construction and additions.

17. Continue to improve the quality of Manufactured Home Parks by upgrading the current Ordinance regulating the

Manufactured Home Parks and Trailer Camps.

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Chapter 7 7-1

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT INFLUENCES

Land use and development activities of an area are affected by and to some extent dependent

upon its physical features and natural resources. These features sometimes form avenues

encouraging the development of particular land uses, but they can also sometimes restrict

development possibilities and limit directions available for urban growth. Consideration should be

given to the physical features in an area so that developmental policies can be established which

maximize their advantages and minimize their disadvantages. Such policies are necessary to guide

land use and urban growth in an economically efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner.

In this chapter, a general picture is presented of the Towanda Planning Area’s physical features

and their implications for future development of various land uses. The following reports should be

referred to for more detailed information on topics in this section as well as other portions of this

document:

• Soil Survey of Butler County, Kansas, Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

January 1975.

• Web Soil Survey, Natural Resources Conservation Service http://www/nrcs.usda.gov accessed

1/16/08.

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, formerly the Soil Conservation Service, with an

office in Wichita and the Butler County Conservation District/NRCS with an office in El Dorado, have

technicians available to assist on matters related to soil and water conditions including wetlands. The

Butler County Planning Commission can also provide additional information on developmental

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influences. Additional information can be found in the Butler County Comprehensive Plan “Butler

Vision 2020”, last updated May 2002, which addresses Chapters on the Environment, Rural

Character/Environment Attributes, Environmental Assets and Environmental Resources.

CLIMATE

Climate is an outstanding feature of nature which can greatly affect agricultural, economic and

developmental activities. The Towanda Planning Area has a typical continental climate characterized

by large seasonal changes of temperature, warm to hot summers, moderate humidity, clear skies,

considerable sunshine, moderate winds, light precipitation in winter, and a pronounced rainfall

maximum in late spring and early summer.

The average monthly temperatures range from 32.2 degrees F. in January to 80 degrees F. in

July. Through most of the year the average daily temperature variation is about 25 degrees F. The

average freeze-free period is about 190 days and extends from about April 16th to October 23rd.

Precipitation varies widely from month to month and year to year, and periods of drought are not

uncommon. The average annual precipitation is 32.1 inches of which normally about 70 percent falls

during the period of April through September. January and December are generally the driest months,

having a combined average of less than two inches of precipitation; while May and June are the

wettest months with a combined average of about nine inches. Much of the annual precipitation is

produced by showers and thunderstorms during the spring and summer. Frequent and abrupt

weather changes occur, but usually are of short duration. Thunderstorms occasionally produce heavy

rain, large hailstorms, strong wind, and tornadoes. However, the violent storms are usually local in

extent and of short duration. Snow fall is usually light, averaging about 15 inches yearly. The

percent of possible sunshine averages 77% in summer and 61% in winter

The prevailing wind direction is usually from the south; except for in February it is from the

north. Average annual wind speed is 13.3 miles per hour with the highest winds in March and April.

High velocity winds are not uncommon.

The climatic data indicate that there is a long growing season with temperature and sunshine

conducive to crop production. Some damage may be anticipated from variations in precipitation and

high winds. Cold weather slightly shortens the construction season and affects the type of

construction. Direction and frequency of winds show industrial installations that are potential sources

of air pollution, such as from odors and smoke, would have less adverse effects if they were located

to the north of urban population. Various outdoor recreational activities can be sustained almost all

year round.

7-2

SOIL CONDITIONS.

Soil is an expendable resource and should be protected from activities and uses detrimental to its

condition. Conversely, many soil types can negatively affect certain land use activities. Efficient land

use planning in urban as well as rural areas should recognize and consider the potential positive and

negative interrelationships between the soil and the way it is used.

The Butler County Conservation District/Natural Resources Conservation Service office in El

Dorado and the State Conservation Commission in Topeka should be contacted for more specific soil

information. The Butler County Soil Survey shows the soil mapping units superimposed on aerial

photographs. Figure 7-A depicts the various soil units for a portion of the Planning Area that includes

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the City of Towanda. Each symbol represents a variation in soil condition and is keyed to tables in the

soil survey report. In addition to a wide range of data for farming, water management and wildlife

purposes, the survey contains a wealth of detailed planning and engineering data for urban

development on the following items:

• Bedrock

• High water table

• Shallow excavations

• Sewage lagoon areas

• Shrink-swell potential

• Flooding

• Soil permeability

• Risk of corrosion

• Construction materials

• Engineering test data

• Septic tank absorption fields

• Dwellings with and without basements

• Sanitary landfill areas

• Construction of roads and streets

• Camp, picnic and playground areas.

Of the 17 soil types in Butler County, only two have less than “severe” limitations for septic tanks

and tile fields and the latter are “moderate” and subject to flood prone conditions. This explains the

importance of the Towanda sewer system serving both newly developing and older subdivisions.

Although many of the soils in the Planning Area are not particularly desirable for urban development,

they are nevertheless considered to be prime farmland and pasture land and should be conserved for

this purpose as long as feasible.

The majority of the Planning Area is occupied by the Labette-Sogn, Labette-Dwight, Irwin and

Brewer soils. Dwight soils are found in slightly depressed areas within the Labette Soils. Irwin soils

are in slightly higher positions on broad ridge tops and Brewer soils are found in the River Bottom

areas.

Sogn Soils: The Sogn series consists of shallow and very shallow somewhat excessively drained soils that formed in

residuum weathered from limestone. Sogn Soils are on uplands. Slopes range from 0-20% runoff is medium to high.

Saturated hydrolic is conductively moderately high. This type of soil is best suited for Rangeland. Native vegetation is

midgrass prairie, sideoats, grama, big bluestem and little bluestem.

Labette Soils: Labette soils are moderately deep, well drained, slowly permeable soils located on uplands. They are formed

in residuum from interbedded limestone and clayey shale. Slopes range from 0-12% .These soils are nearly level to sloping

uplands. Slopes are usually plane to convex. Runoff in Labette is medium or rapid. This soil is best suited for crops and

Native Range. Native vegetation is tall grasses.

Dwight: The Dwight series consists of deep, moderately well drained very slowly permeable soils that formed in clayey

sediments. These soils are located on uplands, typically found on upland divides, but a few are on foot slopes. The slope

gradient ranges from 0-3%. The soils formed in clayey sediments derived largely from clay shale influenced with loess or old

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7-4

alluvium. Runoff is medium. Occasional small depressional areas pond water for several days.

I rwin Soil: Irwin is deep and very deep soil, moderately well drained, very slowly permeable and found in uplands formed

in clayey sediments. Slopes range 0-8%. It is geographically associated with Dwight, Labette, and Sogn soils among others.

Runoff is high or very high. Soil is suitable for cultivation and rangeland. Native vegetation is mid or tall grass prairie. This

is a silty clay loam soil with an average depth to bedrock in excess of five feet. Its characteristics include a high shrinkswell

potential and severe limitations for the use of septic tanks.

Brewer Soil: Brewer is found in level floodplains that rarely flood. It consists of very deep moderately well drained, slowly

permeable soil that formed in material weathered from loamy and clayey alluvium of Pleistocene age. These nearly level

soils are on flood plains subject to rare flooding. Slopes are 0- 1%. They have slow runoff and are largely cultivated. Native

vegetation is tall prairie grass.

In the Planning Area there are approximately 8,220 acres with the Labette-Sogn silty clay loams,

5,156 acres of the Irwin Soils, 756 acres of the Dwight Complex soils, and 653 acres of Brewer silty

clay loam.

Brewer silty soil occurs in areas of the western portion of the Planning Area and towards the City

of Towanda. This area contains the Whitewater River and floodplain which is made up of Verdigris Silt

and Brewer Silty. Labette Sogn silty clay and Labette Dwight Complex are found mostly in the eastern

portions of the Planning Area in areas from Shumway Road and westward to Hunter Road. Irwin Silty

Clay is found in all areas. Irwin Soil type covers most of the City and the immediate surrounding area.

Several other soil types are found in the Towanda Area, and Table 7-A should be referred to for

specific descriptions of their characteristics. As a general rule, however, most of these soils have

depths to bedrock in excess of five feet and severe limitations for septic tanks.

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FIGURE 7A Soil Series Map - Butler County Kansas, Towanda

Planning Area

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Table 7A

Towanda Planning Area Soil Types and Characteristics

Soil Type

Map

Symbols

Dominant

USDA Depth to Suitability Features affecting Limitations for Limitations for

Surface

Texture

bedrock

in feet

as topsoil

Building

Foundations Septic Tanks Lagoons

Brewer Br Silty Clay Loam >5 Good High S/S Severe

High S/S,

Dwight Dt, Dw Silt Loam 2 - 31/2 Poor

Low shear strength Severe Severe

Goessel Go, Gs Silty Clay >5 Poor High S/S Severe Slight

High S/S

Low shear strength plastic

Severe where flood prone

slight otherwise

Slight on slope 0-2%

Moderate on slope 2-5%

Irwin Ic, Id Silty Clay Loam >5 Fair

Severe

La,

Lb,Lc,

Mod-High S/S

Labette Ld,Le Silty Clay Loam 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 Good

Good if on limestone Severe Severe

High S/S

Ladysmith Ls Silty Clay Loam >5 Fair

Low shear strength plastic Severe Slight

Slight on slopes 0-2%

Norge No Silt Loam >5 Fair Moderate plasticity Moderate

moderate on 2-7%

Olpe On Silty Clay Loam >5 Poor Gravelly Subsoil Severe Severe

Sogn So Silty Clay Loam 1/2 - 11/2 Poor Depth to limestone Severe Severe

Vanoss Va,Vo Silt Loam >5 Good Low to Moderate S/S. Moderate Slight to Moderate

Severe where flood prone

Verdigris Vd, Ve Silt Loam >5 Good Subject to flooding Severe

moderate otherwise

Borrow

Pits Bp

Oil-waste

land Od

*S/S shrink swell potential

Source: "Soil Survey of Butler County Kansas," prepared by USDA Soil Conservation Service, issued January 1975.

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7-4

WATER AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Local groundwater is not suitable or adequate for City water supply. The City’s water is supplied

by Rural Water District # 5 who in turn purchases the treated water from the City of El Dorado who

acquires it from the El Dorado Lake. The El Dorado Lake is located 2 miles north and east of El Dorado

and is operated by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. It was completed in 1981 and started storage of

water in June of 1981. The lake covers 8,400 acres and has the storage capacity of 50 billion gallons.

The City of El Dorado holds sole ownership of the water.

TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE

Topography and its resulting drainage systems are important factors in determining land capability

for both urban and rural uses. They influence the location and design of public facilities such as

sewage treatment plants, water towers and storm drainage systems. They also can influence specific

land use patterns as different types of uses favor different terrains.

Figure 7-B depicts topography at 20 -foot contour intervals as determined from U.S. Geological

Survey quadrangle maps. Individual topographic elevations are further noted along mile line roads

and the location of bench marks (BM) for survey purposes is identified. The general drainage pattern

is from northwest to southeast which follows the Whitewater River. It generally can be seen that most

of the area has a moderately rolling topography, except for the plain around the Whitewater River

west of town is mostly flat. The entire area drains to the Whitewater River or one of its branches.

` The Whitewater River is located about one quarter to one half mile to the west of the annexed city

limits of Towanda. The Whitewater River flows from the north to the south into the Walnut River

south of Augusta. The Whitewater River flood plain provides a definite barrier to urban development

to the west of the city limits. This drainage pattern is discussed in detail as follows:

NORTH: The extreme North/West part of the Planning Area drains to the West Branch of the Whitewater River. The extreme

Northeast part of the Planning Area drains to the Spring Branch. The remainder drains to the Whitewater River.

WEST: The West Branch of Whitewater River flows to the south east and along the NW corner of the Planning Area. The

Whitewater River runs through the west half of the Planning Area. Land located from Santa Fe Lake Road to the west edge of

the Towanda city limits and from south of SW 10 th to SW 50 th drains to the Whitewater River. The majority of this area is

located in River Bottom land or Whitewater River Floodway, therefore, it is not to the City’s advantage to develop in this

direction.

SOUTH: The Whitewater River continues south through the west half of the Planning Area. Everything from points south of

Main Street in Towanda drains to the Whitewater River. The FEMA map outlines areas in the south part of the Planning Area

that are prone or subject to flooding. For further details the FEMA Flood Map should be consulted. See Figure 7-C or Figure 1-A

the Planning Area Base Map.

EAST: The Eastern half of the Planning Area drains to the Whitewater River by means of storm water drainage systems,

ditches, gullies and ravines. A majority of this area is above the flood plain and, therefore, not subject to flooding.

Urban development should not occur in a manner which seriously alters natural drainage patterns

so as to lessen the possibility of damaging floods. This alteration merely shifts the flooding to other

areas. In addition, protection of drainage ways provides an environment which enhances the growth

of vegetation, presence of wildlife, recharging of underground water supplies and preservation of

topsoil.

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7-5

Figure 7B Topography and Drainage of Towanda Planning Area

Map from USGS Data 1955

Photo revised 1983

Modified 2006

FLOOD HAZARD AREAS

Towanda and Butler County have joined the National Flood Insurance Program. Both Flood

Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Flood Boundary and Floodway maps have been prepared by Federal

Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the City and County and used as the basis for the County

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Floodplain Overlay Zoning Districts. This restricts construction by way of a building/zoning permit

system in a “floodway district” and limits building in the “flood fringe area” unless flood proofing or

filling is proposed that would not raise the level of the flood waters more than one foot on either side

of the floodplain at that point. This would also mean that areas not served by public sewers, and

using on-lot septic tank systems and wastewater lagoons would need to be protected from the effects

of flooding on such a system. By adopting extraterritorial subdivision regulations, the City needs to

cooperate with the County’s administration of their Floodplain Zoning District.

One of the significant physical features for planning in the Towanda Area is the extent of

potentially floodable areas. Shown in Figure 7-C (Urban Area) and Figure 1-A (Planning Area) are “100

year floodplain” areas within the Planning Area as designated by FEMA. These particular areas were

identified June 20, 2001 as part of the Flood Insurance Study and Flood Map for Butler County.

Detailed flood insurance studies have been made by FEMA for all of Butler County. As depicted,

floodplains on the Whitewater River illustrate a flood which may be anticipated on a 100-year

frequency, i.e., a one percent chance each year. The Whitewater River experiences periodic flooding

outside the city limits in areas of the Towanda Planning Area. For further reference to these areas, the

FEMA flood plain map for Butler County should be consulted. FEMA District 7 is currently in the

process of initiating the final preparation of the DFIRM (Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map) and FIS

(Flood Insurance Study) report for Butler County. According to FEMA the new county wide DFIRM and

FIS report for the Towanda Planning Area will become effective on June 2, 2009. The Revised Map

will incorporate the detailed studies of the Special Flood Hazard Areas adjacent to the City. The

incorporated area of the City and the unincorporated areas adjacent to the City are combined on one

map to facilitate future annexations to the City.

Some idea of the amount of water falling on the Planning Area might be gained from this statistic.

An inch of water falling as rain on one square mile is a quantity of nearly 17 million gallons. With the

average annual precipitation of Butler County at 32.1 inches, rainfall for a year would calculate to

some 545.7 million gallons of water per square mile for each of the 37.94 square miles of the Planning

Area. Major rainfall occurs between May and June

The City adopted a Hazard Mitigation Plan prepared by the Butler County Emergency Management

Office for the Towanda Community. In addition to flood mitigation, the Plan addresses other potential

emergency events that the Towanda Area could be conducive to such as wildfires, wind damage,

hazmat transportation accidents, and tornadoes. The Hazard Mitigation Plan time frame is effective

into the year of 2010. A copy of this plan is on file at City Hall in the Zoning Administrators Library.

