Planning Approval Processes


If you are interested in developing in Lenexa, the first step is to go through the planning approval process. This process helps us ensure that your project complies with applicable property development regulations, is of high quality and fits the character of our community.

All applications on this page must be submitted through our Application & Permitting Portal. PDF applications are linked when applicable, for your convenience.

Application & Permitting Portal

Submittal Deadlines(PDF, 236KB)

Pre-application stage

Before you begin the official process of developing a property, you can participate in a pre-application process. The formal pre-application process provides you with initial feedback on your proposed development, but it does not grant you any approval.

Contact the Planning Division at or call us at 913.477.7500 to schedule a pre-application meeting with staff to review your conceptual drawings and our requirements and procedures. If your development is 3 acres or larger, we require a pre-application meeting.

  1. Submit a completed pre-application form, along with proposed plans and a project narrative. The more information you provide, the more detailed comments you will receive.
  2. Our Staff Review team (Community Development planners, plans examiners and engineers and Fire Department representatives) will review the submittal and provide comments.

Staff Review Pre-Application Form(PDF, 112KB)

Apply Online


The decision to change the zoning of a parcel of land is based — among other considerations — on the merits of the proposed use, compatibility with surrounding uses, and conformity with the Comprehensive Plan.

Rezoning requests are public hearing items and are required to provide adequate notification to neighboring property owners. Planning Commission and City Council approval are required. Any application for rezoning to a zoning classification other than AG, R-1 or RE must be accompanied by a concept or preliminary plan application.

All properties in Lenexa are zoned for residential, commercial, industrial or mixed uses. You will need to determine if your proposed development or use is allowed within the property’s current zoning district.

If your proposed development does not fit within current zoning regulations, the property will need to go through the rezoning process in order to accommodate the proposed development. You will also need to submit a concept plan or preliminary plan showing how you propose to develop or use the property.

  1. Submit a Rezoning Application and either a Concept Plan or Preliminary Plan Application (see next tab).
  2. As part of the rezoning process, you are responsible for notifying neighboring properties. We will provide you a notification template. Public notice letters are required to be sent certified mail with a return receipt. You are also responsible for posting sign(s) on the property.
  3. The rezoning and your concept or preliminary plan will be considered at a Planning Commission meeting.
    We will hold a public hearing during this meeting, where anyone can speak in favor of or against the rezoning.
  4. Planning Commissioners vote to recommend or not recommend your rezoning application. Their recommendation is based on criteria outlined in the Unified Development Code.
  5. Your application will then be sent to the City Council with the Planning Commission’s recommendation. The Council will make the final decision whether to approve or deny the rezoning and concept or preliminary plan.

Rezoning Application and Checklist(PDF, 162KB)

Apply online

Concept, preliminary and final plans

Whether or not your property needs to be rezoned, you will be required to submit a preliminary plan to show how you intend to develop the property.

  • Concept plans provide the big picture of your project with less detail. It shows the basic development concept and is only submitted in conjunction with a rezoning application. If your property is already properly zoned for your proposed use, you can go directly to submitting a preliminary plan. Concept Plan Application and Checklist(PDF, 177KB)
  • Preliminary plans typically include preliminary architectural, engineering and stormwater information in addition to the site plan, landscape plan, and a project narrative. It shows the tentative arrangement of buildings, facilities, landscaping, and uses for the property. Preliminary Plan Application and Checklist(PDF, 237KB)
  • Final plans generally include a site plan, landscaping plan, exterior lighting plan, a stormwater report, proposed sign scheme and complete exterior architectural drawings. These plans show the definite proposed development of the land and, if approved, are binding on the land. Final plans are not sent to the Governing Body unless requested by two or more City Council members or the City Manager within three working days following the Planning Commission’s action. Final Plan Application and Checklist(PDF, 257KB)
  • Staff review only final plan If your project is located in an existing business park within the BP-1 or BP-2 Zoning Districts, it may be eligible for a staff review final plan, which doesn’t require approval by the Planning Commission or City Council. Exception: the first final plan in a business park must still receive Planning Commission or City Council approval.
  • Plan approval extensions can be applied for as needed. Plan/Plat Extension Application(PDF, 55KB)

Most plans will be considered by the Planning Commission, which typically provides a recommendation to the City Council. The Council gives final approval on concept and preliminary plans. The Planning Commission typically is the final authority on final plans. During this process, you may be asked by staff, the Planning Commission or the City Council to make changes to your plan.

Apply online

Subdivision plats

Before land can be divided into two or more lots, or sometimes before we can issue a building permit, you must plat your property.

Plats are professional surveys typically used to subdivide parcels of land into subdivisions, lots, or to legally define property boundaries. Plats consist of general survey information, existing and proposed conditions, landscape and fence data, streets, access, stormwater, and watershed data.

