What is Zoning Enforcement & How Does It Help Me?

UG Planning + Urban Design
4 min readDec 21, 2021

Jason Faust, Zoning Enforcement Specialist + Adjunct Planner

As one of its core functions, the Department of Planning and Urban Design enforces the Unified Government’s (UG) zoning codes and regulations. In partnership with the UG’s Property Codes and Community Policing Division, Zoning Enforcement encourages citizens and property owners in Wyandotte County to voluntarily comply with the zoning regulations in its code of ordinances. The UG strives for compliance through a combination of education, information and enforcement.

The Planning and Development Codes website contains the code of ordinances found under the zoning code icon.

Visit Web Site at Unified Development Ordinance (encodeplus.com)

The UG’s adopted ordinances and regulations that govern land uses and other related activities within its jurisdiction are many and complex. Zoning determines the standards by which you can develop and use your property. In this way, zoning is one of the critical tools to implement the community’s land use vision as embodied in the UG’s many citywide, area and corridor master plans. The zoning ordinance has established 19 different zoning districts under four (4) major district types: Agricultural, Residential, Commercial, and Industrial. The most recent version of the ordinance was adopted in 1988, so a majority of the County’s population and over 75% of all businesses in Wyandotte County have been conducting their daily activities subject to these ordinance regulations.

UG Maps V.4 is a research tool to find the zoning type of the address you are interested turn on the address label under parcel layer and check that KCK Zoning Layer is turned on.

UGV.4 Maps Zoning Layer visit Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 (wycokck.org)

This “big picture” view also involves evaluating not just individual properties, but also the overall use of land in a given area, and the compatibility of different uses to exist near each other. This is important to ensure that incompatible uses are not located next to each other (i.e. it would be preferred by most people to NOT have a metal scrap yard next to a daycare for small children, a solid waste disposal site next to a community garden, a fertilizer factory next to an apartment complex, or an automotive mechanic in the middle of a residential neighborhood).

The Land Use Map can be found in the City-Wide Master Plan to obtain details about the types of land uses and purposes.

City Wide Land Use Master Plan of Wyandotte County Kansas City, Kansas visit Planning & Urban Design — Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City (wycokck.org)

Top Ten* Examples of Zoning Violations:

  • Running most types of businesses from a residence or on a residential property without required permits.
  • Storage of excess or overweight vehicles for each zoning district.
  • Parking Semi-Trucks on Residential Property without a required permit (Ordinances allow semi-truck parking for no more than two days in a one-month period). Parking semi-trucks on residential streets is both prohibited and a traffic violation.
  • Using excessive signage, using sign types that are prohibited, or placing signs off of the property of a business.
  • Keeping Farm Animals without a permit, or on property that is too small. Or, keeping more than 3 Dogs, 3 Cats, or 6 Chickens or Ducks.
  • Excess parking on property or overflow parking on the sidewalks or streets.
  • Operating a commercial business outside of the building of that business or overflowing onto the sidewalk or street.
  • Automotive work for hire in a residential neighborhood.
  • Automotive work at a commercial or industrial property without the mandatory Special Use Permit.
  • Selling product or conducting business outside of an enclosed building, in most districts.

Resources:

Geocortex Viewer for HTML5, https://gisapp.wycokck.org/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=UGMAPS4.UGMAPS4

Municode Library, https://library.municode.com/ks/wyandotte_county_-_unified_government/codes/code_of_ordinances

“Planning & Urban Design.” — Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, https://www.wycokck.org/Departments/Planning-Urban-Design

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