Development - Discussion Forums

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To the right, you can find a summary document of your input so far on issues related to development in Kansas City.

Below are discussion forums on the development issues you have provided input on so far. This page will be updated as needed throughout the comprehensive plan update process.

To the right, you can find a summary document of your input so far on issues related to development in Kansas City.

Below are discussion forums on the development issues you have provided input on so far. This page will be updated as needed throughout the comprehensive plan update process.

Discussions: All (5) Open (5)
  • Development Administration

    7 months ago
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    Here is the feedback we have received so far on development administration:

    • Planning
      • Develop based upon our needs, desires, characteristics and strengths, and avoid building too much of the same thing or excessive copying of what other cities do
      • Plan equitably in recognition of differing opportunities, resources and baselines; or, conversely, spread efforts and resources evenly 
      • Base plans upon data which have been confirmed and analyzed before using them
      • Enhance chances for successful planning by including implementation details, deadlines, performance measures, and commitment from politicians 
      • Provide concise versions of development policies 
      • Better integrate transportation planning with land use planning
      • Prepare for a possible influx of migrants fleeing dangers elsewhere in the US from wildfires, droughts, rising oceans, stronger hurricanes, congested cities, etc. 
      • Deal with the effects of revenue shortfalls resulting from COVID-19 with respect to reduced expenditures for development
    • Actors
      • Have staff meet with residents inclusively on a regular basis to discuss current and long-range planning, and to develop detailed plans which show developers what residents want
      • Create plans based upon common metrics, values, and strategies which are common knowledge (i.e. that all actors know and that each actor can be confident that the other actors know)
      • Make plans "living documents" that actually result in physical improvements, budget items, and guidance for grassroots organizations to work toward goals and to train others to do so
      • Put the desires of neighborhood residents ahead of those of big developers
      • Ensure that both the public and private sectors are following City guidelines, policies, and plans
      • Establish a forum to connect people who share an interest in working together, even casually, to improve specific neighborhoods or the City
      • Teach citizens how City revenues are collected, where each major class of revenue is collected from geographically, and the cost of providing services geographically, so that we can plan for a sustainable, equitable future, possibly involving reparations 
      • Tone down the extreme rhetoric between adversaries, such as landlords versus tenants, economic development agencies versus other taxing jurisdictions, and interjurisdictional discussions on dividing the City's resources north/south and east/west
      • Join other governments in the Metro Area to perform regional land use planning
      • Join with KCK in planning, management, and funding regarding transportation, economic development, housing, education, etc. 
    • Cost of Sprawl
      • Charge developers for the costs of extending sewer and water service to their developments
      • Use development fees, subdivision regulations, or zoning to create financial mechanisms without sunset to compensate for the costs of sprawled/low density development
    • Zoning & Development Code
      • Get community input on preferences regarding changes in zoning regulations
      • Upzone for more middle density housing/walkup apartments, inclusionary housing, and transit-oriented development 
      • Reduce or remove certain zoning to allow neighborhoods to reshape themselves into self-sustaining mixed-use communities
      • Allow flexibility in minimum lot widths for infill housing
      • Provide density bonuses for apartment buildings being constructed or renovated
    • Building Code
      • Require carbon-neutral design of new buildings 
    • Business Regulation
      • Create more regulations to prevent pay day loans/check-into-cash and liquor stores in our poorer neighborhoods
      • Better enforce regulation of big businesses
      • Reduce regulation of businesses
    • Quasi-Public Entities
      • Create Community Improvement Districts to fund neighborhood improvement
      • Establish land trusts in outlying areas 
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  • Development in Existing Areas

    7 months ago
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    Here is what we've heard so far regarding development in existing areas:

