SHAWNEE, Kan. — The city of Shawnee could soon create a new land use category to allow for more handmade goods to be sold downtown. 

On Monday night, the planning commission unanimously approved a proposal to add artisanal manufacturing to the city’s Townsquare and Commercial Highway Overlay districts. 

The Townsquare district includes mostly commercial and mixed-use areas. The district covers a majority of downtown Shawnee between Bluejacket Street and King Avenue from Shawnee Mission Parkway to around 57th Street. 

Map of the Townsquare district

City staff refer to the Commercial Highway Overlay district as the eastern gateway to Shawnee. The district sits along Shawnee Mission Parkway between Flint Street and the eastern city boundary. 

The proposed artisanal manufacturing land use would allow on-site production of handmade products including food, alcohol and art. Typical uses may include businesses like breweries, cabinet shops, ceramic studios or jewelers. 

For a business to qualify under the new category, products must be made on-site and sold in a storefront at the same location. The storefront must be at least 150 square feet and located on the ground floor of the building. Up to 2,500 square feet of the business property can be dedicated to manufacturing the products. 

Downtown Shawnee is home to several established breweries and other artisanal manufacturing type businesses. According to city documents, none of the businesses have a manufacturing space greater than the proposed 2,500 square foot limit.

Deputy Community Development Director Lauren Grashoff said the proposed change will also limit car-centric businesses downtown.

Under the proposed amendment, auto parts stores and gas stations would not be allowed in the Townsquare district. Convenience stores will also not be allowed within the district if the business includes gas pumps. 

Auto parts stores, gas stations and convenience stores would still be allowed within the Commercial Highway Overlay district. Grashoff said neither of the two districts currently have an existing business that would be disallowed under the proposed amendments. 

If the amendments are approved for the two districts, any existing restaurants or new businesses that wanted to offer a drive-thru option would be required to obtain a special use permit (SUP) from the city. 

The city council is scheduled to review the proposed amendment for the new land use category on Monday, Sept. 12. If approved by the city council, the amendment would go into effect on Sept. 20.