Delano Neighborhood Plan
Check out the Delano Neighborhood Plan 2019 (PDF), which includes Baseball Village Master Plan.
Delano Neighborhood Plan Update
Delano is one of the oldest, most well-established neighborhoods in the City of Wichita, and is located to the immediate west of the downtown area of Wichita. The neighborhood boundaries include the Arkansas River on the north and east, Meridian and U.S. 54 Highway on the west and south respectively.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Department is currently working on the Delano Neighborhood Plan. The Plan is a community-wide vision for improvements and development in the Delano Neighborhood. This policy document will act as a guide when planning improvements and evaluating development opportunities in Delano for the next 15 years. This is an update of the 2001 Delano Neighborhood Revitalization Plan and an amendment to the 2015 Community Investments Plan, the Comprehensive Plan for Wichita-Sedgwick County.
Following the 2001 plan, there have been encouraging signs of revitalization in Delano, including investments in retail businesses and infrastructure along Douglas Avenue, the main business corridor in the area. The introduction of the River Vista apartments, the Advanced Learning Library, plans for a hotel and apartment project on the "Delano Catalyst Site", a new business headquarters, and a multi-use sports complex have turned the east end of Delano into one of the most exciting spaces in the city. Strong, established institutions continue to provide stability in the neighborhood, including Friends University, the Kansas Masonic Home, Exploration Place, Senior Services, and several other churches and civic organizations.
Active members of the neighborhood and the City of Wichita recognized that the time was right to take a fresh look at the neighborhood. Weaknesses had to be identified and addressed. Neighborhood strengths needed to be enhanced. It was time to start planning and to position the Delano neighborhood for a healthy and successful future.
The plan took approximately seven months to complete and involved input from hundreds of community stakeholders. The end result was the development of the Delano Neighborhood Plan: 2018 that was presented to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC), Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners, and Wichita City Council for consideration to be adopted as an element of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Comprehensive Plan.
- March 8, 2018: Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (Approved)
- April 11, 2018: Sedgwick County Board of Commissioners (Approved)
- April 17, 2018; June 5, 2018; August 7, 2018; November 13, 2018: Wichita City Council (To be determined)
On November 13th, staff recommended returning the Delano Neighborhood Plan: 2018 to the Planning Department while work is being completed on the Ballpark village Master Plan. The Ballpark Village Master Plan is a joint effort between the City of Wichia and the Greater Wichita Partnership to create a cohesive vision for the Ballpark Village area. When the Ballpark village Master Plan is complete it will become a piece of the Delano Neighborhood Plan: 2019 and both will be presented to Council at that time.
Delano's Turn: Directions West of the River presents urban design ideas for the future of the Delano district in Wichita, Kansas. Fifteen Kansas State University mid-level students, enrolled in an intensive 8-week Community Planning and Design studio, completed the work during the summer of 2017. The studio was co-led by Associate Professor Blake Belanger and Associate Professor Howard Hahn.
Conceived by the studio's professors and the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, the idea for the project emerged from discussions in late 2016. Goals of the collaborative service learning studio included providing students with first-hand experience working with a community, generating creative ideas for advancing the dialogue about planning the future of Delano, engaging residents and stakeholders and responding to their input, and supporting the mission of the project partners. In contrast to a singular master plan, the collection of ideas presented in Delano's Turn provides a multitude of ideas that can be compared, evaluated, prioritized, and perhaps hybridized.
Pictured: Birds-eye view of early Wichita and Delano. Delano was well-known for its saloons and "bawdy houses." Courtesy of Wichita Public Library.
Early residents were able to settle in the Delano area as a result of the 1862 Homestead Act which required a payment of only $50 to take up residence on 160 acres of land. From these early settlers, Delano developed as a separate city. Delano was named after Columbus Delano, Secretary of the Interior under President Ulysses S Grant.
In 1872, the Delano area experienced noticeable growth associated with farmers bringing in wheat by wagon, cattle being driven across Lawrence family land and the opening of a new toll bridge at Douglas. In 1871, Jennison and Walker's Hotel and Saloon were opened. Red Beard and Rowdy Joe established themselves on the west bank in 1872, and new businesses developed along what was to become Douglas. For a brief period, Delano had a post office, but it was closed when Delano became annexed into Wichita in the late 1870's.
By 1885, new settlers began buying lots for homes and much of the land in Delano became desirable for residential uses. Within Delano, the earliest settlers were the brothers Enoch, Frank and Almon Dodge; Robert Lawrence; John McCormick; Otto Martinson and Judge Baldwin. The new Franklin School was completed in 1886. The Dodge family home was built in 1887 as were the Martinson and Lawrence homes. The Garfield University was built in 1887 (later renamed Friends University - est. 1898, after a brief period of vacancy). The construction of the watch factory at St. Clair and Douglas was completed. Schuyler Crawford grocery store opened at Maple and Seneca. Many of Delano's streets were named after early settlers and their children. Exposition was named after the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago.
While the boom of 1884 was an exciting time for the west Wichita area of Delano, the City soon experienced economic recession. Many of the original settlers and early businesses went bankrupt. By 1889, the city had lost nearly half of its population. By the beginning of the 20th Century, oil and manufacturing development in the Wichita area generated another building boom which lasted until the Depression years. Shortly thereafter, Wichita would become known as the Air Capital of America because of its airplane manufacturing industry, with a portion of the industry based in Delano. World War II brought renewed prosperity to Wichita. The aviation industry soon became the dominant industry in the city during the war.
Certainly the colorful and rich history of Delano provides an essential element for the future of the neighborhood - a rich history and cultural heritage to be drawn upon, preserved, and promoted.
Delano West Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking Plan
The Delano West Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking Plan (PDF) was initiated by Delano residents and business owners who identified a need for public bicycle parking in order to help prevent damage to property and traffic hazards that result from bicycles that are inappropriately parked due to a lack of public bicycle parking spaces. The Plan is a guide for the provision of public bicycle parking along West Douglas Avenue. It recommends public bicycle parking locations, configurations, designs, and funding methods.
On May 27, 2014, the Wichita City Council approved resolution 14-150 endorsing the Delano West Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking Plan with the 2014 updates.
In 2013, the City of Wichita applied and was awarded federal Transportation Alternatives Program funding from the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to purchase and install 24 bicycle racks as part of Phase II. The federal funding requires a local match of 25% of the project costs.
In 2011, the City of Wichita utilized Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant frunding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund the purchase and installation of the Phase I bicycle racks (26 racks total).
The City of Wichita is working with a stakeholder Steering Committee to review and identify any necessary updates prior to the implementation of Phase 2. Below is a listing of events related to the update process.
- August 20, 2013 - Delano Neighborhood Association
The proposed updates were presented to the neighborhood association for their review and feedback
- September 24, 2013 - Wichita Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board
The recommended updates are tentatively scheduled for review and action by the Board to recommend endorsement by the Wichita City Council.