    • Character
      • Preserve the positive characteristics and uniqueness of our neighborhoods which convey authenticity of our building fabric and sense of place
      • Develop in ways that retain our atmosphere as a collection of villages, with a small-town feeling of comfort, familiarity, down-to-earth tone, acceptance, and belonging 
    • Landscape
      • Retain existing trees, replace trees where they once were, and improve the tree canopy for beauty, healthier air, and reduced urban heat island effect 
      • Maintain our spacious parks and extensive boulevards, and fund them adequately
      • Protect rivers and streams from pollution and trash, and support the Blue River Action Plan
      • Protect existing scenic features and views, particularly toward and from Downtown and the Bluffs
    • Architecture
      • Preserve or restore historic buildings and neighborhoods
      • Preserve special architecture
    • Facilities & Services
      • Make existing areas more livable by preserving or adding amenities and attractions
      • Provide good quality, affordable grocery stores throughout the City, particularly in current "food deserts", possibly through public/private partnerships
      • Provide neighborhoods with community centers, food kitchens, etc., including reuse of vacant churches
      • Provide City services equitably, or, conversely, balance City expenditures in each neighborhood with what it receives from each neighborhood 
      • Build a new jail 
    • Housing
      • Retain existing affordable housing by preserving the existing good quality housing stock, making homes more energy efficient, limiting property tax and rental increases, subsidizing more existing housing, combatting redlining, and improving quality where needed without excessive costs 
      • Collaborate to restore empty/boarded up houses 
      • Assist people who are evicted due to job losses during the pandemic 
      • Deal with the acquisition of housing by speculators, large corporations, and management firms only interested in jacking up rents 
      • Encourage property owners to explore section 8/voucher housing options as a viable investment vehicle
    • Infrastructure
      • Keep current streets, sewers, water lines, utilities, communication systems, and other infrastructure in good condition
      • Equitably maintain current infrastructure against the ravages of age, wear and tear, and climate change
      • Separate combined sewers
      • Avoid developing high-capacity highways with heavily polluting vehicles through existing neighborhoods
    • Blight
      • Prevent blight (and, under Broken Windows theory, discourage crime) by keeping neighborhoods clean, well-maintained, and free of litter, illegal dumping, vandalism, and graffiti
      • Educate citizens about how to maintain their homes
      • Enhance clean-up efforts by engaging neighborhoods, centralizing organization online, paying disadvantaged persons to conduct them, and solving trash collection problems
      • Enforce the property maintenance code
      • Regarding vacant, abandoned or dilapidated buildings or lots, favor restoration, rehabilitation, and reuse over tearing down and rebuilding
      • Redevelop blighted areas where smaller rehabilitation efforts would be insufficient or infeasible
      • When redevelopment is infeasible and there is very little demand to locate in an area, let some of the area revert back to nature 
    • Gentrification & Displacement
      • When redeveloping or making major improvements to a neighborhood, avoid gentrification and displacement by including plans and resources to allow existing residents and occupants to remain in the neighborhood
      • If displacement does occur and it pushes lower income people to farther out areas, respond to their changing needs for transit, services, and facilities
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  • Development Support

    7 months ago
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    Here is the feedback we have received so far on development support:

