(see also the City of Olathe Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ page )

Accessory use
Area / Corridor / Vicinity Plan
Arterial Street
Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
Collector Street
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Design Guidelines
Excise Tax
100-Year Floodplain
Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
Homeowners Association
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)
Mixed Use
Nonconforming Use
Open Space
Plat, Final
Plat, Preliminary
Public Hearing
Special Use
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
Tree Preservation Area

Accessory Use: A use of a building or land which serves an incidental function to and is customarily associated with, and located on the same lot or premises as, the main use of the premises.

Amenities: Characteristics of a development that increase its desirability to a community or its marketability to the public. Amenities may include such things as recreational facilities (e.g. a swimming pool, sports courts, play equipment for children, ball fields, walking trails, etc.), clubhouses, picnic tables, and natural landscape preserves.

Annexation: The act or process of adding land to a governmental unit, usually an incorporated place, by an ordinance, a court order, or other legal action. Annexation is the process by which cities extend their municipal services, regulations, voting privileges, and taxing authority to new territory.

Area / Corridor / Vicinity Plan: Area plans provide basic information on the natural features, resources, and physical constraints that affect development of a particular area. They also specify detailed land-use designation used to review specific development proposals and to plan services and facilities.

Arterial Street: A street designed to carry large volumes of traffic and providing for efficient vehicular movement between large areas of the city.

Best Management Practices (BMPs): Stormwater management practices used to prevent or control the discharge of pollutants into waters. BMPs may include engineered solutions, a schedule of activities, prohibition of practices, maintenance procedures, or other management practices. Functionally, BMPs fall into three categories: preservation and promotion of natural hydrology (open space, native landscaping, filter strips), engineered stormwater treatment and infiltration (bioretention filters, engineered swales, infiltration trenches), and on-site detention and treatment (pervious pavement, wet ponds).

Capital Improvement Plan (CIP): A proposed schedule of all future projects listed in order of construction priority together with cost estimates and the anticipated means of financing each project.

Collector Street: A street which is intended to collect traffic from the minor streets within a neighborhood or a portion thereof and to distribute such traffic to major thoroughfares, in addition to providing access to properties abutting thereon.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): A grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that allots money to cities and counties for housing rehabilitation and community development, including public facilities and economic development.

Density: The number of dwelling units or principal buildings permitted per net acre of land.

Design Guidelines: Guidelines, illustrations, and standards related to planning, architectural design, street and streetscape layout, open space, landscape design, utilities, and drainage, and intended to guide development in accordance with the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan.

Excise Tax: Excise taxes are paid by a property owner when a property is platted for development or when applying for a building permit. Revenue from excise taxes is used to fund the infrastructure and other improvements (streets, transportation improvements, parks) that make development possible in new areas. Excise taxes help to defray the public costs of new growth for existing taxpayers in already developed areas.

100-Year Floodplain: The 100-year floodplain is the low land near a watercourse which has been, or may be, covered by water of a flood of 100-year frequency. A flood of this magnitude has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR): The floor area of the building or buildings on a zoning lot divided by the area of such zoning lot, or, in the case of planned developments, by the net site area.

Greenway: A linear park, alternative transportation route, or open space conservation area that provides passive recreational opportunities, pedestrian and / or bicycle paths, and / or the conservation of open spaces or natural areas.

Homeowners Association: An incorporated nonprofit organization operating under recorded land agreements through which: (a) each lot owner is automatically a member; and (b) each lot is automatically subject to a proportionate share of the expenses for the organization's activities, such as maintaining common property.

Infill Development: Development of vacant, skipped-over parcels of land in otherwise built-up areas. Infill development provides an attractive alternative to new development by reducing loss of critical and resource lands to new development, reducing capital improvement costs, and by focusing on strengthening older neighborhoods.

Lot: A parcel of land occupied, or to be occupied, by one main building or unit group of buildings, and the accessory buildings or uses customarily incident thereto, including such open spaces as are required, and having its principal frontage upon a public street.

Mid-America Regional Council (MARC): MARC serves as the association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region.

Mixed Use: A tract of land, building or structure developed for two or more different uses including but not limited to, residential, office, manufacturing, retail, or public.

Nonconforming Use: A situation that occurs when property is used for a purpose or in any manner made unlawful by the use regulations or development and performance standards applicable to the zoning district in which the property is located.

Open Space: Any parcel or area of land or water seta aside, dedicated, designated or reserved for public or private use or enjoyment, or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring such open space. Open space may include common, active, and landscaped areas, as well as areas of natural preservation.

Parcel: Any described piece of land, which may be platted or unplatted.

Plat, Final: A drawing of a permanent nature showing the precise location and dimension of such features as streets, lots, easements and other elements pertinent to transfer of ownership and prepared for permanent record.

Plat, Preliminary: A drawing showing the proposed general patterns of streets, lots and land uses within a tract to be subdivided.

Public Hearing: A publicly advertised meeting of an official legislative or quasi-judicial body conducting City business during which the public is allowed to give testimony concerning issues under consideration.

Special Use: Certain uses of land, buildings, or structures which may not be appropriate under all circumstances in any given zoning district, but may be appropriate where adequate precautions can be ta ken to assure compatibility with surrounding us es, public need, and the City as a whole.

Streetscape: A design term referring to all the elements that constitute the physical makeup of a street and that, as a group, define its character, including building frontage, street paving, street furniture, landscaping, including trees and other plantings, awnings and marquees, signs, and lighting.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF): A district established in order to attract private developers to blighted areas in need of redevelopment. Tax increment financing works by using increased tax revenues of a redevelopment area to fund improvements and incentives for rehabilitation.

Tract: A single unit or real property under one ownership, which may be platted or unplatted.

Transit Oriented Development (TOD): A mixed-use community within walking distance of a transit-stop and core commercial area. TODs mix residential, retail, office, and public uses in a walkable environment, making it convenient for residents and employees to travel by transit, bicycle, foot, or car.

Tree Preservation Area: An area designated in a plat or site plan for the purpose of preserving existing trees and vegetation.

Watershed: A land area, also known as a drainage area, which collects precipitation and contributes runoff to a receiving body of water or point along a watercourse.

Variance: A variation from a specific requirement of the Unified Development Ordinance that is applicable to a specific piece of property.

Zoning: The division of the City by legislative regulations into areas, or zones, which specify allowable uses for real property and size and density restrictions for buildings within these areas.