Planning & Zoning

Lyon County, Kansas

Planning & Zoning

Samuel Seeley, CFM, CPM, Director

Lyon County Planning and Zoning

430 Commercial Street, Room 101

Emporia, Kansas 66801




Emporia and Lyon County Zoning Regulations Update

Emporia, KS – August 20, 2018

Lyon County and the City of Emporia completed and unanimously adopted a new Joint Comprehensive Plan, PlanELC, in November 2017. With this plan in place, it is now time to update the zoning regulations for Lyon County and the City of Emporia so that they support and implement PlanELC.

As part of this process, the City and County are combining the zoning and subdivision regulations into one joint document in order to develop consistent regulations that support and adhere to the vision, goals, and patterns included in PlanELC. The updated zoning regulations will supersede the present zoning ordinances and other local land development regulations that apply to the City of Emporia and Lyon County. The zoning regulations will guide form as well as use in order to create clear, simple, flexible, and objective criteria for development consistent with PlanELC.

PlanELC also includes an updated Land Use Plan in the form of a Regulating Plan. The Regulating Plan introduces several new development typologies, all of which are not currently reflected in current zoning regulations. Furthermore, PlanELC recommends eliminating the Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) and proposes a new future city boundary. This future boundary now more closely follows the floodplain line in many areas and designates appropriate areas for growth, if needed.

The process will incorporate participatory planning and will take place over an 18-month period. The City and County are working with The Urban Collaborative, the company that facilitated and completed PlanELC. The process began with preliminary research and analysis of the current zoning regulations and stakeholder interviews will be held through September. A four-day, public workshop will take place from October 29th through November 1st to gather ideas and further define the Regulating Plan and applicable standards for buildings, streets, and landscapes. The process will include education and training on how to use and implement the new zoning regulations. A draft of the updated zoning regulations will be available for public review in spring of 2019.

Questions about zoning regulations or PlanELC?

Download a complete copy of PlanELC from the City and County websites or contact the City and County directly.

For questions regarding the zoning regulations update process, contact Sam Seeley, Lyon County Planning, Zoning, and Floodplain Management Director:


Or Joe Foster, City of Emporia Planning and Zoning:


Contact The Urban Collaborative directly, by contacting Zoe Anton, Planner and Project Manager, at


A copy of the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting can be emailed to any interested party as a Word document attachment. For the next Planning Board Meeting Agenda, send an email request to

Planning Board meetings are held every 2nd Wed at 7 pm.

The Board reviews the Zoning Regulations, Subdivision Regulations, and Comprehensive Plan annually and always welcomes input from the community.

For information concerning a specific zoning application please call (620) 341-3471 or Email

Zoning Process

The application deadline is the first Wednesday of each month. To apply for rezoning you must have a list of adjacent landowners within 1000 feet (200 feet in residential area) supplied by a certified Abstract Company, completed application form, and the fee. For certain specific types of zoning other special conditions may be required.

Before the Planning/Appeals Board meeting a legal notice of the meeting will be published in the newspaper. At that time letters will be sent to the adjacent landowners on the list from the certified Abstract Company.

Before the meeting an agenda will be sent to radio station and the newspaper media, Board of Realtors, Board of County Commissioners, and County Counselor.

Before the meeting a packet will be prepared and mailed to the members of the Lyon County Planning Board. The packet will contain copies of the zoning application and other related information.

On the second Wednesday of each month there will be a meeting by the Lyon County Planning Board at 7:00 pm.

At the meeting the applicant will make the request to the Lyon County Planning Board. The 7 unpaid volunteer members of the Planning Board will vote on the application. It could be tabled for more information. It could be recommended for approval. It could be recommended for approval with conditions. It could also be recommended for denial.

Remember that the vote by the Planning Board is a recommendation only. It is a recommendation to the Lyon County Board of County Commissioners to either approve or deny the application.

If a person wishes to file a protest petition against the application there is a 14-day period after the Planning Board meeting in which to do so. Protest Petition forms are available at the Zoning Offices. For information about how to file a valid protest petition contact the Zoning Offices.

Approximately 3 weeks after the Planning Board meeting a time will be scheduled for the application to go before the Board of County Commissioners. The vote by the County Commissioners is the final say in the matter. A Resolution reflecting the decision of the Commissioners will be signed and published.


Zoning FAQ

How many acres do I need for a home?

5 acres for Agriculture Conditional-Use “Single Family Dwelling” in an Agricultural District or 3 acres for residential zoning in a Residential District.

If I have more than 40 acres do I need to go through zoning?

An agricultural determination is required to determine if zoning or permitting is required. Also, you are required to verify that the home is not in a floodplain. Other uses will be addressed on a case by case basis.

How long does it take to get zoning?

It is a process that can take about two months. A meeting must be scheduled in advance with the Lyon County Planning/Appeals Board and then later with the Board of County Commissioners.

What is a Protest Petition?

A Protest Petition is filed within 14 days after the Planning Board meeting and before the Board of County Commissioners meeting. The forms and instructions are available in the Zoning Office at the Lyon County Courthouse and online under forms. To be valid the forms must be by owners of land within 1000 feet of the area requested for rezoning and filed with the County Clerk.

I have a zoning problem, example: too many junk vehicles, on my neighbor’s property what should I do?

If talking to your neighbor does not work you can file a written complaint in the Zoning Office, Room #101, Lyon County Courthouse or online, you can find this form under zoning forms.

What else should I know?

Every piece of property and every situation are different. If you have any questions at all check with the Lyon County Zoning Office at phone number (620) 341-3471 or email us at Don’t buy a property without looking into any potential zoning issues.