MAN MADE PHYSICAL FEATURES

In addition to the growth influencing factors imposed by nature, many man-made physical

features are also capable of providing either avenues or barriers to different types of development.

Certain community facilities have the potential to repel or attract development.

Kansas Highway K-254 functions as an East/West major highway through Butler County having

the bulk of its traffic generated by residents in the County traveling to Wichita for employment or

shopping purposes plus the east/west traffic through Kansas. The design of the highway and its wide

right of way creates a visual separation, difficult crossing conditions and while a great benefit to

transportation, it also acts as a deterrent to cohesive and efficient community development to the

north.

The City of Towanda participated in the K-254 Corridor Economic Development Study which

resulted in a plan that represented a regional effort which included six communities of Sedgwick and

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Butler County. The City is surrounded on several sides by property owned as individuals that own

large parcels (Sections) of property and do not wish to divide and develop at the time. Therefore,

since development suggested for Towanda by the K-254 Corridor Study, was planned at the location

of Hunter Road and Kansas Highway K-254, where large land holdings occur, the plan was not

adopted. In 2007 the City annexed land at K-254 and Ohio which is more conducive to development.

Other areas not available at this time for development include: west of the City at K254 and River

Valley, which is mostly located in a flood plain and adjoins property owned in large parcels of

agricultural land; east of the city along Old U.S. 54 Highway (Main) between Hunter Road and Ohio

Street, which is owned again by large agricultural parcel holding land owners; south of the City has

some flood plain areas and the City wastewater lagoon, and north of the City where large parcel land

owners hold agricultural land.

Railroads are usually considered avenues for industrial development, but they can also impose

barriers to contiguous urban growth. As discussed in Chapter 9, the Union Pacific Railroad crosses

under Highway K-254 in the County northeast of the City and enters the city limits crossing Hunter

Road and continues southwest along Lions and N. 10 th Street, crossing Main and continuing along the

south border of the City. The railroad is currently used by the Union Pacific Railroad and generally

twice a day a train travels between Wichita and El Dorado passing thru Towanda. The trains traveling

thru the area often engage in the transportation of hazardous materials. Further information on this

can be supplied by Butler County Emergency Management,

Several Pipelines cross the City and the Towanda Area. Most are to the north and to the east of

the City, and between Towanda and El Dorado. There is a large pipeline currently being proposed to

locate just on the western edge of the City in 2008-2009 along the Whitewater River Valley. Further

information on this can be obtained from Butler County Emergency Management.

Concentrations of land uses in themselves can create related developmental problems. Certainly

the location of three schools and a district transportation yard concentrates a peak traffic problem in

those areas which will intensify as the Planning Area grows. On the other hand, concentrating

commercial uses can be beneficial to them and it keeps them out of the residential areas. “Strip”

commercial uses tend to deteriorate the property to the rear and cause more traffic problems than

concentrated business development.

In general, any heavy industry, because of its possible environmental effects, should be planned

so that the prevailing (South) wind direction would not pass over nearby residential areas. Industrial

uses would best be served towards the north of the city limits.

While the location of sewer lines is determined by the natural topography, they are nevertheless

man-made. The lack of availability has had a tremendous impact on the direction of Towanda’s

growth. Currently the developed portion of the city is entirely gravity flow sewer. As development

progresses on the land annexed at K-254 and Ohio Street, gravity flow will not be adequate and other

measures will need consideration due to the topography of that location.

The boundary for Rural Water Districts # 4, # 5 and # 7 are outlined on Figure 7C. Rural Water

District # 5 serves the Towanda Planning Areas south and west of the City and points north of the City

as well as Towanda itself, who in turn distributes it to residents thru City owned lines. Rural Water

District # 7 serves the Northern part of the Towanda Planning Area located North of Highway K254.

Rural Water District # 4 serves the Towanda Planning Area to the east of the City and would serve the

undeveloped area annexed in 2007 at K-254 and Ohio Street. Information and infrastructure of the

local water districts is an important factor to consider prior to any planned growth to the City.

Although these districts are a benefit to farmers and scattered rural development, they can in some

7-7

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cases be detrimental to orderly urban development when water is provided to large lot suburban

subdivisions. The small plastic lines do not support fire hydrants nor allow for normal expansion of an

urban water system. It causes residents to not request annexation and when water is available, there

often appears to be less concern for proper sewage disposal.

7-8

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Figure 7C

Rural Water Districts (Planning Area)

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7-9

WOODLANDS AND COMMUNITY FOREST

The natural woodlands in the Planning Area are located along the Whitewater River and its

branches. There are some man-made shelter belts in the area. The latter are very noticeable on

section line roads and at one-half mile and one-fourth mile intervals. While the screening effect of

such shelters is appreciated by today’s homeowners, the accumulation of “hedge apples’ from certain

trees is not always welcomed. The extent of woodland can be seen as darker patches on the aerial

photographs underlying the Soil Series map, Figure 7-A.

The value of these woodland areas is aesthetic and environmental. Left in their natural state, they

provide visual relief from contiguous agricultural or urban development and can serve as buffer areas

between land uses. Woodland areas also help to maintain the quality of the air, reduce soil erosion

and serve as a habitat for wildlife. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, there

are 11 species of wildlife in Butler County that are listed as threatened and or endangered. There are

also 9 species listed as in need of conservation. Many are found in flood plain and wetland areas and

the adjacent woodlands. Every effort should be utilized to maintain such woodland areas.

When individual trees at the sites of houses, parks and other areas as well as along the street

rights of way within a city are considered collectively, they create an urban or community forest. This

“forest” is an important resource affecting the livability of the community. The benefits of urban trees

and associated landscaping are well documented. Some benefits include: prevention of water

pollution, screening of undesirable views, serving as a “buffer” between mixed land uses and raising

property values. Additionally, a well-maintained and well-planted urban forest enhances the

community’s character, maintains quality of the air, helps prevent flooding and acts as a means of

temperature control.

Cities are authorized under K.S.A. 12--3201 et seq to regulate the planting, maintenance,

treatment and removal of trees and shrubbery upon all street and alley rights of way. Abutting

property owners hold “title to and property in” such trees and shrubbery which are located between

their property line and the curb line, sometimes called the parking or planting strip. Property owners

can recover damages to such trees and initiate actions to prevent their destruction. Cities can

designate acceptable street trees for such areas. Some cities conduct periodic stump removal

programs.

Statewide, interest in urban tree plantings and beautification has shown a strong increase due to

heightened public awareness of the benefits to a community. Also, the decline and loss or urban

trees due to storms and disease such as the Dutch Elm disease has affected most cities in Kansas.

This has created, and for many years will continue to create, a need for urban tree planning.

Most often, the initiative for tree planning and beautification begins with concerned citizens or a

local group. Local groups often associated with these efforts include a Tree Board or PRIDE Program

Committee. The PRIDE Program is discussed in Chapter 6 on Housing. A Tree Board can be

established by a city ordinance which describes the terms of office and responsibilities. They usually

have five to seven members. The Board typically advises the governing body, prepares a

comprehensive tree plan, and initiates tree planting and maintenance projects and work to educate

the public on the benefits of trees.

The creation of a Tree Board is one of the steps for a community to receive the Tree City USA

Award. Other requirements include spending $2 per capita towards tree planting and maintenance

each year and observance of an Arbor Day tree planning ceremony. Kansas currently has about 75

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cities which have maintained Tree City USA status. It is one of the most successful states in the

number of cities which have received this award.

The Kansas Urban Forestry Council was established in 1990 by the State Extension Forestry at

Kansas State University to help focus attention on growing and planting more trees in Kansas. With

five districts throughout the state, their mission is to expand, improve and preserve the state’s urban

tree resource. Interested citizens, arborists and other allied professionals volunteer their time to

coordinate and sponsor activities to further this mission.

Funding assistance for urban tree planting and beautification projects has been available from two

sources among others:

First, the Kansas Department of Transportation administers the Transportation Enhancement

Program initially established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA).

The program utilizes federal funds that contribute up to an 80% matching ration. Projects eligible for

funding are: (2) historic; (2) scenic and environmental; and (3) pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

Beautification through landscaping is often part of a project.

Second, a Community Tree Program partnership between the National Tree Trust, the City of

Lindsborg and the Kansas Urban Forestry Council has begun to provide free trees for planting on

public property. In addition, a nationally recognized educational program is conducted on

composting.

For more detailed information on the organizations and funding programs associated with

improving the community forestry, contact the State Extension Forestry.

Although trees are part of the visual aesthetics of Towanda, the “community forest” could be

enhanced by the establishment of a Tree Board and the implementation of a comprehensive tree

program. A visual statement of community character and a welcome gateway into the City could be

achieved by a planned street tree program for the main corridors.

EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENTAL INFLUENCES

Figure 7-C Illustrates a composite picture of the development influences previously described.

Despite the many natural and man-made features which affect the Towanda Area, there are many

tracts of land both near the City and further away that are suitable for development. All urban type

development should strive to be located within the gravity flow if possible, although due to the local

terrain, the need for lift stations are a probability for sewage disposal. If developments decide to plat

where gravity flow is not possible, careful attention should be given to relating density and soil

conditions to water supply and sewage disposal.

In addition to the growth influencing factors imposed by nature, many man-made physical features

are especially capable of providing either avenues or barriers for different types of development. For

example, an area’s transportation facilities are often among its most prominent development

influences including the availability of sewerage. Railroads are usually considered avenues for

industrial development, but barriers for other types of urban uses. Certain facilities repel or attract

development. While a sewage treatment plant usually discourages good residential development

nearby, schools and park areas encourage it. Paved roads as discussed in Chapter 9 on

Transportation further encourage non-farm rural development.

7-10

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The limited access highway construction of K-254, with two major interchanges connecting

Towanda, provide tremendous accessibility to and from the Wichita Metropolitan Area’s system of

freeways and to the Kansas Turnpike. The existence of the highway makes it even more necessary to

plan carefully for utility extensions to accommodate urban growth to the north. The pattern of existing

development, especially residential and its relationship to the highway, the railroad and the flood plain

on the west, would indicate more land use potential for residential development to the north, east,

and south and commercial development to the north of K-254 Highway.

A composite analysis of influences on the City Area show a good east/west paved Main Street

where the Central Business District is located downtown and the Service Business District is further

east on Main. Flood areas are located outside the city limits. The Wastewater Lagoon and limb

burn/leaf bin dump site are currently south of the City far enough away not to affect the urbanized

area, but could affect any adjacent development.

Outside the City, where most roads are gravel, some non-farm residential use will still occur due to

the proximity to K-254 Highway and the cities of Wichita and El Dorado even though soil conditions

for private sewage disposal are usually not ideal due to a high shrink-swell potential and have several

limitations for the use of septic tanks but can use wastewater lagoons.

Growth to the further east of the city limits at the land annexed at the southeast corner of K-254

and Ohio Street is the most feasible for residential development at this time until further large parcels

of land are opened for development. Sewer infrastructure for the proposed development at the

southeast corner of K-254 and Ohio will necessitate new construction of infrastructure to serve the

area and the use of a lift station, but it is not an insurmountable barrier to growth. The presence of

Rural Water Districts in almost the entire Planning Area outside the City will encourage some scattered

residential growth as connections permit. The continuation of scattered residential development,

farming and pasture grazing activities should predominate the rural scene for many years to the

North, South, East and West.

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Chapter 8 8-1

LAND USE PLAN

A land use plan element of the Comprehensive Development Plan provides information concerning

the distribution and interrelationships of existing land uses and the potential of the City and its

surrounding area for future development. Other major elements of the Comprehensive Plan, e.g.,

utilities, community facilities and transportation, are directly dependent upon the findings and

proposals of the land use plan. It is, therefore, considered to be a basic and critical component of the

Plan.

Much coordination is necessary within the land use plan element itself in addition to functioning as

a coordinating aid for other planning elements. Overall development patterns should strive for

compatibility with the Planning Area’s natural and man-made physical conditions as well as between

the various types of land use.

The land use element serves the purpose of being an influencing factor in guiding development

while it also provides a legal foundation for the adoption of subdivision regulations and the judicial

review of zoning cases. These regulations in turn serve to implement the land use plan element and

other proposals of the Comprehensive Plan.

EXISTING LAND USE

The use of land changes, but this is often a slow process. Patterns of existing land use should,

therefore, be recognized and generally accepted as a basis for the realistic projection and delineation

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of future land usage. To compile the inventory of existing land use, a field survey classifying each

parcel of land in the Urban Area by its type of use was conducted by the Planning Consultants with

the assistance of the Zoning Administrator in June 2008. The land use field survey for the remaining

rural Planning Area was completed in November of 2008.

Land Use Classifications

The following land use definitions were used in the survey to classify the land in the Towanda

Planning Area:

8-2

AGRI CULTURAL AND VACANT – Land used for agricultural purposes, i.e., growing crops or raising

undeveloped land, i.e., not built upon such as natural open space and vacant lots and buildings.

livestock and

SI NGLE - FAMI LY RESI DENTI AL – Land devoted to residences occupied by one family or its equivalent in unrelated

individuals. Manufactured/mobile homes were further identified separately from site-built housing units.

MULTI PLE – FAMI LY RESI DENTI AL – Land devoted to multiple occupancy dwellings containing two or more individual

residential units such as duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes and apartment buildings.

MOBI LE HOME PARK – Land upon which two or more manufactured/mobile homes serving as residential units are located

and which are under a single ownership.

PUBLI C AND SEMI –PUBLI C - Land devoted to city buildings, schools, parks, cemeteries and other governmental activities

including special uses regulated by government such as utilities and nursing homes. Also institutional or fraternal uses such as

churches, lodge halls and service organizations.

COMMERCI AL – Land and buildings where commercial activities of either a merchandising, service oriented or professional

nature are conducted.

I NDUSTRI AL – Land and buildings used for manufacturing, construction and storage purposes, including salvage yards.

TRANSPORTATI ON – Land used for public or semi – public rights of way for streets, alleys, highways and railroads.

Survey Results

The total acreage for each land use category has been calculated for that part of the area within

the city limits only and is presented in Table 8-A. The land use patterns observed during the field

survey are illustrated for the City and its adjacent area on the Planning Area map in Figure 8-A A

large colored display size map of existing land use has also been prepared and is available for

information purposes from the Planning Commission.

GENERAL CITY PATTERN

Since the last land use survey was conducted in June of 1977 for the 1977-1995 Comprehensive

Plan, Figure 8-A shows that the City has gained 323.8 acres for a 106.4% gain in size to 636.8 acres

in the last 31 years. Most of this is reflected in the urban vacant area to the east of the City most

recently annexed. Because of these annexed areas, the agricultural and vacant category has increased

from 63.2 to 187.1 acres for a 123.9 acre or 196% increase. As a percentage of the total City area,

the proportion of agricultural and vacant land increased from 20.5% to 29.4%.

The overall urban pattern is basically an efficient one. The Central Business District is actually

“central“ to the older residential area and generally in a compact shape. The grade school and

intermediate school is slightly North of center, but conveniently located. While the City Park and

Swimming Pool is to serve the whole City, it is located on the south west side and Norman Park and

Library is on the North edge. This leaves the central part of the City lacking in park facilities, especially

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for young children. There is one industrial use near residential and school areas in the north part of

the City. Major industry is best located away from residential areas and accessible major roads.

Residential

The importance of residential uses as a major user of land is more significantly pictured if

transportation rights of way are statistically removed from consideration. When compared to the

remaining developed land uses, residential comprises 27.9% of the total. Although this represents a

decrease from the 31.8% in 1977, it is still substantial. This represents the classic concept of a

“bedroom community” wherein local employment is limited and substantial housing areas exist. Of

the 177.5 acres of residential, only 0.4% is in multiple-family uses. While there are few mobile homes

in other parts of the City, the majority are located within a large mobile home park located at the

south edge of the City. In affect, 75.6% of the residential land use is in single-family homes and 24%

is in manufactured mobile homes.

