The City of Wichita is considering a proposal from a local oilman to lease land on the west bank of the Arkansas River to drill for oil that he believes is under the river and much of downtown.
The parcel under consideration is in the triangle of land between McLean Boulevard and Sycamore Street - across from the West Bank Stage and between the new library and the apartments being planned for the West Bank Stage area. Delano Park and Exploration Place are in close proximity.
It is also within the area that the Delano Plan has designated for a "world-class" Urban Village and conflicts with the Delano Bike & Walking Path along the old railway corridor north of Douglas.
The Delano Plan calls for the development of an Urban Village which "... should ultimately be a world-class living environment."
It is intended to be "... an urban mixed-use neighborhood with a unique character and broad mix of uses" and is important enough to have it's own separate section in the Design Guidelines.
The Delano Bike / Walking Trail
The Delano Plan also calls for a Bike / Walking Trail to be created along the old railway corridor.
A plan has already been drawn up for the section from Seneca to McLean and placed in the City's Capital Improvement Plan, but has not yet been funded.
The Parcel of Land in Question
In the Delano Plan that section of land is a connection point between the Bike / Walking trail, the West Bank, Delano Park, Exploration Place and (coming soon) the new Downtown Library. It is an open space and a gathering spot which could be used for the Delano Farmers Market or as a venue for staging other outdoor events.
Placing a walled industrial compound in the middle of an open space like that closes it off and blocks any connection between those points of interest and would stifle further development in the surrounding area.
Real and Potential Impacts of Drilling
This plan involves a certain amount of speculation, uncertainty and risk. There are no guarantees and plenty of potential impacts.
We encourage you to review the list of impacts to the right and see how many of them affect you. Do your own research.
Then write a letter to your Councilmember, sign the petiton or come to one (or both) of the public meetings.
Opportunities for Public Comment
There will be three opportunities for Public Comment on this proposal. First it will go to the District Advisory Board for District 6 (DAB 6) and then it will go before the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) and finally will be brought to the City Council (early Sept?) where there will be a final opportunity for the public to speak.
DAB 6 Meeting
Monday, August 5th
Evergreen Recreation Center
2700 N. Woodland