Overall Site Context
Cedar Niles Park provides a very large natural and scenic setting for the west side of Johnson County. Located west of K-7 and just outside the City of Olathe, Cedar Niles Park stretches from approximately 119th Street just past 135th Street. The western edge of Cedar Niles Park is less than 5 miles from Kill Creek Park and the TimberRidge Adventure Center and is also adjacent to Lake Olathe and the Olathe Prairie Center natural prairie area. Primary access to Cedar Niles Park from the east is from K-7 traveling west to 119th Street, 127th Street or 135th Street. Although there are multiple points of access, there are limited opportunities to travel north and south by vehicle.
Cedar Niles Park and Stoneridge
The Stoneridge Property was purchased in 2018 by JCPRD and is located south of 127th Street and west of Lakeshore Drive. This 75-acre property is surrounded by Cedar Niles Park. Cedar Niles Park totals 957 acres and contains many natural assets including streams, dramatic topography and diverse plant life. Cedar Creek runs through the park, which is predominantly mixed woodlands with open spaces. The most noticeable man-made feature in Cedar Niles Park is a set of overhead powerlines that cut diagonally across the northwest corner of the site. The adjacent land uses include large estates and residential neighborhoods that will benefit from access to the park’s natural features.
The master plan was first developed in 2008 and the first phase of development broke ground in February 2020. The first phase includes four miles of paved trails, which will run adjacent to the Stoneridge Property to the east. Other improvements include a picnic shelter, playground, restroom and trailhead parking located off 135th Street and it is anticipated to open in early 2021.
Stoneridge Site Characteristics
The Stoneridge Property shares many of the same characteristics as Cedar Niles Park including natural elements, rock outcroppings, noticeable grade changes, large oak hickory forests and intermittent streams.
1 – View down the old equestrian trail, looking west towards the gravel road
2 – View of the largest remnant of high quality, original (unplowed) prairie manage by JCPRD to the west of the property
3 – One of the intermittent streams located in the southern area of the property
4 – Dense areas of cedar trees adjacent to the cleared area on the south side
5 – View across the open and relatively flat meadow
6 – View of the major grade change along the eastern cliffs down to the future Cedar Niles Park trail
7 – View through the heavily wooded area down to the north stream
Infrastructure and Views
The Stoneridge Property’s only entrance is off 127th Street and is marked by a large, stone sign with a gate and white split rail fence. The single gravel road splits off and loops around the property by the large residence and garage on the east side over to the barn, shop and stables on the west side. All roads are gravel except for a paved driveway outside of the garage. Though most of the site is heavily wooded with trees, there are several valleys and cliffs that allow expansive views. The cliffs line the east side, overlooking parts of the future Cedar Niles Park trail. The valleys and meadows are on the south side of the property.
The vehicular circulation is mostly limited to the gravel roads on the property with a loop connecting both the residence and the barn. The pedestrian circulation follows the old equestrian trail running along the north and east side of the property and slightly outside the property line. This trail runs through the woods, just to the south of an intermittent stream, on a mowed path leading to the cliffs and opens up into meadows on the south side of the property.
Much of the property is wooded with trees with some areas being denser than others. The exceptions to this are the meadows in the southern part of the property, the areas around the residence and barn, as well as the native grass field in the northwest corner. The property has large oak hickory forests, dense areas of cedar trees and some invasive plant materials like garlic mustard and honeysuckle.
More than half of the site is Oska-Martin silty clay loams, which makes up 51.2% of the total soil on the property and are well drained, moderately deep soil profiles with slopes under 10%. Vinland-Rock outcrop complex, which have steep slopes and excessively drained, makes up 25.9% of the soil, mainly along the southern edge and the stream to the north. 22.8% of the soil is made up of Sogn-Vinland complex, which is found running through the center of the property and to the north. This soil has a shallow soil profile and is somewhat excessively drained. The last 0.1% is made up of Chillicothe silt loam, which has a very deep soil profile and is well drained and is located along the western property line.
The high point (HP) is in the center of the site, along the west property line. The low points (LP) on the site are in the northeast corner and southeast corner, along the creek and cliffs. The property, starting at the HP, remains fairly level with only 0-4% slopes and begins to slope down with greater severity south and east. The site begins to level off again at the clearing on the southern end, but the slopes dramatically increase along the south property line, near the cliffs.