Thanks to everyone who came out to our public meeting last night to share their feedback! You can find the presentation here. Subjects of discussion included:
- Respecting property rights
- Balancing the costs of providing public services at specific development sites with the general tax burden for county residents
- Protecting the county’s best agricultural lands and agricultural operations
- What the comprehensive plan does and what it means for county residents
- Issues with road maintenance
- Coordination between the county and other local jurisdictions
- The likelihood of Topeka growing by 11,000 people by 2040
One robust topic of discussion regarded prime farmland and who designates it. In the Shawnee County Comprehensive Plan, prime farmland is discussed p. 26-28. Prime farmland is classified by the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as: “land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and that is available for these uses. It has the combination of soil properties, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce sustained high yields of crops in an economic manner if it is treated and managed according to acceptable farming methods. In general, prime farmland has an adequate and dependable water supply from precipitation or irrigation, a favorable temperature and growing season, an acceptable level of acidity or alkalinity, an acceptable content of salt or sodium, and few or no rocks. Its soils are permeable to water and air. Prime farmland is not excessively eroded or saturated with water for long periods of time, and it either does not flood frequently during the growing season or is protected from flooding.” For more information, visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/ref/?cid=nrcs142p2_054226, section 622.03.
For a more detailed account of the discussion, contact Kirk Lehmann at email@example.com.