    • Branding
      • Inspire development and relocation here by advertising and enhancing our wonderful big city amenities (arts, entertainment, cuisine, sports) in a city which is still affordable, uncrowded, uncongested, friendly, and welcoming
      • Advertise and capitalize upon our central location in the country
      • Publicize Kansas City's history, particularly the leading role of the Kansas City/St. Joseph region in the settlement of the West
      • Attract and inspire equitable development by branding KC with a theme of inclusion; then reinforce it by teaching it in schools, media ads, billboards, articles in government brochures, private journalism columns, and blogs
      • Support restoration of the many attractions that led Kansas City to be placed in top ten lists but which have been closing due to COVID-19
    • Infrastructure
      • Supply the infrastructure which will encourage and meet the needs of new development projects 
    • Resources
      • Distribute resources equitably among all neighborhoods
      • Deal with reduced fiscal resources for supporting development, as tax revenues decrease resulting from the pandemic and its recession
    • Incentives to Pursue
      • Provide incentives to worthwhile development that would not occur without them
      • Provide smaller incentives in more neighborhoods
      • Use incentives to assist growth of local entrepreneurs, instead of to lure companies to move here
      • Grant incentives to development that is not only sustainable from an environmental and social standpoint, but can reduce blight, improve job access or quality of life in disadvantaged areas, restore greenspace, or reconnect neighborhoods
      • Improve air quality in disadvantaged neighborhoods by granting incentives to truck and train facilities which would use low emission vehicles 
      • Grant incentives to develop new uses for parking lots and vacant lots in the Urban Core
      • Subsidize development which includes gardening with native plants and rainwater irrigation systems
      • Better target Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to achieve broad goals
    • Incentives to Avoid
      • Do not provide incentives at a level which diverts too much funding from alternative expenditures for worthwhile facilities and services
      • Eliminate the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA) which has little planning expertise, but diverts vast revenues from schools, etc. to developers
      • Avoid granting incentives to big, wealthy developers
      • Avoid granting incentives to non-resident developers or to non-resident owners of rental housing
      • Avoid granting incentives for luxury housing
      • Avoid granting incentives to projects with little chance of success
      • Avoid granting incentives for offices or hotels which exceed demand, could be developed without incentives, are in areas where development is already thriving, or only benefit small or already well-to-do interest groups
    • Thriving Economy
      • Support a thriving economy where businesses flourish and amenities can be funded
      • Create a well-educated, well-trained workforce to attract employers and investment to the City
      • Create well-paying jobs of the future to attract young and talented residents
      • Respond to changes in levels of tourism and convention attendance due to COVID-19, continue to find ways to attract them, and maintain our attractions and hospitality facilities
      • Remove barriers to the success of minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, or other businesses suffering from discrimination 
      • Moderate the cost of locating here
    • Social Environment
      • Reduce crime
      • Reduce distrust and hostility between police and citizens, police malfeasance, and looting
      • Identify and address mental health problems appropriately 
      • Reduce ethnic and income segregation and discrimination 
      • Reduce disparities in income, wealth, and opportunity
      • Improve educational opportunities for residents, including pre-school, K-12, college, job training, adult education, parenting classes, libraries, and broadband internet access
      • Provide accessible, good quality healthcare facilities
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  • Elements of Development

    7 months ago
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    Here is what we've heard so far on the different elements of development:

