Public notices for public hearing items at the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) meetings are provided in a variety of ways depending on a number of factors, including: the type of case and jurisdiction. For zoning cases, the public notices consist of the following:
Since at least 2020 and likely before, comments and concerns have been received during District Advisory Board and Planning Commission meetings regarding notification of zoning cases. Multiple Council Members have expressed a desire to review the notification policies and practices. On July 19, 2022, during the City Council Meeting, a Council Member indicated a desire to have the notification distance reviewed.
Current Wichita and Sedgwick County Policies and Regulations
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission Policy #20 requires that a sign or signs are posted on the property being considered for a change including the case number and a short description of the request by the property owner. This sign is placed on the property where the sign is not obstructed by shrubs, trees or other signs and is posted a minimum of 13 days prior to the public hearing conducted by the MAPC. The posting must remain in place until the public hearing has concluded.
The Unified Zoning Code and State Statutes require that notice of planning cases are published in the local newspapers a minimum of 21 days prior to the scheduled public hearing. Cases located in the City of Wichita are published in the Wichita Eagle newspaper. Cases located in the unincorporated Sedgwick County are published in the Arc Valley News of Valley Center, KS.
The Unified Zoning Code and State Statues require that notification letters are mailed 20 days prior to the public
hearing conducted by the Planning Commission to property owners identified within the proper notification area. The Unified Zoning Code and State Statues require notification area should extend at least 1,000 feet in the unincorporated county and 200 feet in a city.
In July 1975, the City of Wichita Board of City Commissioners expressed concern over the notification procedure on zoning change requests. They requested the procedure be changed to include a notification greater than 200 feet. In response to this request, the Planning Commission recommended a policy which was later approved by the City of Wichita Board of City Commissioners. and has been in place since 1975. The policy established the following notification distances for zoning cases in the City.
Notification areas are measured from the perimeter of the subject property and are as follows:
Within the City of Wichita:
Up to and including one acre…...200 feet
Over one acre to six acres……….350 feet
Over six acres to 15 acres………...500 feet
Over 15 acres to 25 acres………...750 feet
Over 25 acres………………………...1,000 feet
Within unincorporated Sedgwick County:
1,000 feet for all cases
- Since at least 2020 and likely before, comments and concerns have been received during District Advisory Board and Planning Commission meetings regarding notification of zoning cases. Multiple Council Members have expressed a desire to review the notification policies and practices.
- On July 19, 2022, during the City Council Meeting, a Council Member indicated a desire to have the notification distance reviewed.
- On September 1, 2022, the MAPC Advance Plans Committee received a presentation on the current zoning case notification processes.
- On October 6, 2022, the MAPC Advance Plans Committee received a presentation on the mailout notification practices from other communities.
- On January 5, 2022, the MAPC Advance Plans Committee was scheduled to receive a presentation on a written inquiry regarding public notification for zoning cases and the responses from the Planning Department. That item was deferred to a later meeting due to time constraints.
- On February 9, 2023, the MAPC Advance Plans Committee received a presentation on the costs associated with mailing notices for zoning cases. The agenda also included information on the Planning Department response to a letter submitted by Wichita Independent Neighborhoods regarding zoning case notifications.
- On July 25, 2023, the Wichita City Council received a presentation on public notification for zoning cases, with an emphasis on mailed notices. The City Council asked questions and provided feedback to Planning staff, below are highlights from the discussion.
- Council members encouraged Planning staff to make the public notice letters easier to read and understand.
- Council members asked Planning staff to consider ways to incorporate additional languages, especially Spanish and Vietnamese.
- Participants asked Planning staff to consider using different types of notifications, perhaps a post card.
- Council members encouraged officials to request presentations by Planning staff concerning the sequence and timing of DAB and MAPC consideration of zoning cases.
- A council member indicated their preference to expand the minimum notice distance from 200 feet to 500 feet.
- Multiple elected officials indicated support for distributing notice letters to the property as well as the property owners.
- On September 14, 2023, Planning staff provided a verbal update on research to address some of the questions posted by the City Council members during the workshop.
- On October 12, 2023, Planning staff presented documents with research based on the use of postcards, incorporating languages other than English, and making the public notice letters easier to understand.
Upcoming Events & Next Steps
- The Planning Department is:
- Working with legal staff to address questions related to incorporating languages other than English into the public notices;
- Continuing to work with other departments to learn about existing resources for language translation and interpretation; and
- Coordinating among divisions to develop potential changes to the public notification letters in order to make them easier to understand.
You can provide input and share your thoughts about notification policies on planning cases. Below are some ways to share your thoughts.
Submit comments via email at
Submit a letter to the Planning Department at the following address:
Metropolitan Area Planning Department
271 W. 3rd Street
Wichita, KS 67202
• 2023/10/12 MAPD Public Notifications Memo – Postcards, Languages, and Ease of Reading