The Lyon County Commission tabled a resolution to annex land at 600 Road 180 into the City of Emporia at its action session on Thursday.
The land is in the area of Americus Road and 18th Avenue and is owned by Evergy.
Planning and Zoning Specialist Joe Foster said Evergy plans to move its headquarters from downtown Emporia to this parcel of land, which is not contiguous with city property, so it requires both city and county approval. Evergy has previously platted and rezoned the land and is taking the final annexation step.
“Evergy is moving all their infrastructure, which is in downtown Emporia — offices, conference center, training facility — and also hold their equipment and material there,” he said. “It will remove it all from city streets, and put it out where it’s easily accessible. That is the intention we received from them on this request.”
The land, at 20 acres, is within 300-400 feet from the city. Evergy is planning on using the entire 20 acres for its campus. The property would be used for utilities — water and sewer — for the City of Emporia. Evergy would also possibility put a training center on the land.
Foster said the annexation was approved by the Emporia Planning Commission May 18. Foster did not know how the land is currently being used.
There was some discussion about the language of the resolution not addressing state statutes.
“You have to make a specific finding that there would be no overall injury to the overall development of that area prior to the resolution,” said county attorney Marc Goodman.
The new resolution must document in writing that the benefits of the annexation outweigh the drawbacks.
Foster told the commission that neighboring land would be used for similar purposes. Property to the north and south are also zoned for industrial purposes.
Goodman said the language of the resolution was confusing, that what was presented was a city resolution with county signatures. The statute requires that a specific finding be added about no detriment to the overall development of the area.
Also discussed was Schaefer Equipment Co., 1783 Road G.
Commissioner Scott Briggs asked if the city annexed them and they don’t want to be annexed, what would happen.
Foster said it would be a process called unilateral annexation, which would be a more lengthly process. It would require notification to the property owner, publication, public hearing and additional notifications before governing bodies.
The commission voted to table the request to consider a resolution until July 29.
The commission also approved a resolution to amend the by-laws and cooperation agreement between Lyon County and the Kansas County Association Multiline Pool.