Public and Semi - Public

Land used for public and semi-public uses now accounts for 133.4 acres or 29.3% of the

developed area. In the (Towanda) Comprehensive Development 1977-1995 it was reported that the

public and semi public existing land use in 1977 was 59.2 acres or 40.0% of the developed land.

This 125.3% increase of 74.2 acres mainly represents land calculated for the City park and pool,

Norman Park and the wastewater treatment plant/lagoon. Additional land is used for the Maintenance

Shop, grade school, intermediate school, high school, cemetery and City ball fields. Other such typical

uses are several churches, the City Hall, library, post office, police station and fire station. Most are

well located for their function, but some are located on small sites such as the City Hall and fire

station that limit any expansion.

Commercial

Commercial uses now occupy 4 acres, i.e., 0.9% of the developed area. This is an increase of 2.8

acres. The commercial uses mainly occupy the downtown Central Business District (CBD). The CBD

businesses are located on small lots in a compact area of about two blocks on both sides of Main

Street. The CBD is comprised of commercial buildings vacant, industrial, commercial, and storage.

Commercial uses on Main Street are a construction office, cabinet maker, antique shops, bank, auto

repair shops, pizza restaurant, and recording studio.

Almost all the businesses are located in the Central Business District or east along Main Street.

There are a few small businesses, however, scattered within the City’s residential neighborhoods. Any

home occupations which might be incompatible to the residential areas have a low profile and do not

appear to conflict with the main commercial activities.

Industrial

Only 1.8 acres within the City were devoted to industrial land uses in 1977. In 2008 there was

19.6 acres, a 988% increase. The percentage has increased to 4.3% of the total developed area.

The industrial type uses in town are auto repair shops in the Central Business District, a road paving

company along North Main, a battery distribution company on North 4 th Street in the residential area

and the Township Maintenance Yard on North 6 th Street.

8-3

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Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


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8-4

Transportation Rights of Way

The third largest use of land, i.e., 120.8 acres, serves as right of way for streets, alleys and

railroads. A figure of 20% to 25% for the total areas of a city is considered optimal and Towanda’s

now measures 19.0%. This is a proportional increase from 82.4 acres (26.7 % of the total area) in

1977 to 120.8 acres (26.5% of the total area) because of the increase in agricultural and vacant land

use. Most of the City is platted on a gridiron system with relatively short blocks. Compared with

more modern design features, e.g., T-intersections, cul-de-sacs, and curvilinear streets, the gridiron

system today is considered an inefficient use of land as well as a more dangerous traffic pattern.

Because of increased noise and danger, it is desirable that the railroad maintain a good width right of

way. The existing street ROWS do not appear to be excessive; however, the higher proportion of

ROW land is caused by the gridiron design. It contributes to the high proportion of nontaxable land.

Agriculture and Vacant.

About 181.4 acres inside the City are either vacant or used for agricultural purposes or vacant

buildings. Of the total land within the city limits, 28.5% is in this category. Thus, 71.5% has been

built upon. While this may sound like a lot of undeveloped land, it is not unrealistic for urban areas in

general. Unfortunately, some of these vacant or sparsely settled areas contain opened streets and

some utilities. They are located on Main Street, in the North sections of town and in the Sun View

Heights and Timber point subdivisions. Most of the vacant land is buildable except the vacant land

that lacks completed public infrastructure in the area of K-254 and Ohio Street.

Land Use Outside the City

Figure 8-B illustrates the existing land uses in the rural Planning Area surrounding Towanda. In

looking at the illustration, the Whitewater River Basin is a significant factor affecting the central and

northern parts of the planning area. Various branches of the river affect many other sections of the

Planning Area.

Concentrated residential areas are seen in many sections of the Planning Area. They are found

within two miles north and two miles south of the Urban Area. There are several rural subdivisions in

the Planning Area. The more populated ones are located west of the Urban Area.

There is little residential uses found to the east of the Urban Area as the land is more affected by

oil field use. The oil field land also extends to the north east parts of the Planning Area. There is some

industrial uses in the Planning Area which include the area west of the Whitewater River Basin

between the rail road and SW 40 th . There are industrial uses along SW 20 th between SW Hunter Road

and SW Ohio Street. There is little commercial use in the Planning Area. Most is located to the West of

the Urban area along highway K-254. Two miles south of the Urban Area the Kansas Turnpike

Authority has a food and fuel stop that is not directly accessible from Towanda. El Dorado is the

nearest access to the Kansas Turnpike.

Overall the Planning Area outside the Urban Area is significantly populated for a rural area. Factors

that may be an influence to the population include Towanda’s close proximity to El Dorado and

Wichita. Many individuals desire to live in a rural setting while also being close to the shopping and

employment opportunities that the area provides. Another factor is the easy access to the water

infrastructure. There are many Rural Water Districts that serve the area and provide a convenient

means for obtaining water for new development.

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Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


FUTURE LAND USE PLAN

8-5

The purpose of this section is to project an efficient and compatible arrangement of land uses for

the future development of the Planning Area. Such a projection must consider a number of factors,

including physical features and their respective development influences (See Chapter 7 on Physical

Features), the statement of goals, future population, housing needs, existing land use patterns,

potential utility service areas, community facilities, public desires and concerns and proposed

development projects. It should be remembered when studying this Plan that the Planning Period

covered is a 5 year period. A graphic illustration of the Future Land Use pattern is shown on Figure 8-

C for the Urban Area.

There is a need to maintain some flexibility in a Future Land Use Plan. The Planning Commission

may, therefore, from time to time make minor adjustments in the delineated boundaries based on

more detailed current data, but in keeping with the overall concepts for the development of the

particular area. It should also be noted that designation of an area for a certain type of land use does

not necessarily mean that the area be developed exclusively for that use. It should instead be

considered as a designation of land use character and predominant type. For example, a church or

school would be considered compatible in a residential area. Certain public uses such as a city

building or library would be compatible with a commercial area.

General Development Pattern

Within an urban area it is desirable for land use development to be in a compact and contiguous

manner with a minimum intermixing of land uses. Such a pattern maximizes the efficiency and cost of

public facilities, makes private services more convenient and reduces the effects from negative

environmental factors such as noise, traffic, lights, air pollution, hazardous conditions and unsightly

visual appearances. All of the latter affect property values and reduce the quality of life particularly in

the residential areas which are a dominant characteristic of Towanda.

Figure 8-C, Future Land Use and Functional Street System, depicts the urban growth in a noncontiguous

pattern with similar land use types and areas of use. Currently Towanda has several

previous “island annexations” that make up the total urban area. The overall goal is to maintain

existing and create new quality residential development with attractive and compatible commercial

areas and community facilities. Areas for commercial uses have been designated to broaden job

opportunities. The ability to expand the City’s infrastructure, particularly sewerage service, will

significantly determine the extent and direction of future development. The area along K-254 at Ohio

Street that was annexed provides new opportunities to increase the City tax base.

Residential

Taking in the population goal of 1,467, there would be a need for at least 31 more dwelling units

for the five year period of 2009-2013. In addition, replacements would be needed for those that may

be removed or lost to fires, deterioration, etc. At an average lot size of 10,000 square feet, there

would be 3.27 dwelling units per acre including 25% of the land dedicated to street right of way.

Based on this premise, at least 38 acres would be needed. While site-built-homes, modular's,

residential-designed manufactured homes, duplexes or multiple-family units may actually be

developed, this acreage does provide some insight into the extent of residential land needs. The

infilling of existing vacant lots where opened streets and sewers are accessible is the most cost

effective way for residential expansion. There are scattered vacant lots available in most areas of the

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Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


City. While there is some aversion to building new dwellings in among older structures, there is an

opportunity for affordable housing ideas with modular’s and residential-designed multiple-wide

manufactured homes on a few lots in older parts of town. Noticeable are well laid out lots from

which previous homes have been removed and not replaced. Nevertheless there is probably a market

demand for some newer dwellings in modern subdivision design settings such as cul-de-sacs and loop

streets that discourage through traffic and provide safety and privacy.

There is plenty of land available for residential development as shown in Figure 8-C. It is a matter

of putting economic forces to work by connecting potential buyers and sellers. One needs to

recognize that some landowners do not want to be annexed and have their land developed. Others

simply may not be interested in selling now. The City needs to use their potential to extend water

and sewer service to identify and work with willing sellers in order to open up the City to more

residential development. Completing the development of the Ohio Street and K-254 Highway

subdivision would be a good start.

Specific areas for multiple-family housing are difficult to designate in advance. Some guiding

policies for their location are: (1) around business areas for shopping convenience and to strengthen

the business activity: (2) as a “buffer” between single-family and nonresidential uses; (3) along

arterial and collector streets so as to discourage higher density traffic within neighborhoods; and (4)

near community facilities. Opportunities to convert older housing to multiple-family uses may be

explored. The guidelines above could be used to locate sites for triplexes and fourplexes to provide

rental housing for single persons, single parent families, the elderly and for young couples. Of the

total housing units in the City, about 16.3% are rental units. This is a fairly low proportion because

there is no multiple family housing except for a small senior residence complex.

Duplexes are very popular today. In addition to the same guidelines for multiple-family, duplexes

can also be placed near single-family units, especially on larger corner lots where access is available

from both directions. This is not to suggest that duplexes should be intermingled within blocks of new

single-family dwellings. With adequate lot size, a duplex can be “split” by a common lot line into two

individual lots for sale sometime know as “twin homes”. This reduces the construction cost and still

provides for individual land ownership by way of a “lot split”.

Public and Semi-Public

While most public and semi-public uses will probably retain their present sites, some changes will

occur during the Planning Period. This points to the importance of long range planning for public and

semi-public uses especially public facilities. Most often growth occurs prior to development of public

and semi-public uses such as schools and parks. These uses, when not planned for, may be on sites

which may not serve the community in the most optimum locations. As examples, schools should be

sited to minimize the walking distance for pupils and senior citizen activity centers should be easily

accessible to them.

During the Planning Period, it is anticipated that some minor new land will be needed for such

uses. For example, possible expansion or a new fire station may require some additional land.

Commercial

8-6

Typically, the Central Business District (CBD) or “downtown” becomes the image or identity for a

smaller city. It should be the center of both business and social activity. The concentration of

commercial activity there should also attract shoppers due to the mix of public uses such as the post

office, City Hall, fire station, community building and the senior center. This arrangement of land use

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is also less environmentally disruptive to residential neighborhoods which are more affected by “strip”

or “spot” commercial development. In Towanda, almost all the retail stores and restaurants have

located on Main Street. This provides the opportunity for the CBD to emphasize smaller stores and

become the center for office and public and semi-public uses. To some extent the City itself can

“make it happen” by continuing to concentrate public uses in the area. Although the “downtown” is

historic in its sense of “place” in the community, there are limited examples of architecturally historic

structures and very few two story buildings. Many structures are old and in need of repairs. Fixing up

these structures to make them attractive and inviting will need some ingenuity in design. An

extremely important point is not to allow structures in the CBD to be converted to storage uses other

than for inventory in the CBD. Such conversion has already taken place at 323 Main consisting of

approximately 6,000 square feet.

The Future Land Use map, Figure 8-C, depicts the CBD at the intersection of Main and Second to

Main and Lyons with intermittent areas of single family residents. The continuing compactness of the

CBD is very important to encourage the occupancy of buildings and the contiguous construction of

new structures. Compactness also provides the advantage of “park and shop”. Access is easy from all

directions with paved streets and sidewalks.

Obviously, the most visible improvement to the CBD would be maximizing the use of the present

buildings. The latter presents a problem because the buildings are old and some have structural

problems. There are many smaller efforts which could be taken to improve the image of the CBD.

Cooperation between private and public interests could:

• Use coordinated “street furniture” to provide interest and attractiveness such as benches, lighting,

trash receptacles and landscaping.

• Design attractive and interesting signage and maintain them in good condition.

• Remove signs when buildings become vacant and maintain the facades in presentable appearance.

Sometime windows can be used for displays and art classes from schools paint designs that provide

the illusion of activity, especially if they change with the seasons.

• Use the two park areas for periodic community events commensurate with the space available.

Design an area for memorial plaques.

• Provide landscaping or “greenery” which would soften the concrete view of streets, sidewalks and

buildings and present a cooler appearance in the summer months.

• Display decorations periodically which draw attention the area and provide a visual change of scenery

for seasons of the year and special events.

• Paint the buildings in some manner which collectively creates an overall coordinated appearance or

concept as a “theme”. Some large paint companies sometimes provide a free service to design

coordinated paint colors.

• Where possible, recreate the historic appearance of a structure.

• Make public rest rooms available.

• Keep vacant buildings from being used for general storage except for active inventories.

8-7

The limited height, size and number of structures should give encouragement to an effort to clean,

paint and decorate them. Sometimes these projects are called “streetscaping” For larger communities,

the Kansas Department of Commerce conducts a Main Street Program which can provide many ideas

for smaller cities without utilizing the full program.

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Respondents to the 2005 Comprehensive Plan Survey responded to the question of what types of

growth should be encouraged to include downtown. When asked what changes in the community over

the last 5 years that were a concern, a popular answer was the loss of downtown businesses and the

downtown in general. In the fall of 2004, the only store fronts open were a grocery store and a small

pizza restaurant.

Some cities have organized groups of CBD business persons to promote events, displays,

improvements and group advertising. Vacant sites or buildings have been used for special displays or

activities. K.S.A. 12-1781 et seq, the Business Improvement District Act, has been used for design

plans, beautification projects, parking, utilities, sidewalks, street improvements, etc. Annual fees can

be collected for decorations, clean-ups and promoting special events. Some CBD groups have

conducted surveys of their trade area to determine needs and desires of potential customers. Such

information has been used to improve merchandising policies, store hours and group training for sales

clerks.

There is space for continued expansion of commercial opportunities along the North side of Main

Street between 4 th and 5 th Street. So called heavy commercial could best find more space along the

North side of K-254 at Ohio Street. The potential area can be large to accommodate trucks and

parking and access for vehicles. There is also space for expansion. Fencing and/or landscaping to the

rear or front as needed of all businesses would provide privacy and maintain the viability of the

residences. Whenever possible, the Zoning Regulations should be used so that the businesses in the

CBD and on the highway supplement each other rather than unduly compete. The attractiveness of

this area is important to the overall image of the City.

Future commercial development should be encouraged to locate in the Central Business District

(CBD). The CBD area designated in Figure 8-C does not include much space beyond the existing CBD,

because it appears that internal development, rather than perimeter growth, should be emphasized.

In other words, efforts should first be made to fill vacant commercial buildings and lots in the existing

CBD before expanding the CBD area. As expansion becomes needed, commercial development could

be extended further east along Main Street.

Industrial

Towanda currently has two areas zoned specifically for industrial uses. The first is at the location

of Main Street and SW 15 th (Old Kechi Road) where Dustrol is currently located. The other small

industrial area is owned by the railroad and located south of the railroad between Fourth and Sixth

Streets. This area has good railroad access, but because of its location near residential areas on the

south edge of town with a prevailing southerly wind, no industrial uses should be located there.

All of these areas are relatively small, i.e., about five acres each and, therefore, could

accommodate only very limited industries. Towanda is limited on areas suitable for industrial uses. In

order to accommodate industries or possibly even an industrial park, the area located at K-254 and

Ohio Street to the north side of K-254 Highway should be reserved as a potential industrial growth

area.