The City of Lenexa requires preliminary and final plat approval before beginning grading of streets or construction. The preliminary plat is submitted to the Planning Commission for review and modifications may be imposed before approval is granted.

After the preliminary plat has been approved by the Planning Commission, a final plat for record is prepared and submitted to the Planning Commission for review and approval. If there are any right-of-way or easements being dedicated to the City of Lenexa, the final plat is then forwarded to the City Council for acceptance and dedication. Final plats must be accompanied by complete storm drainage analysis, computations and construction plans.

Preliminary Plat

  • If you submitted a preliminary plan, a separate preliminary plat is not required because the preliminary plan will serve as the preliminary plat.
  • If you did not submit a preliminary plan, you must submit a preliminary plat showing how you propose to subdivide your property into lots, with the necessary streets and other features.

Preliminary Plan/Plat Application and Checklist(PDF, 237KB)

Final Plat

Once your preliminary plat has been approved, staff will work with you to resolve any outstanding conditions the Planning Commission has requested. You should submit your final plat as the last step in the planning approval process.

  • Final plats are prepared by a land surveyor registered in the State of Kansas and describes the lots, established or proposed easements and street dedications.
  • A preliminary plat and final plat will not be considered simultaneously unless it is a minor subdivision. A minor subdivision is a subdivision containing five or fewer lots without any new streets or easements.
  • You are required to have an approved final plat before you can record the plat and sell lots.
  • Final plats that include the dedication of roads or easements to the city require approval of the City Council.
  • Plan approval extensions can be applied for as needed. Plan/Plat Extension Application(PDF, 55KB)

Final Plat Application and Checklist(PDF, 247KB)

Apply online

Special use permits

Special use permits allow specific land uses in a zoning district that are not permitted “by right.” Special use permit requests are public hearing items and are required to provide adequate notification to neighboring property owners. They must be approved by both the Planning Commission and the City Council. The Special use permit process provides flexibility in the land use regulations by allowing the Planning Commission and City Council to ensure that the proposed use will not adversely impact neighboring property. Special use permits can be conditioned with restrictions for site development, parking, signs and duration of the use.

Section 4-1-B-23 of Lenexa City Code: Supplementary Use Regulations

  • If a special use permit is required and you are constructing a new building, you should submit your special use permit application with your preliminary plan application.
  • If you are planning to occupy an existing building and you need a special use permit, you only need to submit a special use permit application and related documents such as a site plan, floor plan and project narrative.

This process generally includes:

  1. Submit a Special Use Permit Application.
  2. Notify neighboring properties via certified mail with a return receipt and post the required sign(s) on the property.
  3. The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing where anyone can speak in favor or against your request for the special use permit. After the public hearing, the Planning Commission will provide a recommendation to the City Council to approve or deny your request.
  4. Your application will be sent to the City Council with the Planning Commission’s recommendation. The Council will make the final decision to approve or deny the special use permit.

Special Use Permit Application and Checklist(PDF, 60KB)

Apply online


Sometimes right-of-way or easements need to be vacated to facilitate development projects. Vacations are approved through the City Council.

Vacation Application and Checklist(PDF, 59KB)

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It is recognized that conditions vary greatly among sites, that operational characteristics can be unique amongst uses, and that the design, scale, and character of neighborhoods vary. The Planning Commission has the authority to approve deviations from strict compliance of code in Planned Districts. Deviations shall be clearly identified on plans or plats submitted for consideration as part of a plan or plat approval process.

The criteria considered by the Planning Commission include:

  • the purpose and intent of the code requirement,
  • the impact on adjacent properties,
  • safety,
  • unique site conditions and constraints,
  • the promotion of high quality or unique design, and
  • the character of the neighborhood.

Deviations are typically requested as part of the larger development approval; however, a sign deviation request may be submitted independent of a larger application.

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Variances may be requested when development on a property cannot meet the regulations outlined in the Unified Development Code (UDC). The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) may grant variances from the specific terms of the UDC for specific cases. Approval is only granted if all criteria from the UDC are met, including:

  1. That the variance requested arises from condition which is unique to the property in question and which is not ordinarily found in the same zone or district and is not created by an action of the property owner or the applicant;
  2. That the granting of the permit for the variance will not adversely affect the rights of adjacent property owners or residents;
  3. That the strict application of the code from which a variance is requested will constitute unnecessary hardship upon the property owner represented in the application;
  4. That the variance desired will not adversely affect the public health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, the general welfare or the harmonious development of the City;
  5. That granting the variance desired will not be opposed to the general spirit and intent of the code; and>
  6. That the variance, if granted, is the minimum variance that will afford relief and is the least modification possible of the provisions of the code which is in question.

Variance Application and Checklist(PDF, 88KB)

Apply online