Prime Farmland Preservation

The Sustainability Action Network is an active community participant in the development and adoption of plans to protect Capability I & II farmland from urban development and industrial land uses.

Sustainability Action continues to work for prime farmland protection at any juncture of the public planning process:

  • We participated in the community-wide effort that prevented the industrialization of 145 acres of Class I and Class II soils in the Kansas River bottomlands north of Lawrence.
  • We provided input towards the adoption of the Lawrence North East Sector Plan and the Comprehensive Plan Environment Chapter, both of which have safeguards for Class I and Class II soils.
  • We supported the de-annexation and rezoning from “industrial” to “agriculture” of 87 acres of prime soils east of Lawrence.
  • And we joined with other stakeholders in preventing the approval of a 64 acre regional shopping center in the Wakarusa River bottomlands south of Lawrence.

Lawrence has river bottom land to the north, the east, and the south, the vast proportion being Class I and II soils. Such high quality soils in such close proximity to the urban core is rare, and an extremely valuable asset for the food sovereignty of our community.

The Lawrence KS Peak Oil Plan states “Our region’s capacity to grow all categories of food and thus help ensure future food security depends on the availability of highly productive land. Our food system assets include 8,416 acres of Class I soils that can support nearly all cultivation practices, including the more nutrient-intense production of fruit and vegetable crops.” And the Horizon 2020 Comprehensive Plan encourages “the protection of High Quality Agricultural Land in Douglas County”.

Class I contains soils having few limitations for cultivation; Class II contains soils having some limitations for cultivation; Class III contains soils having severe limitations for cultivation. Natural Resources Conservation Service – Kansas