Industrial sites must be carefully platted to provide for flexibility and long-range development. It

is often difficult for private ownership to hold land long enough for such long-term development and,

thus, purchase or option by the City or an industrial development corporation is warranted. While

federal funds have been available in the past to construct industrial parks, they are much harder to

obtain now if available at all. Such money is usually not available for land purchase. Community

Development Block Grant funds may be considered for infrastructure when jobs are foreseeable from

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -

8-8


a serious industrial prospect. A study in 1974 showed that communities with industrial parks acquired

twice as many jobs than did those without them.

When adjacent to residential uses, landscaping and/or fencing as types of screening of industrial

and some commercial uses enhances the visual quality of the community. Screening as a form of

separating incompatible uses in close proximity to one another can be effectively applied by the use of

zoning and subdivision regulations.

Future Land Use Outside the City

That part of the Planning Area outside the City should continue to be used mainly for agricultural

purposes except as described above for industrial uses not otherwise annexed to the City. Urban

types of development should be encouraged close to the City, but discouraged in the outer area for

they affect the productivity and amenities of the rural area. Preservation of desirable farmland is

significant to the long-range economic viability of the Area. When managed properly, soil is a

reusable resource and the most important natural resource of the Area. The supply of food and fiber

will be a continuing and rising need in world markets and agriculture should be view as the “highest

and best use” for the land around the City. The technical resources of the Butler County Conservation

District, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S.D.A. Cooperative Extension

Service can be called upon to suggest agricultural development practices compatible with the land,

water and other natural resources available.

Continuing efforts should be made to also preserve “open space” areas such as woodlands, shelter

belts and areas along the creeks and especially in the floodplains. Many environmental benefits are

gained for both the rural and urban areas by retaining such areas in their natural state. These include

maintaining natural drainage ways, recycling water underground, providing buffer areas between land

uses, reducing soil erosion, improving air quality and preserving wildlife and natural vegetation.

Again, the technical resources of the Conservation District, the Conservation Service and the Extension

Service may be called upon to suggest appropriate land development practices.

If continued demand for non-farm housing is experienced in the rural area and for some reason

cannot be accommodated in or adjacent to the City, scattered lots should be discouraged and platted

areas established such as laid out to the west of the Urban Area along highway K-254. They should be

on good road access, where soil conditions favor on-site sewage disposal, have rural water available

and avoid poor drainage and flood hazard areas.

There are other nonresidential uses which are normally expected to develop in selected locations

in rural areas. Such uses range from churches and cemeteries to utility substations and natural

resource quarries.

8-9

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Chapter 9 9-1

TRANSPORTATION

TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

The development of an urban area is dependent to a large degree upon the ability of its

transportation system to move people and commodities. This is no less true of a rural area except the

modes of transportation are more limited. In a transportation plan element, emphasis should be

placed upon the development of the total transportation system and consideration should be given to

all economically feasible modes of transport. The relationships of transportation planning to the

planning area’s land use patterns and community facilities should also be recognized. The efficient

use of energy and long-term maintenance must be considered in the selection of transportation

alternatives.

ROADS AND STREETS

While Towanda’s street system is the major concern of this chapter, the importance of those roads

outside the City should be considered. They serve to interconnect the City with its surrounding rural

area and other population centers and thereby greatly affecting it and its residents both economically

and socially.

A larger perspective of the highway system is illustrated in Figure 9-A showing State Highway K-

254 as the major east-west route connecting Towanda east to El Dorado and west to Benton. The K-

254 Highway connects the city to Wichita and Sedgwick County. It is maintained by the state in good

condition. RS 1769 serves as Main Street in Towanda and SW 20th, a County road that runs east from

the SE corner of Towanda to RS 77 (Haverhill Road) in El Dorado.

RS 75 (River Valley Road) is an north-south road that crosses K-254 Highway just to the west

edge of the City. It is paved north of K-254 and graveled south of K-254 and is the access road to the

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


Towanda City Park and Swimming Pool as well as the City Wastewater Lagoon. River Valley Road

extends in directions both north and south out of the County. The gravel portion of River Valley Road

bordering the City is maintained by Towanda Township. The paved portion north of the highway is in

good shape and maintained by the County. Hunter Road is aligned along the east edge of the Sun

View Heights and Timber Point subdivisions and is only paved south of K-254 to RS 1769 (Old State

Highway 254).

The City has good access in all directions on these roads. Towanda Township maintains the rural

area, gravel section and some half-section line roads. Butler County does not have a County Unit Road

System which would construct and maintain all County and former township roads in the

unincorporated area.

City Streets

The existing street system in the City as currently laid out consists of approximately 8 miles of

hard surfaced roadways maintained by the City and approximately 8 miles of gravel roads maintained

by the City and township. The townships maintain the gravel roads within their jurisdiction and the

County maintains the hard surfaced roads outside the city limits.

The City’s streets range in materials from gravel to pavement with curbing in newer additions. The

condition of the streets range from poor in most areas to good in the newer subdivisions. Due to the

lack of curb and gutter throughout much of the town, there is almost always some erosion at the

edges. Some streets not only have erosion at the edges but chuckholes and cracks in the traffic lanes.

Most predominant are poor streets. This is further substantiated by the respondents in the

Community Questionnaire. When asked an open question of what the “Most important issues

Towanda is facing today” was, among the most popular response were streets. When asked again an

open question of: “What changes in the community over the last 5 years that are a concern”, again

among the most popular answer was streets. When asked what the “Maintance of City Streets”

satisfaction was, the most popular answer was poor to very poor. Streets were listed among the most

popular answers from the question asked of “What is the most important services for the City to

provide.” A final open ended question was asked regarding if they had a certain amount of extra

money to spend, what would the suggestion be. The overwhelming popular vote was streets. As a

general rule, it costs more to maintain unpaved roads than it does paved roads, but financing is

necessary to build the road to maintainable standards in the beginning. In view of the costs for

paving materials, some cities have issued city-at-large bonds for overlaying streets. Costs are less

when several streets can be completed at one time.

A new Street Naming and Property Numbering System was established by the County in

conjunction with an Enhanced 911 Emergency System. For purposes of this Plan document references

are made to the new designations.

The City was originally platted with a gridiron street system with relatively short 300’ blocks. The

gridiron system generally creates a more dangerous traffic pattern in comparison to more modern

design features, e.g., T-intersections, cul-de-sacs, curvilinear streets and longer blocks. T-

intersections create three conflict points for intersecting traffic while 4-way intersections have 16 and,

thus, are as much as 50% more accident prone. There are traffic design methods called “calming”

which are used to improve the safety of such gridiron streets. The use of modern designs in future

subdivisions should be encouraged. As a policy, it would be most desirable to require new subdivisions

to pave the streets initially so that construction costs can be more comparable to current housing

costs rather than built later at costs which have escalated. Costs can also be put into 30 to 40 year

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mortgages rather than City bonds which are often let for 10 to 20 year periods. A program for curb

and gutter on existing streets should also be considered.

FUNCTIONAL STREET CLASSIFICATIONS

There are three main categories in a functional urban street system: Arterial, Collector and Local

streets. In such a system, each type of street serves a different purpose, which requires different

design and right of way widths. To avoid over design and cost, the street is related to the amount

and type of usage expected. Such a system directs traffic to where it can best be served and reduces

through traffic in residential areas. The rights of way standards described below provide space not

only for the paved street area, but also for limited parking, curbs, sidewalks, utilities, signs and

planting strips. These standards are reflected in the City extraterritorial Subdivision Regulations.

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Arterial streets serve major movements of traffic through and within an urbanized area. They serve as the area’s primary links

to the state and federal highway system. It is necessary that they be planned with a wide right of way. A desirable standard

being 80’ to 120’, with a roadway of 24’to 40’. The wider ROW is needed if substantial on-street parking is desired,

considerable truck or larger automobile volumes are expected, and if drainage problems are encountered. Main and Fifth

Streets each have right of way widths of 100’ throughout most of the City. As part of the original town plat as illustrated in

Figure 2-A, most of the rights of way are 60 to 66’ with the newer plats as 60’.

Collector streets collect traffic from a number of local streets and channel it to the arterial streets. They serve to connect

neighborhoods and to provide access to facilities such as schools, parks and shopping areas. A desirable standard for collectors

would be a 70’ to 80’ ROW with a 36’ to 40’ paved area to accommodate two 8’ parking areas and two 10’ - 12’ moving lanes.

Local streets are used to serve abutting properties, mainly in residential areas. Through traffic on them should be

discouraged and the use of loop streets, cul-de-sacs and T-intersections should be encouraged to provide safety and privacy to

the neighborhoods. A desirable standard for local streets would be a 60’ ROW with a 30’ paved area. This permits two moving

lanes with staggered 8’ parking. Narrower rights of way and pavements may be warranted for streets of short length, cul-desacs

and lower densities and where developers guarantee more off-street parking. Most of the streets, other than Main or Fifth,

have 66’ R.O.W’s. A few scattered streets have 50’ and 40’ R.O.W.’s.

The above standards are applicable to the urbanizing area in and around the City. They vary to

some extent with the amount of off-street parking required, storm water drainage problems

anticipated and utility easements needed. Various other standards may apply in the rural area

depending upon county, state or federal design criteria. In any event, the most important aspect of

planning for roads and streets is first obtaining adequate rights of way. Thus, the paving area can be

widened as needed. Rural roads can be converted to urban streets if foresight is used in the initial

design criteria.

Proposed Functional Street System – City

The City Functional Street System is delineated on Figure 8-C. The arterial system is identified in

the City as Main Street which is the east-west route that connects the City on the west side to K-254

and on the east side to RS 75 and K-254. Also Hunter Road from Main to K-254 is used as an arterial

to access K-254 from the mid section of town.

The Collector Street System is proposed as Sixth Street from Pine Ridge Manufactured Home Park

to Clay hill and Lyons from Main to 10th Street, Sixth from Pine Ridge MFH Park to Clayhill, North Fifth

from Main to North Street and Rainbow Drive from Hunter Road south into Timber point and Sun view

Heights Subdivisions.

Also serving the area are two R.S. routes. R.S. 1769, an arterial, extends east from the City and

provides another link with El Dorado. It also links the City with R.S. 74, which provides access to

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Augusta. The other route is R.S. 75, which connects Towanda with the northwestern part of the

County.

An arterial and collector system can be initiated by the appropriate placement of stop signs to

create a through street. Whenever possible, residential lots should side into arterial and collector

streets to reduce the number of driveway entrances as the fewer intersections with local streets the

better. As a priority, snow should be removed from the arterial-collector system first in order to

facilitate City-wide travel and provide access for emergency vehicles and school busses.

Streets not otherwise designated as arterials or collectors should be considered as “local” streets

primarily serving adjacent properties.

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Federal Functional Classification – Planning Area

In addition to the urban functional street system described above for the City, the entire Planning

Area is also part of a nationwide system for federally funding highways and streets. It was originally

operated as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). In 1998 the

program was operated as the Transportation Equity Act for the 21 st Century known as TEA-21. By

2005, it evolved into the Safe, accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for

Users or SAFETEA-LU. It involves a coordinated system of transportation planning at the city, county,

state and federal levels for five to ten year periods. The Federal Aid Secondary System (FAS) for city

and county roads is now designated as “RS” for “rural secondary.” Each city over 5,000 population is

required to submit a Functional Classification Map for an Urban Area Boundary if it desires to be

funded. Butler County is required to similarly submit such a map for all of the unincorporated area

plus cities of 5,000 and under which includes Towanda. Since 2000, however, the maps have been

generated by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

Final color maps are coordinated and drafted by the Bureau of Transportation of the Kansas

Department of Transportation (KDOT). After obtaining the local approval of the County Commissioners

and KDOT, the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation makes their

final determination. The map is reviewed periodically. The latest map for Butler County is dated 2006.

From this information, the transportation section of a city or county Capital Improvements Program

can be assembled. Given the anticipated growth, it is obviously important to the Towanda Planning

Area that such classifications be planned far in advance if matching funds are to be obtained in a

timely manner. The federal classification system being utilized is as follows:

• Interstate

• Other Freeways and Expressways (Urban)

• Other Principal Arterial

• Minor Arterial

• Collector (Urban) and Major Collector (Rural)

• Minor Collector (Rural)

The basic difference between the above categories is their relative emphasis on the functions of

traffic movement and providing access to abutting property. For example, the major function of

principal arterials such as K-254 is traffic movement, while the major function of lesser roads is to

provide access to residences and adjacent land. Various federal design standards would be applied to

each classification which would affect the amount of federal funding participation. The Rural

Secondary system has been shifting more responsibility and funding to the states and the counties.

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Roads in the Planning Area classified other than local roads by the County and the Federal Highway

Administration are as follows:

• K-254 - - Principal Arterial

• R.S. 74 - - Major Collector (Rural)

• R.S. 75 - - Major Collector (Rural)

• R.S. 2054 - - Major Collector (Rural)

• R.S. 1769 - - Major Collector (Rural)

The locations of these routes are shown in Figure 9A.

KDOT has initiated an Adopt a Highway Program and is contacts local organizations to help with

the program. Volunteer groups are assigned sections of a highway to remove litter and trash a

minimum of three times a year for two year periods. Roads at the entrance of the City would be a

prime objective.

PARKING

An efficient circulation system in a community involves an interrelated concern for parking. The

basic purpose of streets is to move traffic and secondly to park vehicles. A local street system utilizing

30’ pavement widths or less assumes periodic and staggered parking to insure adequate traffic flow

since it is not feasible to park two vehicles and have two other vehicles pass each other at the same

time. Main Street in the Central Business District is so wide that perpendicular parking on each side

and having two moving lanes is no problem. Streets with less right of way simply do not have enough

traffic volume to make it difficult to park on each side and pass through. The City of Towanda has no

official policies regarding actual street roadway widths as the paved streets vary considerably in

widths. Upon observation, it appears that most local streets are about 26’ in width.

Public facilities such as schools and parks where increased numbers of people congregate should

serve as examples in providing off-street parking areas as needed. Plans for adequate parking should

be part of the initial planning or the intensity of use of buildings. As typical of a Central Business

District, however, no off-street parking is required by the Zoning Regulations. The regulations do

require some off-street parking in all other areas of town, especially for commercial and industrial

zoning. Periodic parking has been a problem at times on narrow streets such as the first block of

South Fourth and on North Eighth Street. There may be other areas that continue to experience

problems with lack of adequate parking.

OTHER TRANSPORTATION METHODS

Railroads

A main line of the Union Pacific Railroad travels along the northeast side and edge of the City

entering the city limits after crossing Hunter Road and continues southwest along Lions and north 10 th

Street, crossing Main and continues along the south border of the City. Currently a train travels

through the City twice a day on a route between El Dorado and Wichita. This is the same rail line that

is depicted on the 1887 map of the City on Figure 2A. There are no businesses in the City that utilize

the freight shipping service at this time. KDOT maintains a railroad planning service.

The nearest passenger train service is available with Amtrak in Newton or Hutchinson.

Airport Service

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There are two public airports in Butler County. El Dorado Municipal and Augusta Municipal serve

general aviation requirements along with the privately owned Benton Airport. Towanda’s location

provides easy access to those airports.

9-6

The nearest airport providing passenger service is at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport which is

located about 26 miles to the west. Scheduled flights throughout the nation are available and it is also

a port of entry. A wide range of freight and other commercial services are available.

Truck and Bus Service.

There is no local taxi service or trucking company. Nationwide much more than half of

manufactured goods now travel by truck service. There are trucking companies in nearby cities to

serve Towanda as well as Interstate Carrier Service.

The General Public Transportation Program provides transportation especially to the elderly and

disabled plus all persons who desire such service on their routes in the County. The service is

operated by the Butler County Department of Aging and the Kansas Department of Transportation

from their distribution coordinator’s office in Augusta. They operate small buses and vans during the

day five days a week which are handicapped accessible. It is important to call in advance for trip

reservations. Reasonable fees are charged depending on the destination of the passenger.

