JThis is the first in a series of development measures taken in response to Derby’s recent housing needs assessment.
In terms of development, Derby added a relatively new tool to its toolkit at the start of 2022 – one that city planner Scott Knebel doesn’t expect to sit unused for too long.
Typically, when it comes to mixed-use development, Knebel noted, it usually refers to a project that includes a combination of commercial and residential land use types in the same development – without separating barriers. .
Derby changed its zoning regulations and guidelines in early 2022 to allow for mixed-use development, a format that is gaining popularity among developers – and a Knebel noted that it came up in the discussion of several potential projects ( i.e., 55th and Rock).
“We have discussed with others the possibility of doing residential development in some of the areas currently zoned commercial, but they have not filed. [for] all of that for now,” Knebel said. “Seeing a development like this in Andover leads me to believe that a similar type of development will likely head into Derby at some point in the future.”
No official mixed-use development plans may have been submitted to the planning commission yet, but Knebel noted that some elements of the final phase of the STAR bond project would qualify. These have yet to be considered, although Knebel said apartments and senior housing to be included in the scheme would be the most common form of horizontal mixed-use development.
Developer Rick Worner said these elements were added to the final stage (approved earlier this year) following comments from Lieutenant Governor David Toland that the Kansas Department of Commerce would be “more receptive” to development projects. STAR obligations if they were mixed-use.
“He thought mixed-use developments made the whole development more viable,” Worner reported.
Although not a requirement, Worner took that suggestion and pursued the additional residential elements of Derby’s STAR bond project – something not uncommon. The Legends and Prairiefire STAR bond projects, located in the Kansas City metro, now include apartment complexes.
In addition to the benefits of creating an integrated customer base for commercial developments, mixed use can also address some of the housing needs highlighted in the study recently adopted by the city.
Derby’s recent housing study highlighted additional rental units as part of current market needs, which Worner also noted in the data – Derby having high occupancy and low vacancy . Considering this, he noted that the apartments are intended to appeal to a wide variety of customers.
“It will be a large category of apartments because [Derby’s] the occupancy rate is so high; it’s a strong market,” Worner said.
Construction of these apartments is expected to begin in 2023.
While residential developments often include a diverse housing stock to similarly attract a wide range of buyers, Knebel noted that such developments (such as the ongoing Sterling East addition) do not constitute official development for use. mixed – focusing only on residential needs.
As for the volume of housing needed based on the needs assessment, Knebel noted that mixed-use development is also unlikely to be the first tool to turn to. However, growing demand and popularity has led the city to make it an option.
Although he may not be able to fully meet Derby’s housing demand, Knebel said mixed-use developments can bring variety to the market. Additionally, according to the comprehensive Vision Derby 2040 plan, it is seen as an aid to infill development – something Chairman Mitch Adams alluded to at the last planning commission meeting.
In a presentation of the Housing Needs Assessment, City Manager Kiel Mangus also highlighted the limited amount of land available for development in Derby. In line with this, Knebel noted that mixed-use development in Derby is not really a matter of if but when.
“If Derby is to continue to take advantage of all of its opportunities for growth, it must allow for this type of development in its community,” Knebel said. “This type of development can often, depending on how it is built, meet residential needs. There is a market that wants this type of residential setting, and we don’t offer it here. The more variety Derby offers, the more opportunities we have to grow the community and population.