    • General
      • Create "whole" neighborhoods that provide housing, transportation, social interaction, public and private services, recreation and green space, arts, education, and public and private institutions
      • Respect sustainability and equity in development and in the resulting jobs
      • Apply good design to all construction for purposes of functionality, aesthetics, health, safety, sustainability, and enjoyment
    • Housing
      • Create mixed-income neighborhoods with diverse housing options and without cookie cutter subdivisions
      • Make available housing features that have become in greater demand, such as home offices and accessory dwelling units
      • Assist development of affordable housing by creating public/private partnerships and regional efforts committed to that purpose, constructing many more small homes with basic features, providing a significant share of affordable housing in residential developments, establishing co-ops, constructing new subsidized housing, providing more housing for the homeless, and encouraging energy efficient homes
      • Balance appropriately owned and rented housing as well as housing with various sizes, forms, features, maintenance options, and available amenities
      • Provide adequate infrastructure to serve housing
    • Commercial Development
      • Scatter job centers throughout the City
      • Maintain the high proportion of small, locally-owned stores, and assist them to survive economic hardships from the pandemic 
      • Retain, and encourage creation of, corner shops and shops on the first floor of high-rise buildings
      • Respond to the lack of enough sophisticated shopping, ethnic restaurants, department stores, and shops and restaurants open on Sunday
      • Suit potentially altered consumer preferences after the pandemic for more spacious commercial facilities with more outdoor space, easy pickup, and contact-free services
      • Reduce the proportion of space in office buildings to respond to more people working from home
    • Parks & Open Space
      • Provide parks, playgrounds, and open space throughout the City, make them easily reachable by walking, and create more activities there, possibly including nightlife
      • Continue to enhance open spaces and buildings with art works in the form of fountains, sculpture, murals, and whimsical elements (e.g. shuttlecocks on Nelson-Atkins lawn, "hair curlers" on Bartle Hall)
      • Restore parks and boulevards which have deteriorated and improve those which have always lacked some features
      • Preserve or replace trees encountered during development
      • Encourage development of community food gardens, particularly in vacant lots 
      • Create green spaces on roofs and walls
      • Grow native plants on lawns
      • Preserve in relatively undisturbed manner wildlife and natural habitats, including landscapes which foster pollinators 
      • Make some natural settings (i.e. forests, cliffs, and caves) venues for adventure sports 
      • Make rivers and lakes suitable for leisure activities in the water and on shore 
    • Public Spaces
      • Make public spaces more human-friendly
      • Create more gathering places and activities to take place there 
      • Integrate multiple leisure activities at individual entertainment/recreation/shopping venues, possibly including special events, or live or recorded music
      • Fulfill a likely desire lingering from the pandemic for more, or adaptable, outdoor activity space to live, work, play, and learn
    • Infrastructure 
      • Integrate planning between City departments to create functional, cost-effective infrastructure
      • Minimize construction of new infrastructure until we catch up on being able to maintain what we already have
      • Fund infrastructure adequately to serve its purpose far into the future
      • Implement by government and by individuals safe, ecologically sound green (natural), gray (functionally constructed), and blue (urban-suited) infrastructure
      • Guide City infrastructure investment away from developer-driven priorities to planned development which encourages density, redevelopment of existing areas, and protection of stream corridors
      • Engage our world class engineering firms to bring innovation to design and construction of infrastructure and buildings; then spread the word about their achievements
      • Supply utilities characterized by renewable and off-grid options
      • Provide adequate drainage and prevent flooding by curbing sprawling development, enforcing stream setbacks, constructing buildings outside of floodplains, restoring ecosystems, retaining rainwater, taxing impervious surfaces, promoting urban agriculture, and other vacant-to-vibrant projects, and participating in collaborative cross-jurisdictional management and protection of the watershed 
    • Climate Change
      • Limit developmental sprawl to reduce the distances that would need to be traveled
      • Create more mixed-use development to allow closer access to varying types of destinations
      • Design buildings for net-zero energy use and emission of reduced levels of greenhouse gases; then share success stories 
      • Require new construction residential and commercial projects to have some sort of green energy included (i.e. solar, geothermal, wind)
      • Sequester more carbon through green space
      • Provide solar panels on new buildings and on underutilized public land
      • Explicitly plan, benchmark, communicate, and budget to achieve a small carbon footprint and to deal with the impacts of climate change
      • Adapt construction to deal with the effects of climate change, such as hotter temperatures and storms with stronger winds and heavier rains
      • Study and replicate good ideas of other cities
      • Intersect the comprehensive plan with the climate resilience plan
    • Transportation
      • Provide facilities to connect housing to jobs, shopping, services, and facilities
      • Create complete streets whose auto transportation role is balanced with other transportation modes, greenery, human amenities, and features that enhance neighborhood livability 
      • Expand the transit system to cover all parts of the City and to provide frequent, amenable service
      • Work with KCATA to provide access to public transit for developments
      • Provide a fast, extensive, easily accessible street and highway system
      • Make wayfinding easy through signage and the layout of streets
    • Walkability
      • Create walkable neighborhoods for people of all types, where stores, services, facilities, and amenities visited frequently can be reached conveniently on foot
      • Have building entrances face streets, make them attractive, and make them as continuous as possible, especially retail
      • Hide or de-emphasize the visual impact of parking for pedestrians
      • Provide walkable connections to adjacent neighborhoods
      • Provide a complete, connected system of curbs, sidewalks, and crosswalks, partly by requiring developers to provide them
      • Implement road diets to enhance pedestrian safety and amenity
      • Supply walkways with good lighting, benches, public art, and native plantings
      • Provide a system of trails for walking and biking
    • Biking
      • Make jobs, education, healthcare, retail, parks, libraries, and other amenities safely reachable by bike
      • Provide a system of dedicated bike lanes and paths
      • Provide bike parks and mountain biking trails
    • Parking
      • Provide parking spaces to meet all proposed demand, or conversely, remove parking minimums and apply the unused space and money to create more dense, vibrant development or more green space
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  • Location of Development