Transportation is provided also into Wichita, but ridership is limited. The operation also receives

county, state and federal funds.

Transportation systems emerge over a period of time in various forms to meet current needs.

Some examples are large regional companies supplying vans to employees to transport other workers.

Some cities, churches or senior citizens groups operate volunteer taxi services and others organize car

pooling efforts. Of the means of transportation to work, 86 (13.1%) of residents carpooled in 2000.

Bicycles and Motorcycles:

A means of transportation which has considerable popularity throughout the country is bicycling.

In fact, more bicycles are sold now than automobiles in some production years. Physical exercise, no

air pollution and elimination of fuel costs are just a few of the advantages. It is an especially suitable

means for local transportation in cities such as Towanda because many facilities are within easy biking

distance. Most of the City’s streets are paved.

The importance of these advantages warrants the encouragement of increased bike use not simply

as a means for pleasure or exercise, but also as a bona fide method of getting from one place to

another. This can be encouraged by providing an adequate number of bike racks at schools, parks

and in the Central Business District.

There are no designated bike routes in the City. Upon further study there could be a need for a

bike route to access the City swimming pool located to the south part of the City. If the need arises,

federal monies have been made available for pedestrian/bike paths through SAFTEA-LU grants

administered by KDOT.

Motorcycles are sometimes thought of only as recreational vehicles, but increasingly more people

are discovering their advantages as vehicles for transportation and in farm work. The most obvious

advantage is that they can be purchased, operated and maintained at a significantly lower expense

than cars. They also require less fuel to operate and less space for parking. There are variations now

on types of motorcycles for specific functions and new kinds of electric vehicles suitable for short trips

in small cities.

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9-7

Pedestrian Circulation

The personal health and environmental advantages of walking as a mode of travel, coupled with

the fact that many points in town are within easy walking distance, suggest that this is an important

part of the City’s transportation system. The federal program, SAFTEA-LU, encourages walking as a

means of transportation and as a nationwide effort promoting walking as a health habit to reduce the

obesity problem wherein two thirds of Americans are overweight and one third considered obese.

According to the 2000 Census, 3.3% (22) of the workers in Towanda walked to their place of

employment and 22 had home occupations. Students living in the city limits are not bussed to school,

so the opportunity to walk or bike should be encouraged.

Towanda underwent a sidewalk project in the early 2000’s. New sidewalk and handicap access

was constructed between 2 nd and 6 th Street on the north side of Main, between 3 rd and 8 th Street on

the south side of Main, on 6 th Street between Main and Highland, and on North Street from 6 th to 5 th

Street. Sidewalk do exist in selected other areas, but there is no contiguous system through the City.

Many of the other sidewalks are now old and need replacement or maintenance. Sidewalks, however,

are lacking completely in the newer neighborhoods. The City does not pay for the replacement and

maintenance of sidewalks. Any sidewalk removal must be authorized by the Governing Body. A

program for the installation or repair of sidewalks should be developed after an assessment of their

present condition, including the need of handicap ramps, is done.

As a minimum goal for the City, sidewalks should be provided to and from all public facilities where

people may congregate. A sidewalk may prove beneficial to aid pedestrians in route to the local

swimming pool. Consideration should also be given to requiring sidewalks in future subdivisions. The

most economical way to install or replace sidewalks is in conjunction with future street paving or

construction projects.

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Chapter 10 10-1

Towanda Oil Field looking North on Shriver Farm

UTILITIES AND STORM WATER SYSTEM

Integral to a transportation system’s ability to connect various land uses and promote future

development is an accompanying system of utilities. As streets and roads are constructed or

improved, desirably utility lines are planned and installed simultaneously. Long-term planning for

utilities is crucial to meet changing environmental standards and quantitative needs. Sufficient space

for construction in utility and drainage easements or within street rights of way should be carefully

planned. Policies on the placement of structures, fences and vegetation in utility and drainage

easements should be adopted.

Additionally, accurate records and mapping of existing and newly installed utilities plus policies for

their installation and maintenance are important. Towanda started computer mapping of its water

and sewer systems several years ago and last updated its water and sewer systems maps April 2007.

Detailed maps are on file with the Zoning Administrator which has been prepared by Goedecke

Engineering Company of El Dorado.

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Without long-term planning of the existing and future utility system in a community, over time

certain utilities may limit growth as well as become a financial burden. As street rights of way

become narrower and lot sizes decrease in modern developments, there is growing public awareness

of the visual impact and sometimes noise made by utility equipment. Screening of such equipment

and service areas and increased installation of electric, telephone and TV cable lines underground will

reduce complaints and maintenance.

WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM

An adequate water supply in conjunction with other systems which constitute the “infrastructure”

of a city are the essential elements that undergird urban development. Of these systems, water supply

would be considered primary. Not only is a supply obviously important as a life sustaining factor, but

the potential for a long-range supply is significant to those who look to the community for long-term

investments.

In the mid 1800’s, the town of Towanda relied on the local spring for its water source. The spring

continued as the water source for the City until during the oil boom when the water became

contaminated. In 1917 the City water system consisted of water pumps. The City continued pumping

water from wells as their water source for many years. The 1977-1995 Comprehensive Plan reported

that the City’s existing water supply was provided by five deep wells located near the Whitewater

River which was treated by chlorination. Storage was provided by one elevated tank located just

outside the City’s western boundary with the capacity of 50,000 gallons. It was not until the early

1980’s that Towanda connected with Rural Water District # 5 and abandoned the wells. Rural Water

District # 5 obtains the water from El Dorado.

Of those persons responding to the Comprehensive Plan Survey, when asked what changes in the

Community over the last 5 years that are a concern, water was among the top answers. It was also

a top answer to the question of what the most important issues Towanda is facing today. City Water

Satisfaction was rated as good. The most concern comes from the cost of the water for the citizens.

As mentioned in Chapter 7, Physical Development Influences, Towanda receives water from Rural

Water District # 5. The current water capacity available from the Rural Water District serves the City

adequately at this time. Towanda distributes the water to residents thru City owned lines. From the

300,000 gallon water tower, the water arrives to the City via 8” and 12” lines. The 8” line travels to

the east and north and feeds the east side of town. The 12” line travels west and feeds the south and

west portions of the City. From there it breaks down to a 10” line and feeds the west part of town

and travels to the south to cover the Pine Ridge Manufactured Home Park. The remainder of the City

is served by an 8” main that runs thru mid town to High Street and all other mains feed from this line

breaking down further into 6”, 4” and 2” lines.

The 8” line stops short of downtown by 1 ½ blocks and needs to be tied into the downtown area.

Water service for the downtown area needs upgraded. The City needs a trunk line of 8” or 10” located

at North 5 th or North 4 th Street to tie in the downtown area. There are areas that also need fire

hydrants or upgrades. Some areas lacking fire hydrants include the corner of South Third and

Mechanic and/or South Third and Cincinnati. The land recently annexed by the city at K-254 and Ohio

Street currently does not have a City water supply. Other conditions will need to be considered in

order to provide service to this area. Currently the present estimated 580 water connections use

between 95,000 to 125,000 gallons of water per day or 3,030,000 per month. . Rural Water District

# 5 currently allows the City up to approximately 5,000,000 gallons per month for service.

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SEWER SYSTEM

10-3

The first public sewer system in Towanda was built in 1917 and consisted of a system of collection

lines which dumped into the Whitewater River. In 1953 the State Board of Health set a time schedule

of two years for the heavily polluted Walnut River and its tributaries to be cleaned up. Plans called for

construction of sewage plants at Arkansas City, Douglass and Towanda. The estimate of cost for the

proposed Towanda plant at the time was between $45,000 and $50,000. During this time, the

Towanda Council had concerns with Cities Service and other major independent refiners dumping

brine and other waste into the Whitewater and other streams in the area as well.

In 1955 the City constructed a sewage treatment plan which was located immediately southwest

of the City. Treatment was provided by an Imhoff tank, trickling filter, final settling basin and sludge

drying beds. In the Comprehensive Development Plan: 1977-1995 it was reported that the system

was not sufficient at that time to meet the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency. Plans

were made to upgrade the system.

Upgrades of the system were proposed as to eliminate the Imhoff tank and trickling filter system

and replace them with an oxidation ditch. This system was to serve a population equivalent (P.E.) of

1,717. In 1977 the City upgraded the sewer treatment plant as an extended aeration activated sludge

plant. The wastewater flow was transported from the City collection system to a main pump station

located at the treatment facility. The main pump station then lifted the wastewater into the

wastewater treatment facility. The wastewater treatment facility discharged its flow indirectly into the

Whitewater River. It required large amounts of attention from the maintenance department.

In 2007, with concerns for the mechanical system, the City accepted a bid for $1,094,000 for the

construction of a new lagoon system called the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The system was

constructed in 2007 - 2008 and went online in early 2008. The lagoons cover 19 acres. At this time

there are no lift stations. If the City expands to the south, the existing system could handle it. If the

City expands to the west, north or east there will need to be at least one lift station constructed.

The projected average daily flow from the service area’s population is based upon an assumed

average daily flow generation rate of 100 gallons per person per day. This plant is designed to have

an average daily capacity of 0.256 mgd. This should provide adequate capacity for the next 20 years

if current projections are accurate. The plant is designed to discharge water that meets or exceeds

the current permit’s required standards so that it can easily meet more stringent permit requirements

in the future.

The Wastewater Treatment Facility consists of influent pumping, lagoons and outfall. These

processes work together to treat the influent wastewater to the requirements of the National Pollution

Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The systems operate as influent is pumped to the

main splitter box of the treatment facility from a main pump station. The main pump station handles

the flow from the entire plant service area. The Wastewater Treatment Facility consists of 3 cells of

lagoons. These lagoons may be operated in parallel or series in order to achieve the required 120 day

detention time. There is a single outfall line which discharges into an unnamed tributary of the

Whitewater River which is a part of the Walnut River Basin.

ELECTRIC, GAS, INTERNET AND TELEPHONE SERVICE

Kansas Westar provides electric service to the City and some of the surrounding Planning Area. A

local agent services the area. The headquarters are located in Topeka with a customer service office

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in Wichita. Other areas of the Planning Area are serviced by Butler Rural Electric Cooperative which

has offices in El Dorado.

Kansas Gas Service provides natural gas to the Urban Area. Most of the Planning Area depends on

independent propane companies for their supply of propane for heating. The Kansas Gas Service has

a listing in the local phone directory and is available on the internet.

Local telephone service is available thru AT&T Inc. They provide communication service, high

speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice and wireless telephone services. Cable telephone

service is available thru Cox Communications with cable service. There are many independent phone

companies that provide service in the area also which include: Sage Telecom. Wireless telephone

service is available in the area. There are several carriers that serve the area.

Cable and high speed internet services in the City are available from Cox Communications with

local offices in El Dorado and Wichita. Internet service is also available from the telephone carriers

and many other companies.

It is not within the scope of this Plan to analyze such private companies or make recommendations

regarding their future operations. Developers of specific future projects should consult with each of

these companies in order to insure that adequate service is available. Such companies normally

maintain a continuing short and long-range facility planning program. All of the above companies

maintain “800” phone numbers and internet sites for all service contacts.

STORM WATER SYSTEM

According to the Comprehensive Plan Survey, citizens rated Towanda’s storm water drainage as

good to fair. The older sections of town are drained of storm water runoff by ditches and culvert pipes

adjacent to the roads. The newer areas of town which include Timber Point and Sun View Heights

Addition as well as the downtown area are designed and constructed with curb and gutter section

roads with storm sewer inlets and pipes for drainage.

Storm water runoff occurs when soil, with its vegetative cover or man-made features, is unable to

hold rain water through the actions of detention, infiltration and percolation. Problem areas which

flood due to storm water affect the type of development, create traffic safety problems, limit the

growth of vegetation and create blighting conditions and inconvenience. The natural drainage pattern

of the urban area is to the southwest. Problems with drainage occur due to several reasons. When

streets have a higher elevation than residential lots, drainage creates problems for homeowners.

Homeowners can have a proactive response by not dumping or allowing an accumulation of yard

debris, trash or litter to accumulate in the ditches and drainage pipes. A routine maintenance

program in cleaning ditches and replacing broken, bent end culverts would also aid in the remedy of

drainage problems in the city. When water ponds at intersections and low places in streets, travel

becomes inconvenient and potential safety hazards are created. Curbing and gutter would aid in

maintaining the water flow and channel the storm water more efficiently than the current open

ditches and drainage.

All new subdivisions should be required to provide proper storm drainage and, if at all possible, to

allow zero increase of runoff water after development. Along with a zero runoff policy is the concept

of a back yard drainage plan. This establishes the finished grade to the rear property lines at the time

of platting to ensure drainage. This is known as the four-corner lot drainage plan and is designed for

each lot in a subdivision. Such policies can be adopted in the City Subdivision Regulations.

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Solutions to this problem are more in the area of engineering and beyond the scope of this Plan. It

is recommended that a master drainage plan be engineered to make maximum use of natural

drainage basins, as this can be a cost-saving benefit in the long-run. Such a plan can provide overall

guidelines for individual subdivisions to tie their drainage into a system. This avoids simply dumping

the problem onto the next land until a costly pending problem is created. No one likes to pay for

storm drainage as long as the solution is on someone else’s land.

After a five-year study ending in 1983 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the

Nationwide Urban Runoff Program concluded that heavy metals, coli form bacteria and suspended

solids from urban storm water runoff all posed a significant threat to aquatic life and the usability of

the nation’s surface water resources. As a result, the Clean Water Act was amended in 1987 to

initiate certain permit requirements in cities under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

(NPDES). While cities the size of Towanda have been exempted, it nevertheless points to the need to

be concerned about the quality and quantity of pollutants on the ground where rainstorms wash them

into creeks and ground water aquifers. Land uses such as salvage yards and large trucking

concentrations necessitate containment efforts, but the daily accumulation of small particles such as

oil, the wear of tires, chemicals, leaves, grass clippings, litter, construction debris, animal droppings,

paving disintegration, deicing compounds and sand all contribute to storm water pollution. Regular

street cleaning service can be a part of the effort to reduce such pollution.

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Chapter 11 11-1

Towanda Community Building Tin Ceiling

COMMUNITY FACILITIES

Although private enterprise and institutions provide many of the services and facilities for a

community, there are others that are identified as being supported and administered by public funds.

The extent to which such facilities are available often reflects the quality of life that may be

anticipated. Not too many decades ago, government provided only the basic necessities for health

and safety. Today, there is an increase in the demand for community facilities, particularly those

relating to health, education and leisure time activities. This often makes the difference as to the type

and age of people and the quality of the economic development which is attracted to a community.

A significant part of planning for the location of community facilities is determining the relationship

of service areas to land use, streets and developmental influences. There are optimum locations for

each facility to maximize their efficiency and economy in serving the public. It is very important to

not only plan ahead for their location, but to acquire sites in advance of need that may otherwise be

preempted for other purposes. Subdivision plats and rezoning applications should be reviewed in light

of the need for land acquisitions appropriate for public facilities. The scarcity of resources and the

need to properly control environmental pollutants is placing even more emphasis upon long-range

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planning for community facilities. Because of the increasing cost to build facilities, more importance is

being placed on good maintenance programs.

This chapter evaluates the adequacy and projected needs of community facilities and services

through the Planning Period to 2013 that are or may be supported by public or quasi-public funds in

the Towanda Planning Area. The Future Land Use and Functional Street System map, Figure 8-C,

shows a delineation of land for public and semi-public facilities. The forecast suggests that most

facilities will be adequate to meet community needs through the Planning Period.

