Developing land near Johnson County’s two airports will now be more efficient due to land use compatibility plan update

Airport Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Land developers in Johnson County will have a better understanding of what is allowed near the county’s airports after a change to the land use compatibility plans approved on Feb 22.

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners adopted these changes as amendments to Johnson County’s Rural Comprehensive Plan. One primary objective of the plan was to look at future growth and development around the two airports over which the board has zoning and land use authority. Those areas include a one-mile radius surrounding Johnson County Executive Airport and New Century AirCenter.

The study takes a new approach to land use compatibility around the airports, outlining safety zones and acceptable uses within those zones. This provides clearer direction for planners and developers regarding how this land is used.

The study also modernizes the compatibility plans based on recent Federal Aviation Administration guidance. The included policies relate to open spaces, height limits, flight hazards and more.

“The work done on these plan updates was both collaborative and innovative and will expedite the planning and development process as well as save staff time,” said Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mike Kelly.

These two airports are in areas where significant growth has occurred in recent years. and plan updates were long overdue. The previous compatibility plan for New Century AirCenter was adopted in 1996, and the previous compatibility plan for Johnson County Executive Airport was adopted in 2004.

The updates were the result of a multi-year land use study. To develop the study, a consultant worked with a Planning Advisory Committee – comprised of airport stakeholders, community leaders and more – to gather information and draft the plans. The study explores a 1-mile area surrounding each airport.

The county involved the public throughout the study, with opportunities to attend eight public meetings (four for each airport) and submit comments online. There were also two public hearings, on Dec. 6, 2023, and Dec. 19, 2023.

Learn more about the land use study, and view the amendments to the Rural Comprehensive Plan and the Feb. 22 presentation to the Board.

Airport Commission
Board of County Commissioners
Planning, Housing and Community Development
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