    7 months ago
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    Here is the feedback we have received so far on the location of development:

    • Development Form
      • Continue developing a growing city which serves the lifestyle choice for spread out, almost entirely residential neighborhoods with convenient connections by car to other uses, and ample parking opportunities in most places
      • Develop neighborhoods which serve the lifestyle choice for denser developments, with mixed uses easily reached by walking or bike, and efficiently short infrastructure systems, including where work or study at home make it more convenient to also perform other activities within one's own neighborhood
      • Avoid sprawl of infrastructure and development, which is environmentally harmful and excessively costly to construct and maintain
      • Develop transit nodes connected by corridors of development
      • Prioritize infill development on undeveloped or underdeveloped land
      • Keep development accessible, but not overcrowded or congested 
      • Center neighborhoods around shops, restaurants, cafes, services, libraries, community centers, parks, etc.
      • Retain the ease of accessing music, sports, and other entertainment
    • Downtown
      • Reinforce the momentum of Downtown revitalization, and do not be overly confident that it will continue without new efforts
      • Make the Downtown waterfront a major venue for entertainment and recreation, possibly involving shopping, a marina, or efforts to clean the water
      • Locate major stadiums Downtown
      • Bring shopping back Downtown
      • Continue existing types of development occurring in Downtown, but also encourage relatively new types, such as housing for families with children 
      • Create more parks, courtyards, or other improved public space Downtown, possibly including capping Freeway Loop highways, and join them to each other and to spaces in other neighborhoods
    • Central Corridor 
      • Maintain the variety of entertainment districts from River Market to Waldo, each of which have their own character, but which are easily accessible to each other; or conversely, dismantle entertainment districts
      • Maintain the convenience of having restaurants close to entertainment, and the variety of restaurants and bars in walking distance of each other
      • Adapt to a possibly great decline in demand for commercial real estate resulting from the pandemic 
      • Make concrete tree squares large enough for the trees to survive
      • Better connect the West Bottoms, particularly its historic architecture, to the Central Business District
      • Deal with crime, particularly in Westport
    • East Side
      • Reduce societal inequity and division by proactively supporting and performing East Side development 
      • Extend current development across segregation lines
      • Strengthen the foundation for East Side development by improving economic opportunities and the quality of life there
      • Improve conditions in blighted areas to the same quality as in other areas
      • Provide more retail stores in the East Side
      • Provide good quality, affordable grocery stores in East Side food deserts
      • Provide the resources/investment needed for preserving, maintaining, rehabilitating, improving, or redeveloping East Side neighborhoods
      • Produce and implement a comprehensive plan to improve education, healthcare, and safety in the East Side
      • Provide better access to jobs, education, and services, including expanding the streetcar system into the East Side
      • Confront and dismantle redlining and seek to reverse its longstanding impacts
    • Suburban Areas
      • Build upon the great existing momentum for development of new neighborhoods in the Northland
      • Supply more pools, community centers, parks, street lighting, and decent arterials in the Northland
      • Address growing crime
      • Address the polarization of priorities resulting from development in older areas versus development in suburban-type areas
      • Establish conservation areas
      • Provide streetcar, light rail, or commuter rail lines
      • Increase economic development opportunities in the I-29 corridor
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