CITY HALL

Looking into the history documented for the City of Towanda, the earlier Towanda City Council

met in various locations including the Towanda Garage, Mason Hall, Fire Station, Towanda State Bank

and other private businesses through out the years. On June 8 th , 1948, the City Council voted to build

a Council Room of cement block for $875 on the back end of the Fire Station located on Main Street.

It was 16 ½ ’ by 12’ and 12’ high. It had 2 doors, one window and was lined with fiberboard. On July

5, 1948 the first council meeting was held in the new Council Room. It was reported in the

Comprehensive Development Plan 1977-1995 that the Towanda Municipal Building was at 314 Main in

an old commercial building which was constructed about 1900. It housed both the City Hall and the

Police Department. The current City Hall is located at 110 South Third Street in a metal building

adjoining the Fire Station. The building was built around 1979. The offices of the City Administrator,

Utilities, Court Clerk, Treasurer and Zoning Administrator are located there as well as a Council Room

and 2 restrooms. The office area is an open area except for the City Administrators office. Security

from the public area is limited with a glass sliding window, open during business hours and a hollow

door. There may be a need for improved security in the future. There is no kitchen/break room facility

or records storage. There is a room used as general storage with some temporary shelving used as

general storage. At this time records storage is located in the basement of the Community Building.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

In February of 2009 the Governing Body of the City of Towanda unanimously voted to enter into

discussions with the County to provide law enforcement within the City’s corporate boundaries. This

decision envisioned providing the City with increased coverage and some potential cost savings. The

Police Department building has 800 square feet of office space at the location at 114 N. 3 rd . There

are no detention facilities or enclosed parking at this location. Prisoners are taken to El Dorado for

detention at the Butler County Jail. A 911 emergency system is used through Butler County

Communication. Funding for the Department comes from the City budget.

FIRE PROTECTION

The Towanda Fire and Rescue Department operates from a facility of 3,168 s.f. that is located at

130 South 3 rd , attached to City Hall. The metal frame structure was built in 1978. The department has

outgrown this building. The current facility has 6 relatively narrow bays with 8’-10’ wide doors which

were built for smaller trucks leaving very little storage for spare equipment and training supplies. The

Department has 9 pieces of apparatus. The facility has a small training room, one small office, one

less than standard small restroom lacking shower and locker facilities, and difficult parking. There is a

short apron in front of the fire station and with narrow doors makes it difficult to maneuver the large

trucks. Diagonal parking in front of City hall creates a bottleneck of the one lane traffic on the street

in front of the fire station. There is not adequate parking for the firefighters who respond to the

station. In mid 2008, there were fifteen volunteer firemen and the chief. In addition to service inside

the City, service is provided outside the City to Towanda Township and a south portion of Fairview

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Township. So far in 2008 from January to August, the Department had made 49 runs in the City and

96 runs outside. The 911 emergency system of Butler County is used to receive fire emergency calls.

The station is in need of repairs and replacement. There is little room to perform maintenance in the

building because the trucks are so close together. The equipment is maintained and some in need of

replacement. Some of the vehicles must be stored outside due to lack of parking space inside the

building. There is heat enough in the building just to keep the trucks stored there loaded with water

from freezing. There is no air-conditioning in the building. The building leaks and floods when it rains

or when the snow melts. The building is lacking a storm shelter or emergency backup power or heat.

In the near future these mentioned items at the least will need addressed for this department.

In 1978 the fire department responded to only fires. Since then, the fire service has begun

responding to medical calls, hazardous materials calls, including carbon monoxide, and rescue calls.

Seven fire fighting vehicles are available as noted below. By the commonly accepted standard, a fire

truck should be replaced after twenty years.

Fire Department Vehicles in Towanda

Year Type Tank Capacity Pump Capacity

1970 Pumper/Tanker 1500 200

1979 Tanker 3000 300

1979 Pickup 300 125

1997 Pickup 300 125

1997 Pickup 300 125

1988 Pumper 500 1500

2003 Pumper 1000 1250

The Department also has a 1984 model Suburban previously used for EMS now used for

miscellaneous duties. The Fire Department has concerns with the City water pressure as it is not

adequate for the suppression of fire. There are areas that lack fire hydrants and sufficient sized water

supply lines. More detailed information can be obtained from Chapter 10 Utilities and Storm Water

System.

The National Insurance Services Office (ISO) rates fire departments for a wide variety of factors

on a scale of 1 to 10 with one being the highest rating. The latest ISO inspection for the Department

was in 1995. The City’s rating was noted as 7 and the areas up to five miles outside the City were

rated at 9 and those over 5 miles were rate at 10. The ratings affect the fire insurance costs.

HEALTH SERVICES

There are no hospitals or nursing homes in Towanda. However, because of the City’s proximity to

both El Dorado and Wichita, a complete range of health facilities and services are within easy access.

Butler County Ambulance Department provides service for Towanda and the entire County. For

Towanda, they are based out of El Dorado. Emergency calls are made to the County 911 System.

MAINTENANCE SHOP

The Towanda Maintenance shop is located behind the City Hall. The metal building structure

provides 2,000 s.f. of covered space to store and maintain equipment. The heated building has office

space and five large garage door access bays. The driveway and lot is graveled. It lacked

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adequate space to store equipment out of the weather. In 2008 construction was started on an

addition with two overhead doors to the building for equipment storage leaving little or no space for

outside storage at this facility. During the planning period, consideration will needed for a new shop

and building at the former site of the sewer plant on Pool Road to centralize all equipment, materials

and storage for the maintenance department. With maintenance buildings covering most of the

available land at this location there is lacking outside storage, storage for fuel tanks, and adequate

parking. Currently with the new construction, the above ground fuel tanks have been removed to a

remote location.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

Proper refuse collection and disposal is important to the health of residents and appearance of the

City and Planning Area. Waste Connections of Wichita is a private operator providing weekly pick up

service to residential customers. Another private carrier provides services to the business customers.

A recycling service is available thru the Butler County Recycling Program which is a countywide effort

to provide recycling service to all residents. A recycling trailer is in Towanda on the second and fourth

Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. just west of the post office in the North 4 th Street

alley. A “no burn”: ordinance is in effect. A permit is required for any burning in the City and

surrounding area. This is obtained from Butler County Sheriff Non-Emergency Dispatch Office.

The Butler County Landfill is located southwest of El Dorado between Hopkins Switch to the west

and Boyer Road to the east. The landfill is a Subtitle B landfill with an accompanying permitted

Construction/Debris Landfill. No hazardous materials are permitted at the landfill with the exception of

household hazardous wastes that are collected on Saturdays or by appointment. The solid waste

landfill currently has a life expectancy of 56 years and a capacity of 4,696,774 cubic yards. The

construction landfill has a life expectancy of 3.5 years and a capacity of 98,000 cubic yards with room

for expansion.

There is a growing awareness by consumers and manufacturers as to the ecological importance of

recycling and there are particular concerns about the quantity of materials which shortens the life of

landfills. The average American generates 0.81 tons of garbage per year. National polls increasingly

show that U.S. consumers rate trash as the No. 1 environmental problem and 77% think household

recycling is the solution. In actuality, according to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection

Agency, consumer trash represents less than one percent of the total solid waste produced and

commercial waste is even less. Industrial non-hazardous, oil and gas and mining waste account for

92% and hazardous waste about 6%. Nationwide, curbside recycling programs have not been found

to be cost effective. Volunteer paper drives, buy backs and convenient drop off centers are far less

costly.

More attention is being given to recycling grass clippings and wood since they constitute a

substantial amount of consumer trash. Local composting programs are being conducted by a large

number of cities across the country. It can reduce solid waste management costs and provide a

natural way to improve the environment net. Composted material is used in parks and often made

available free to homeowners. A local composting program might be considered for which there are

state grants to purchase equipment.

Currently Towanda maintains a site to the south of the City Park and Swimming Pool for residents

to dump grass clipping into a large bin and limbs are dumped onto the ground for the City to burn.

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11-5

LIBRARY

The GWFC Nokomis Club started the Towanda Public Library as the Towanda Library on December

19, 1936 in Sutcliffe Drug Store. It was only open on Saturday mornings, and such things as fudge

and the like were sold to help keep things going. It was moved around four or five times until moving

into the present dedicated building in October of 1987 with the dedication being on December 14,

1987. The library is a 3,000 square foot building located at 620 Highland just three short blocks north

of Sixth and Main streets. It is currently open four days a week.

Special services include the Summer Reading Program which starts in mid May, Summer Story

Hour which is in June and the library hosts special events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and the Annual

Ice Cream Social and Fundraiser which is in July.

The Library is operated by a 7 member board appointed by the Mayor. The City supported the

Library with a 4.184 mill levy in 2008. In 2008 the library had three staff members, the library

Director, Assistant Librarian and Story Time Director. The library receives additional funding from the

South Central Kansas Library System and the State of Kansas in the form of yearly grants. Other

grants can be applied for special activities and must meet certain guidelines. The library obtains

additional funds from Friends of the Library and Board Member fundraising, memorials, donations,

fees and fines.

Current needs of the library include: a circulation desk area, automation and renovation of an

office/work space. The interior of the building is in need of carpet, interior painting and repairs to the

cracked cement floor. Future needs to help expand children’s programming would include an addition

to the library of a children’s all purpose room with a small kitchen that could be used also during

library hosted community events.

MUSEUM

The Towanda Historical Museum is located at 401 Main downtown. The museum was established in

1999. It is housed in the historic Masonic Lodge Building, which was constructed in 1904. The

Museum Board oversees the museum’s operations. Those who dedicate their time to the museum do

so as volunteers. Operations are financed through donations and membership fund raising activities

and a budget from the City. Display items are focused on pioneer relics, collections from early settlers,

special collections from other museums, and over 400 unique Towanda related photographs available

for copy. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

Especially important for smaller communities, local history provides a sense of place for current

and future generations. Seeking grant opportunities to fund needed improvements should be an ongoing

challenge for the museum. The museum is limited at its current location on space for any

expansion.

COMMUNITY BUILDING

The building was rich in history, but sat unoccupied at 315 Main Street. The tin ceiling, wide doors,

brick walls and wooden floors were in need of cleaning and care. Towanda PRIDE members saw

through the clutter, and had a vision of a community building. The project was started in 1995 and it

was finally open to the public in May of 2004. After many years of fundraising, polishing, cleaning,

repairs and creative investment, the building is a premiere community center. The Community

Building Committee relied on citizens to make the project possible, including collecting over 33,000

crushed aluminum cans to raise funds! The facility will accommodate up to 125 people and features a

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stained glass “Giving Tree” that recognizes givers with recognition leaves. The renovating of the

facility was also an act of historic preservation, with the original ceiling, walls and façade retained.

The kitchen had to be completely redone and many families, citizens and organizations contributed to

a “kitchen shower” to equip the kitchen. The Towanda Community Building is not just a building; it’s

a labor of love that is the heart of the community.

On June 7 th 2008 the building was dedicated to Wilbur Weins, a Towanda citizen who from the

beginning worked tirelessly on the building. He was always there for years either working or

overseeing a crew working on the building. It is said he was the drive that made it happen as he

wanted the building for Towanda. The building was renamed at the dedication the Wilbur Weins

Community Building.

Support for the operation and maintenance of the building comes from the City general fund,

donations and rental fees. The availability of this building is significant to the City and the Planning

Area for use of weddings, reunions, dinners and celebrations. Since most events are held on evenings

and weekends, there is adequate parking in the downtown area to serve the building at this time. The

building should serve the community well during the planning period.

SENIOR CENTER

The Towanda Senior Center is located at 317 Main Street just east of the Community Building. The

seniors have a “pot luck” dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. They also enjoy card

playing, and games.

Funding comes from the City, fundraisers, donations, renting the facility and Butler County

Department of the Aging. The Center is a real asset to the senior citizens of the community and is in

need of some expansion at the current time. With an increase in the aging population further

expansion will be needed to accommodate increased numbers. There is limited space for expansion at

the rear of the building.

CEMETERY

The Towanda Township Cemetery is located in the North part of the City off of Clay Hill Road. The

original part of the cemetery is just over four acres and the second addition is around five acres in

size. The City performs the opening and closing of burial plots for the Township. Citizens of the City

and the Township are accessed a mill levy to offset the cost of operation and maintenance. There is

plenty of room still for burial plots in the existing section which should not prove to be a problem of

space during the Planning Period.

EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES

Unified School District 375 is based in Towanda and serves the towns of Towanda, Benton,

Greenwich, Township Village in El Dorado and northeastern Wichita. The Circle School District

encompasses 175 square miles of western Butler County and northeast Sedgwick County. The total

district enrollment is 1,606 students. The District is governed by a seven-member Board of Education.

Towanda Elementary, Oil Hill Elementary and Benton Elementary School serve grades K-3,

Towanda Intermediate serves the District for 4-6 th grade, Circle Middle School is located in Benton and

serves the 7-8 th grade, and Circle High School is located in Towanda near the center of the District

and serves 9-12 th grade.

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The capacity of the school facilities will meet education needs relative to population during the

Planning Period. Education and its associated activities within the District are critical to viability of the

region. There is a need for sidewalks and handicap access to the high school from the Timber Point

and Sun View Heights subdivisions.

PARKS AND RECREATION

Park and recreation areas provide space for active and passive recreational opportunities for all

age groups and have long been associated with the physical, emotional, cultural, social, educational

and economic well-being of individuals and communities. It is a service provided at all levels of

government and is today considered to be more of a necessity than a luxury.

The Towanda City Park is located in the southwest portion of the City on Pool Road. It occupies

about ten acres and includes lighted ball fields, swimming pool, and picnic shelter house and

playground equipment. A major disadvantage of the existing park is its location away from the main

part of town and completely opposite from the primary residential growth area. Currently the only

access on foot is a gravel road. A significant improvement to the park access would be a bike or

walking path to the park to aide in the safe arrival of children to the park.

Norman Park is located on Highland Street and runs from North Fifth Street to North Sixth Street.

It contains the library, a large playground, picnic area and a gazebo.

In addition to these parks, various local recreational facilities belonging to Unified School District

375 are also available for public use, including a ball field and playground at the elementary school

and tennis courts and football field at Circle High.

The Towanda Department of Parks and Recreation was created in July 1988 dissolving the

previous City of Towanda Park Board and Recreation System. The Parks and Recreation Board can

consist of up to 7 members and is under the control of the Governing Body. Funding includes a

budget from the general fund, fundraising, donations and concessions.

Current recommendations for the amount of park area relative to a community’s population have

trended upward with some sources noting 15 to 20 acres per 1,000 persons. At these standards the

City may have need for additional park land in the future. What may be more critical for small

communities is the level of service provided by the park facilities available to residents. School

recreational facilities supplement the City park facilities. Are parks well maintained Is play equipment

safe Are facilities and structures kept in good repair These are issues to be routinely considered in

meeting the level of service expected by the community.

Noted in the Comprehensive Development Plan: 1977-1995 was the need for a neighborhood park

in or near the Central Business District. Since that plan was written, the Norman Park on Highland was

created.

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Chapter 12 12-1

Towanda Kansas Williams Lease

PLAN I MPLEMENTATI ON

A comprehensive development plan when properly implemented can become a strong motivating

force to guide policy making decisions in both the public and private sector. The merits of the

proposals within the plan itself can become a means of encouragement and provide ideas toward the

accomplishments of the planning goals. Using a plan as a tool of leadership is often an effective

method to achieve results. A plan is only a plan, however, unless it is implemented by some effective

means which of necessity involves a conscious effort. Methods are provided in this chapter for

implementing this Towanda Comprehensive Development Plan by governmental and administrative

policies, community involvement, adoption of regulations and codes; grant programs,

intergovernmental cooperation, annexations, leadership and economic development efforts, capital

improvement programming, city administration and other techniques.

