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Kearney's Comprehensive Plan

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A "New Direction" has emerged for Kearney!

The City of Kearney has embarked on an extensive effort to involve Kearney residents in developing its Comprehensive Plan - a Plan that will guide the City's future for years to come. The Planning & Zoning Commission and the Board of Aldermen adopted the comprehensive plan update in January 2017.

Comprehensive Plan 2016 - Your Town, Your Future

Thank you to the Planning Advisory Committee for all of your work and assistance in preparing this plan; and thank you to to all our other community members that participated in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the City's Comprehensive Plan?

Comprehensive plans express a community's values, priorities, and aspirations. They provide a 20-to-30-year vision and roadmap for a city's future. Kearney's Comprehensive Plan expresses Kearney's framework values and specific goals and policies for the environment, land use, transportation, housing, capital facilities, utilities, and other important elements for future planning.

What is the purpose and goal of Kearney's Comprehensive Plan?

For Kearney to remain economically competitive, it needs a vision for how it will grow, how it will protect its natural resources, and how it will provide jobs, affordable housing, and mobility. Managed well, growth can be a boon for a community, adding value to its businesses and neighborhoods and quality of life. Managed poorly, growth can result in housing prices soaring or dropping, traffic congestion, the loss of open space, and degradation of air quality. The issue of where and how Kearney should grow is an important one with the current development trend for rapid development of greenfield land in outlying locations. Greenfield development requires the installation of expensive new infrastructure systems and schools. The challenge is finding the right balance of new growth that does not come at the expense of losing the sense of place that makes the community of Kearney a desirable place to live.

The purpose of this Plan is to determine a future vision that:

  • Establishes a balance of the interests and needs of the area residents, businesses, guests, and visitors
  • Guides development and improvements in the area to offer a wider and more diverse range of residential and commercial development opportunities

Goals of the Plan are to:

  • Create a vision for the future development in the City of Kearney
  • Build consensus among area stakeholders
  • Develop a strategy to create a thriving, sustainable and desirable community, which addresses land use, zoning, area identity, urban design, transportation, capital improvements, public safety and the health and vitality of the area
  • Recognize and protect the character of the area

What is the role of the adopted Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan covers all of the relevant physical development components, including land use, zoning, water and sewer needs, street and traffic planning, fire and police stations, topography, slopes, soils, historic preservation, and urban design elements. Although Missouri law does not require that particular zoning decisions strictly conform to the land use plan, it is one of the major factors courts will consider when reviewing a city's zoning decisions, and one of the primary bases used for the staff's recommendation on any particular zoning request.

What is Zoning?

Zoning helps implement land use plans by regulating exactly where uses are allowed on specific parcels of land and how they can be developed in terms of placement on the lot, height, density, access, parking, signage, setbacks, and other design requirements. The Plan will not change existing zoning of land.

What is the purpose of a proposed land use map?

The proposed land use map shows where, in general, the different uses should be located in the city in the long term. Current zoning often does not comply with proposed land use as recommended in the adopted land use plan, and sometimes does not reflect current land use. This can cause uncertainty among property owners and interested parties as to exactly what is allowed on a piece of property.

What a Comprehensive Plan is NOT.

Kearney's residents and businesses benefit from a system of facilities and services. The planning process will identify assets and issues related to these organizations, districts, and City departments. The capacity, quality, and reliability of these facilities and services influence the identity of the city and supports opportunities for future business and residential growth. As many of the service providers are not under the purview of the City, the Plan will stress collaboration and intergovernmental coordination in order to achieve mutually beneficial goals that will ensure citizens continue to be well served as demand for public services evolves.

Who's Involved

Everyone! The Comprehensive Planning process involved people from all walks of life - regular folks, organized advocates, and people from nearby and overlapping jurisdictions all played a part in the process over the past year.
  • The Community - That's You!
  • The City of Kearney
  • The Planning Advisory Committee
  • Stakeholders
  • The Consultant Team

One of the key principles of the new Comprehensive Plan is that the process needs to involve the people of Kearney. We need to reach beyond the folks who normally participate.

The Community - That's You!

Members of the community are asked to engage in civil discourse about issues that affect current reality and dictate what Kearney will be in the future. As participants, you are asked to: communicate your interests, listen to diverse viewpoints, understand constraints and trade-offs, help in defining common ground, & have fun!

The City of Kearney

The City Council
The City Council has final approval over the planning process and the new Kearney Comprehensive Plan. Like the Comprehensive Plan Citizen Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and Planning Commission members they appoint, members of the City Council are advocates for a plan that captures the vision and spirit of Kearney.

Planning Commission
The Planning Commission is charged by State Statute to recommend a Comprehensive Plan to City Council. It will oversee the process to ensure that the Comp Plan adheres to State Statute requirements and provides a long-range perspective on the future of Kearney.

City of Kearney Staff
City staff will serve a number of functions, ranging from administration of the public process to data collection and analysis to facilitation at events. The City manages the process with the consultant team. Staff of the departments most directly associated with each element will work with the PAC and consultant team to develop the Comprehensive Plan.

Planning Advisory Committee

The Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) has been created to provide a forum for representative citizens to provide their input to the planning process. Appointed by the Mayor, the PAC will consist of 15-20 community leaders of varied backgrounds who will meet several times during the course of the process. The PAC will serve as the voice of the community throughout the development of the Comp Plan, providing input on factors that affect public acceptability, site utilization concepts, and land use.

Stakeholder Interviews

Early in the process, it will be important to get input from a variety of "interests" throughout the city. Stakeholders will consist of citizens and civic leaders with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, but who have a big picture attitude about Kearney - its strengths, assets, weaknesses, role in the area, etc. Their role is to identify key issues early in the process to inform the public outreach efforts and all aspects of the Comp Plan. Stakeholders will meet one time during the process.

The Consultant Team

The consultant team will work collaboratively with City staff to "orchestrate" the planning process and prepare substantive work products reflecting the results of public participation. The members of the consultant team are:
  • Vireo
  • HDR

Project Contact

For more information, contact:
Name: David Pavlich
Phone: 816-903-4731

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