In 1857, Olathe was founded at the strategic location of the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails on the westernmost frontier. Named for the Shawnee Indian word “beautiful,” Olathe quickly became the center of commerce and county seat for Johnson County. One hundred and fifty years later, Olathe’s location and character continue to make it desirable for residents and businesses alike. Now, with a population of more than 120,000 residents, Olathe offers all of the cultural advantages of a major metropolitan area with a lifestyle of exceptional quality. Foresight and attributes including great schools, affordable housing, a highly educated workforce, friendly family and business environment, and accepting attitudes have made Olathe one of the most desirable and fastest growing cities in the United States. Today, Olathe is at another strategic crossroads. Fiscal challenges faced by communities across the nation and a volatile market could hinder our progress. We must act with direction and purpose if we are to continue our prosperity and design a future that we all desire.
With an abundant supply of vacant land and existing areas ripe for redevelopment, the Community must make a choice about how to grow. The right choices will ensure the City stays on the cutting edge and enhances its quality of life. A new comprehensive plan, PlanOlathe, represents an important milestone in the continuing history of Olathe.