After a public hearing and adoption of this Plan document by the Towanda City Planning

Commission and approval of the Towanda City Council by ordinance, it should be further studied in

detail to determine the best methods for implementing the goals and proposals. Probably the most

important ingredient of all the methods is the kind of working relationship which is established

between governmental agencies, private organizations, potential developers and citizens to achieve a

desired community effort. Determining who is to carry out specific proposals is also extremely

important because in community-wide endeavors, “everybody’s business” can easily become

“nobody’s business” and nothing gets accomplished. The organizational and leadership effort involved

becomes the key to successful implementation of the Plan.

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12-2

PLANNING COMMISSION

The Towanda City Planning Commission was originally created by Ordinance A-35 (Printed in

Article 2 13-201 of the Revised Ordinances of Towanda 1955) which consisted of seven taxpayers who

were appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council. Ordinance A-36 (Printed in Article

2 13-202 of the Revised Ordinances of Towanda 1955) established the Board of Zoning Appeals to

consist of five taxpayers who resided in the City who were appointed by the Mayor with the consent of

the City Council. Article 2 13-202 was repealed by Ordinance 322 on March 5 th of 1985, to reestablish

the Towanda City Planning Commission. The Commission would consist of five members who were

electors of the City and were to be appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council.

Ordinance 401 was passed by the City Council on April 8 th 1992, which reflected the recodification of

state statutes under K.S.A. 12-741, et seq. and reestablished the Planning Commission to consist of

nine members and for those nine to concurrently serve as the Board of Zoning Appeals. The bylaws

were amended to reflect requirements of the new statutes and approved by the City Council to include

of the 9, up to 3 who shall reside outside the City, but within of at least 3 miles of the corporate limits

of the City. The remaining members shall be residents of the City. Ordinance 464 approved by the City

Council on May 12 th of 1999 reestablished the Planning Commission to consist of 7 members of

which 2 shall reside outside the City, but within at least 3 miles of the corporate limits of the City.

The Planning Commission’s major responsibility as the “authorized” agency under state statutes is

to prepare, adopt and maintain the Comprehensive Plan. It is also available to undertake various

responsibilities in implementing the Plan, some of which are described below:

• Reviewing the Plan annually as required by state statutes and reporting its status to the City Council.

Such annual reviews may result in minor changes in the Plan with a major review conducted every

five years.

• Preparing, adopting and maintaining Zoning Regulations for the City by way of holding public hearings

on zoning cases and making recommendations to the City Council for their final decision.

• Preparing, adopting, administering and maintaining Subdivision Regulations for the City and an

extraterritorial jurisdiction to assist the City Council and developers in the design and improvements

necessary for proper land development.

• Reviewing potential annexations and vacations of rights of way and easements for recommendations

to the City Council.

• Undertaking neighborhood or project plans to provide more detailed data for new areas or

rehabilitating older areas or for special projects in the Planning Area.

• Reviewing improvement projects embraced within the Comprehensive Plan as proposed by the City

Council or contained in a Capital Improvement Program and making determinations as to their

conformance to the Plan.

• Assisting the City Council on special planning projects including economic development efforts and

grant applications.

• Establishing a convenient reference library of local plans, information, maps and policy statements

readily accessible to officials, citizens and potential developers.

• Maintaining a working relationship to implement plans with public and private organizations at the

city, county, regional, state and federal levels of government.

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Community Involvement

12-3

An essential part of the planning process is the involvement of not only officials, but of individuals

and groups of citizens, civic organizations and potential developers. Their participation should go

beyond simply informing the public of planning activities. Avenues should be provided which

encourage feedback from people so as to communicate their desires as to the kind of community in

which they want to live. Since plans and their implementation affect people and their property, it is

extremely important that the planning process be conducted within an open democratic framework.

When a broad range of people are involved in a meaningful role in the planning process, communities

can be created that enrich people’s lives.

The involvement of people to achieve an input and understanding of the planning proposals can

be accomplished by the Planning Commission in many ways. Some examples are:

• Conducting business and hearings in open meetings for which notice has been adequately given,

agendas provided, minutes taken and an opportunity made available for the public to voice their

opinions and contribute their ideas.

• Involving the residents of an area when preparing plans and considering regulatory decisions which

affect them.

• Creating ad hoc committees as needed of officials and residents to study and make recommendations

on specific plans or proposed regulations.

• Arranging for liaison representation or periodic communications to and/or from organizations related

to the implementation of Plan proposals, especially the City Council and the Butler County Planning

Board.

• Scheduling meetings of public officials and leaders of community organizations to receive comments

on the City’s planning activities and to report back to their members.

• Taking a responsibility as City Council and Planning Commission members to keep the public informed

on planning matters through personal contacts and group activities.

• Distributing information regularly to the news media and encouraging them to attend and report on

meetings.

• Making local officials as well as outside resource technicians available to community organizations on

planning matters.

• Printing plans, reports, maps and regulations in sufficient quantity so that they can be adequately

circulated for review and later available to the public in final format.

By utilizing various techniques of community involvement as part of the planning process, leadership can be

used effectively to implement the Comprehensive Development Plan.

PROJECT REVIEW

When this Comprehensive Plan or any elements thereof has been adopted by the Planning

Commission, a procedure is established under K.S.A. 12-748 to review projects proposed by the City

which relate to the Plan. According to the state statutes, after Plan adoption:

“…..no public improvement, public facility or public utility of a type embraced within the recommendations of the

comprehensive plan or portion thereof shall be constructed without first being submitted to and being approved by the

planning commission as being in conformity with the plan. If the planning commission does not make a report within

60 days, the project shall be deemed to have been approved by the planning commission. …”

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The City Council may proceed with the project after the above procedure is completed. In the

event the Planning Commission finds that the proposed project “…..does not conform to the plan…..” the

Commission must submit their findings “in writing” to the City Council. The Council may override the

findings of the Planning Commission by a majority vote and proceed with the project. In this event the

Plan “…..for the area concerned shall be deemed to have been amended.” The Planning Commission should

proceed to make the necessary changes in the Plan by the formal adoption procedures as described in

Chapter 1.

Projects can also be approved in such a manner as to satisfy this legal procedure during

consideration of rezoning cases or the processing of plats, both of which should bear a relationship to

the Comprehensive Plan. Other projects could be processed for “project review” by having the

Planning Commission review an annual capital improvement program. K.S.A. 12-748 (b) provides that

if a project in a capital improvement program is reviewed and found to be in conformance to the Plan,

then no further approval process is necessary by the Planning Commission. The concept of project

review enables the City Council to make current decisions in relationship to long-range planning and

still retain their final decision-making authority.

NEIGHBORHOOD AND PROJECT PLANS

Due to their overall concepts and long-range purposes, a comprehensive plan tends to generalize

rather than specify detailed proposals. As development takes place, more specific and current

information in needed on which to base more detailed decisions. A regular part of the continuing

planning process should be to prepare “neighborhood” and “project” plans as the need is foreseen.

Neighborhood plans analyze in detail the land use, circulation and public facility needs of part of

the Planning Area which poses unusual, difficult or new conditions. An area might cover a portion of

the Planning Area or a block or a few blocks. Such plans are particularly useful in newly developing

areas to properly connect streets and utilities and in determining areas in need of rehabilitation. They

provide assistance in making current and future decisions on land use proposals, applications for

rezoning, subdivision plats, annexations, capital improvement programming plus facilitating a working

relationship between developers and area residents.

Project plans are different from neighborhood plans in that they involve specific site studies for

limited purposes such as a park and recreation area, public building, etc. They are often prepared as a

part of or a result of grant applications or bond issues.

These plans may be prepared under the direction of the Planning Commission to assist the City

Council and/or area residents. They may be approved by the Commission or Council or both to serve

as policy guidelines for future decisions. In their simplest format, they may consist of a drawing and

an explanatory statement. It is very important that property owners and potential developers who

may be affected by such plans be involved with their preparation.

In 2004 Towanda participated in the K-254 Corridor Study which set guidelines for development

along the corridor east from El Dorado and west to the eastern edge of Wichita. An area for a

particular neighborhood study could be to analyze the effect upon land use and traffic along the K-254

highway corridor. Another might be to study the potential for nonconforming land use areas and

vacant lots for infill development. Still another opportunity is to study the potential expansion and

maintenance for manufactured/mobile homes in selected areas.

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12-5

ZONING REGULATIONS

City, county or joint city-county zoning regulations are the primary methods for regulating the use

of land and structures in Kansas. Such regulations provide the legal method to divide an area into

various zoning districts which contain compatible land uses and establish densities for residential

districts. The intensity of development can thereby be related to the necessary public and private

facilities and utilities. Regulations also specify the maximum height and minimum building setbacks for

structures which affect the degree of open space on the zoning lot. Provisions are included to ensure

an adequate number of off-street parking spaces plus regulating the extent and location of signs,

accessory uses and home occupations. Zoning seeks to prevent conflicts in the use of land,

depreciation of property values and undue overcrowding or congestion. It is the major tool to resolve

conflicts between adjacent land uses while also guiding the overall pattern of land use development

for the future. The goal of zoning should be to ensure high standards for development without unduly

restricting private initiative or causing excessive development cost.

Zoning regulations in Kansas are not retroactive and, therefore, they are not effective in clearing

up past mistakes except over long periods of time by the gradual demise of “lawful” nonconforming

uses, i.e., those that are “grandfathered-in.” This is why it is so important to adopt and enforce zoning

before problems occur. In 1997, K.S.A. 12-771 was adopted by the legislature to clarify the fact that

amortization of such uses was possible over a reasonable period of time. It appears that this can now

be done under home rule provisions.

The state zoning enabling statutes make it possible for a city to establish zoning within its

boundaries and to extend such zoning extraterritorially for a maximum of three miles outside the city

limits but not more than one-half the distance to another city, unless a county assumes the

responsibility for such zoning in that portion of the unincorporated area. Ad a prerequisite, the land

for adoption of extraterritorial zoning according to K.S.A. 12-715b outside the city must be included

within a “comprehensive plan.” Such a plan must be recommended by a planning commission and

approved by either the city council or the board of county commissioners. As an exemption for

agricultural uses and related structures except in floodplains, cities are not authorized to adopt

regulations outside the city which apply or affect “… any land in excess of three acres under one ownership which

is used only for agricultural purposes”. Cities are required to notify the board of county commissioners in

writing 60 days before initiating extraterritorial zoning regulations. If a city has the extraterritorial

zoning jurisdiction, then at least two of the members on the applicable planning commission who are

required to live outside the city must still reside within the area zoned. Floodplain zoning regulations

may also be extended extraterritorially by a city for three miles unless a county has assumed this

responsibility. Currently Butler County administers their floodplain regulations around Towanda. The

County has offered cities the opportunity to have extraterritorial zoning for a limited jurisdiction;

provided that the County retains approval over the contents of the regulations and have final approval

over the zoning cases outside the city. Only one city has utilized this method so far.

Any city which enacts zoning regulations must create a board of zoning appeals. Cities under

K.S.A. 12-759 may establish boards of three to seven members who serve staggered three or fouryear

terms. All members must reside in the city limits whenever the city exercises zoning in the city

only but must have at least one member from outside the city for extraterritorial zoning. Such boards

decide appeals from determinations of the zoning administrator and grant variances and exceptions to

the zoning regulations. If approved, variances permit increases or reductions in such standards as the

maximum height of structures, building setbacks and minimum lot sizes. Exceptions allow uses in

zoning districts not otherwise permitted outright; provided, that such uses are specifically listed in the

regulations. Note that exceptions in the City’s Zoning Regulations will be referred to as “conditional

uses.” State statutes permit a planning commission to concurrently be designated as a board of zoning

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appeals and the Towanda City Planning Commission has been designated as such. Any appeal from

the board itself is made directly to District Court and not the City Council.

Court tests of zoning cases are based upon the “reasonableness” of the decision. The importance of

the comprehensive plan to zoning is noted in the state statutes by the fact that any amendment, i.e.,

changing a zoning district classification or boundary, “…if in accordance with the land use plan or the land use

element of a comprehensive plan, shall be presumed to be reasonable.”

The City adopted its original Zoning Regulations by Ordinance 144 dated 1955. New regulations

were adopted by Ordinance 257 on January 12th of 1978. The present regulations were adopted April

5th 1999 by Ordinance 462 to update regulations to reflect the recodification of State Planning and

Zoning Statutes effective January 1 st 1992. Periodic amendments have been made to keep the

regulations and Official Zoning Map up to date with modern concepts.

Butler County first adopted Zoning Regulations for all of the incorporated area in 1967. New sets

of regulations and amendments have periodically been adopted to keep pace with the substantial

growth of the County. Various efforts have been initiated to encourage urban growth to develop in

and around cities. The City is notified of zoning cases nearby and the Planning Commission has an

opportunity to make recommendations to the County Planning Board.

When a city adopts new zoning regulations or makes revisions thereto, it is acting in a “legislative”

capacity. When holding a hearing and deliberating on a zoning request for a specific parcel of land,

planning commissions in Kansas since 1978 have been required to act in a “quasi-judicial” manner.

This means that the Planning Commission must make its recommendations based on findings of

evidence and an issue oriented analysis in order to prevent arbitrary and capricious rezoning

decisions. The City Council is held to the same standards and, thus, if it deems it desirable to differ or

amend the recommendation of the Planning Commission then it must determine its own findings and

analysis for its decision. In any event, the governing body “…shall establish in its zoning regulations the matters

to be considered when approving or disapproving a zoning request….” according to K.S.A. 12-757 (a), i.e., the

factors on which rezoning decisions are determined. The Kansas Supreme Court has also determined

that an analysis of such factors is appropriate in the review of special uses which if approved within a

zoning district may be subject to “reasonable” conditions.

SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS

Land subdivision regulations are another important method of controlling the development of an

area. They are effective in setting standards for the arrangement and design of streets, utility

easements, lots, size of blocks, open space, installation of public improvements and proper drainage.

Such regulations also provide a working arrangement between governmental bodies and developers

to reserve sites for future public facilities and to guarantee the installation of public improvements.

Towanda began when Reverend Issac Mooney platted the Original town site and laid out the City in

1870. The town was officially incorporated in 1905 as the City of Towanda.

As required by K.S.A. 12-769, cities must first adopt a “comprehensive plan” before proceeding to

adopt subdivision regulations within or outside their city limits. These may be extended

extraterritorially for a distance up to three miles from the city limits, but not more than one-half the

distance to another city having such regulations. Counties may adopt subdivision regulations for all or

part of the unincorporated area. If both a city and county want jurisdiction in the same 3-mile area, a

joint city-county subdivision committee composed of planning commission members from both entities

must be formed to administer such regulations as may be mutually agreed upon. Although the City is

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eligible to form such a joint committee, it is considered to be a very cumbersome method and rarely

used in the state.

The regulations provide design criteria for public improvements and methods for guaranteeing

their installation during the process of dividing land for sale or transfer. Procedures and standards are

usually included for sketch plans, preliminary and final plats, plats for small tracts and lot splits.

Statutory changes now make vacation procedures possible for plats, streets, alleys, easements, access

controls, setbacks and “other public reservations” to include a hearing and recommendation from a

planning commission before final consideration by the City Council. Such a procedure is provided for in

the City Subdivision Regulations.

Subdivision Regulations for the City of Towanda were adopted as early as 1955 with A13-105 of

the Revised Ordinances of the City of Towanda in 1955. They included an extraterritorial jurisdiction

of up to three miles outside the city limits. These were replaced with Ordinance 272 in 1982. New

regulations were prepared and became effective with Ordinance 448 on June 16 th of 1998. This

updated the City to the 1992 recodified State Planning and Zoning Statutes. Butler County has

administered Subdivision Regulations for the unincorporated area since 1967 with many cities

permitted to participate in an extraterritorial jurisdiction just like Towanda.

ANNEXATION

Annexation policies are another tool in how plans are implemented. Extensive revisions to the

state statutes on annexation procedures were adopted by the 1987 Legislature as amendments to

K.S.A. 12-519 et seq. The changes created a much more lengthy process for unilateral annexation by

a city as distinguished from the petition or consent arrangement with a cooperating property owner.

The latter methods are still possible and far less time consuming and complex.

Six conditions exist under which a city can unilaterally annex land. Adjoining platted areas of

unlimited size are the most eligible. Limitations exist on unplatted land over 21 acres in size and

unplatted agricultural land of 21 acres or more must have the consent of the owner. If the land does

not meet one or more of the six conditions, the board of county commissioners can be requested to

consider the matter at a quasi-judicial hearing and make findings from a list of 14 factors. The board

must find by a preponderance of evidence that manifest injury would result to property owners before

an annexation request may be denied. “Island” annexations not involving city owned property must

still be approved by the county commissioners even if the landowner consents. Island annexations of

city owned property may be easily annexed by a city without a formal hearing.

Extensive notification for unilateral annexations is now required to public agencies in the area

including city, county or regional planning commissions having “jurisdiction.” Presumably the latter

means “planning jurisdiction” and in case of Towanda would involve the Butler County Planning Board.

The planning commission so designated shall review the proposed annexation and make a finding of

its compatibility or incompatibility with any adopted land use or comprehensive plan.

In planning for an orderly, unilateral annexation approach so that in time the appropriate public

facilities and services will be available when needed, a “plan” is required of the city as to the extent,

financing and time-table for such improvements. The plan shall be in “.… sufficient detail to provide

a reasonable person with a full and complete understanding of the intentions of the city for… each

major municipal service….” A procedure for “vacating the boundary”, i.e., de-annexation of land is

established whereby the county commissioners are required to hold a hearing five years after an

annexation to determine if services have been provided as promised. The land may be ordered to be

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de-annexed by the county if services have not been provided within two and one-half years following

the hearing.

Annexation in Kansas is an extensive manual concerning the annexation powers and duties of

cities which has been published by the League of Kansas Municipalities. Samples of plans for

extensions of municipal services and various procedural forms are provided.

Contrary to many cities, there are several urban-type properties around the north, south and east

sides of the City which could be eligible for annexation. A few may involve an island annexation which

necessitates approval by the County Commissioners. There may be resistance to annexation due to

the higher tax rate, but these property owners use the streets and other community facilities and may

be employed in the City itself. In all fairness to tax paying residents already in the City, an analysis

should be made to determine if there are properties outside which should be considered for

annexation. Properties annexed before the 1 st of April each year are eligible to begin paying taxes in

the next year.

Basic to a city’s annexation policy is not extending utilities or other services outside the city limits

unless annexation takes place or a written agreement is signed between the city and the property

owner agreeing not to oppose annexation in the future. Annexing land after development takes place

can be very difficult and costly without an agreement. Following such policies is important to the

future tax base and to the orderly installation of streets and utilities. This policy is contained in the

current City Subdivision Regulations and can be applied if any water or sewer service is extended

outside the City.

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CONSTRUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CODES

Although zoning and subdivision regulations are very important implementing tools, they do not

provide standards for the quality of construction nor do they remedy substandard housing and

sanitary conditions. This can be accomplished through the adoption by a city of various construction

and environmental codes which have much more limited provisions to “grandfather-in” existing

conditions.

National and international model codes may be adopted which provide minimum standards for

building construction and plumbing, mechanical, electrical and gas installations. Housing codes

prevent overcrowding and maintain a minimum level of health and safety features in dwellings. Fire

codes set safety standards and attempt to prevent fires from starting and/or spreading. They are a

factor in fire insurance ratings. Local environmental codes can be used in the regulation of refuse

disposal, certain kinds of animals, height of mowing grass, abandoned and inoperable vehicles and

the removal of dilapidated structures. All of these codes are important to upgrade and maintain the

quality of the housing inventory.

More detailed descriptions of these codes and proposals relative to housing conditions are

presented in Chapter 6. Local advisory committees composed of citizens and technicians in the

construction field are normally used to decide appeals in the event of unusual hardship circumstances

and to periodically review the codes for recommended changes.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION

Opportunities exist sometimes for plan implementation through intergovernmental cooperation.

For the City of Towanda, cooperation with other entities can be a very important method of providing

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the services needed for their residents. Such joint undertakings often reduce not only the cost of

singularly providing a facility or service, but improve the quality and/or make possible something that

was not economically feasible on an individual basis. Implementing plan proposals by cooperative

methods become a matter of evaluating each project initially to determine if a better project could be

achieved at equal or less cost through a city or county or a regional combined effort. Occasionally

state and federal grant programs require various degrees of joint cooperation in order to be eligible

and some provide added financial incentives.

Basically, what can be done separately, can be done together. The principal cooperation law is

K.S.A. 12-901 et seq., commonly referred to as the Interlocal Cooperation Act. It authorizes

cooperation between public agencies and private groups for specific public improvements and

services. The Act does require that certain provisions be included in a written agreement and that the

State Attorney General determine whether the agreement is in proper form.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

An extremely important element for implementing the Plan for the Towanda Planning Area is the

attention which needs to be given to available economic development programs. To attain this goal,

economic development should be viewed in its broadest concept. Not only is it a matter of trying to

attract new and expanding existing business, but encouraging other types of economic activities as

well. Furthermore, it is necessary for a community (1) to maintain a constant effort to see that

adequate utilities and energy sources are available now and will continue to be in the future; (2) to

ensure that the potential exists to meet the needs of new businesses for so-called “affordable

housing”; (3) to maintain and improve the transportation system; and (4) to encourage the cultural

and recreational activities which interest and retain young people and promote enjoyable family life.

Whereas there are various reasons for promoting economic development, an overriding interest from

the community’s standpoint would be to broaden local job opportunities and the tax base.

After anticipating that nine out of ten small towns in Nebraska will “die “by the year 2000, the

Heartland Center for Leadership Development, in Lincoln, studied five cities which were prospering

during the worst farm crisis in 35 years. The resulting 20 clues to their survival were condensed into

these five categories:

Leadership – A strong family orientation with a general willingness to accept newcomers. Women and young people placed in

leadership positions.

Community Pride – While businesses looking for new plant sites consider location, labor force and transportation most

important, a positive self image showed a greater willingness to spend money and time on the necessary services for a

business to survive. The Center said that such towns were not “paralyzed by fear, but rather mobilized by opportunity.”

I nvestment - Although successful communities are frugal with tax monies, they nevertheless have a willingness to maintain

their infrastructure. Emphasis was also placed on good health facilities and education.

Economic Development – All successful communities have active economic development programs with a

realistic attitude about their potential success.

This Plan contains ideas that promote or support various economic development activities.

Communities that are most successful in achieving such efforts are those which utilized the most

effective organizational structure. Such promotional activities take place at many levels, - - city,

county, regional, state and national - - and are carried out by both private and public groups. Each

organizational level has a function to perform and each supplements and reinforces the other.

Success at the local level entails the ability to harness the technical services and funding sources

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


available at the other levels. In addition to the local seven members appointed by the Mayor to the

City Economic Development Board, examples of such resource groups include the Kansas Department

of Commerce (Topeka), the Butler County Economic Development Department (El Dorado), the South

Central Kansas Economic Development District (Wichita), and the K.S.U. Cooperative Extension

Service (Hutchinson). The services of these agencies vary in degree, type and availability. Thus,

Towanda officials should determine in detail what services may apply to their City.

Under K.S.A. 12-1617 (h), cities are authorized to annually level a property tax “…for the purpose of

creating a fund to be used in securing industries or manufacturing institutions for such city or near its

environs….” The proposed levy must be initially approved by the voters at a referendum, may not

exceed one mill and is not subject to the property tax lid. Monies may also be expended from the

general fund; however, they would be subject to the tax lid. Because of the highly competitive nature

of economic development programs, such funding may be necessary for a successful effort. The City

does not currently utilize this method of funding, but can spend monies from their general fund.

Additional legislation for improving a city’s capacity for development may be found in various

publications by the Kansas Department of Commerce. While many statutes create state programs,

others provide local enabling legislation and would bear monitoring to evaluate for local use. The

Department provides a website at www.kansascommerce.com on which cities can use their available

Building Site program to list local industrial development sites for statewide promotion. The website

also provides a program on which cities can maintain their Community Profile so that the state has

local data for economic development purposes.

As a further aid to economic development, Kansas, Inc. periodically publishes its Research Reports

especially on grants and loans.

The Kansas Development Finance Authority has been implementing a low-interest, tax-exempt

industrial development revenue bond program for capital improvements, machinery and equipment

for manufacturing and production companies. It is designated as the Kansas Composite Industrial

Development Revenue Bond Program. Cities and counties have veto power over such state financing

in their area and could also allow local tax abatements.

GRANT PROGRAMS

The availability of grant money from higher levels of government has become increasingly limited

in recent years. Whereas eligibility requirements in past years had changed so that more programs

were available to smaller entities, it is not foreseeable at this point in time as to the extent, type and

requirements for such grants. Neither the state nor the federal government now appear to have what

might be called an “urban policy” which would provide direction in grant program activity. In any

program, the advantages of outside funding should be weighed against the local overhead of

administration and prerequisites.

Assistance on grant programs is available through such groups as the Butler County Economic

Development Department and Board, the South Central Kansas Economic Development District

(SCKEDD), the K.S.U. Cooperative Extension Service and from various functional agencies at the

regional and state level. The services of the Kansas Department of Commerce are augmented by

their regional office in Wichita. Their Community Development Division administers the federal

Community Development Block Grant program for economic development and housing projects. Such

outside assistance does not preclude the need; however, for designating at the City level who is

responsible for monitoring the availability of grants and who prepares and follows up on applications.

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This suggests that a recognized local communities system is necessary to gain the most in working

with other agencies. Competition is strong and some cities employ a “grantsman” or private firm to

assist in the process. On behalf of the cities and the rural area the Butler County Board of

Commissioners carry a significant burden in maintaining the necessary contacts, appointments and

memberships with as well as financing for regional organizations which assist in such endeavors.

When a valid local need is recognized, those who succeed in securing grants develop a sense of

timing, perception and knowledge of the requirements and, most important, have the data ready

when the appropriate time arises. Patience is a virtue and if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Experience gained by each grant application becomes of accumulative value in an effort to return

state and federal tax monies for local use.

Comprehensive plans have often served to provide ideas for grant applications. This Plan provides

basic data often required for preparation of applications. To assist the City Council, this plan should

be reviewed periodically to recommend projects for which appropriate grants might be sought. As

part of the grant process, the Planning Commission should coordinate with county, regional and state

agencies to ensure that its local plans are reflected in the plans at a higher level of government. A

good example would be to coordinate potential local projects such as roads with Butler County’s longrange

highway program as implemented in their Capital Improvement Program.

POLICY STATEMENTS

The League of Kansas Municipalities has long been concerned with the need for governments to

adopt and maintain written policies. In fact, according to Webster’s dictionary, “govern” means “to

control and direct the making and administration of policy.” To govern then means “to make policy”

not just “making decisions.” The League has published a booklet entitled, “Municipal Policy

Statements - - A Tool for Governance.” Included within the material is a Municipal Policy Code

Outline and sample policy statements. One section, “Community Development,” as well as other,

deals with subjects which in effect implement many of the proposals and policies adopted in a

comprehensive plan. Such a method for plan implementation through governing body policy

formulation bears consideration.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAMMING

With the growing complexity of financing and constructing public improvement projects, it is

important that a city establish procedures for making such determinations in an efficient manner.

Such a process is referred to as capital improvements programming. The resulting program or “CIP”

is a long-range financial plan covering a period of perhaps three to five years including the current

year. This establishes the priority, timing, cost estimates and sources of funding for public physical

improvements. It does not deal with annually recurring operating expenses except to note the effect

which a new facility or improvement may have on future operating budgets. The first year of the CIP

is the most clearly defined, financially estimated and timed and is adopted as the city’s capital

improvements budget along with the annual operating budget.

A significant function of the CIP is to coordinate the sequence of financing and construction of a

project that might involve joint funding between various agencies plus private organizations. The

anticipated use of county, state or federal funds may necessitate scheduling ahead for several years.

The use of a CIP is an effective way of guiding the direction and timing of growth and is especially

useful in relation to the legal requirements for unilateral annexations referred to previously in this

chapter. A useful booklet has been prepared by the League of Kansas Municipalities entitled, “A Guide

for Capital Improvements Programming and Budgeting.”

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Some of the advantages of CIP’s cited are:

• To help focus attention on community goals.

• To encourage citizen and group participation.

• To improve intergovernmental cooperation.

• To increase capability of utilizing various matching

fund programs.

• To improve project implementation.

• To stabilize financial programs,

Planning commissions often evaluate each project as to its conformance to the comprehensive

plan. This procedure serves as the commission’s “project review” for such items as provided for in

K.S.A. 12-748 (b). As part of this process, a public hearing could be held for citizens and a method

provided for other governmental entities to comment on the CIP proposals.

Although there are a number of exceptions, it is sufficient for general financial planning purposes

to say that under Kansas law the general obligation of the city-at-large (G.O. debt) and special

assessment debt combined may not exceed 30 % of the total equalized assessed tangible valuations

plus motor vehicle valuations to calculate the bonded debt limitations. Bonds issued for general sewer

and water work and revenue bonds are outside the debt limitations. Various financing methods used

for CIP projects include: General fund, general obligation bonds, utility revenue, Bonds, special

assessments, trust funds, federal and state grant programs and private contributions.

A simple example of the contents which might be included in a CIP is illustrated in Table 12-A

below.

Table 12-A SAMPLE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

SAMPLE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM CONCEPT

Project Project Year Project Method of

Description 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Cost Financing

Fire Station Land X $95,000 G.O./Gift

Acquisition

Project Project Year Project Method of

Description 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Cost Financing

Grading and

Landscaping X $75,000 G.O./Fed.

HCRS

Lighted

Ball Fields X $45,000 G.O./Fed.

HCRS

_______________________________________________________________________

As of June 2008, the City had $ 725,000 of bonded indebtedness, $1,445,950 in revolving loans

and $209,116 in leases outstanding. In 2007 the assessed property valuation including motor vehicle

personal property values were $5,906,719. The bonded debt subject to statutory indebtedness was

Comprehensive Development Plan 2008-2013 Towanda Area Kansas -


less than 13% of the total assessed value. The City is within its debt limitation and in a good position

to carry out future plans for infrastructure improvements and growth. The City is always in need of

economic developing opportunities.

A feature of good municipal management is to maintain a continuing effort to keep the public

facilities up-to-date and not to fluctuate too greatly in the status of the mill levy for indebtedness.

Potential CIP items are referred to in the chapters on Utilities, Community Facilities and

Transportation. The ability of the City to reach the population potential predicted for this Plan should

be greatly enhanced by the continued prudent planning of its finances.

CITY ADMINISTRATION

Because of the increasing complexity of government, more and more cities in Kansas have turned

to City Managers or Administrators to provide trained expertise in administering city operations. More

responsibility is given a city manager than an administrator, but the latter is easier to establish than

the former. In both, the governing body sets the policies and the manager or administrator carries

them out.

The Kansas League of Municipalities has accumulated considerable information on these forms of

governmental operation and is available to advise cities on their operation. The Hugo Wall Center for

Urban Studies at Wichita State University has specialized in training urban administrators and

conducting special seminars for officials and staffs.

Towanda has had a City Administrator/City Clerk since February of 1998. To the extent that such

a governmental structure facilitates planning and coordination within the City operation as well as

economic development, it also serves as another method of implementing planning proposals in the

Comprehensive Development Plan.

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