“A lot of people believe in the power of Troost Avenue”

troost-corridor-The city plan commission on Tuesday praised the work of citizens and business owners who have worked together to formulate development design standards for Troost Avenue.

The comments came as the commission considered and approved the second phase of the Troost Overlay District, a planning effort that began in 2013.

”The document you see today is the result of tens of thousands of man hours,” Spark Bookhart of the Longfellow neighborhood said.

“The volunteer effort was astonishing,” Ashley Sadowski told the commission. “Its clear a lot of people believe in the power of Troost Avenue.”

The new standards, if approved by the city council, will apply to all properties in the 3.2 miles along Troost from south of 22nd Street to north of Volker/Swope Parkway. The document says its purpose is to promote design excellence.

Over time a rich inventory of quality buildings and a myriad of architectural styles have been developed along Troost. A measure of design excellence is the ability of new buildings to fit seamlessly into the existing inventory. Good design allows buildings to stand the test of time by remaining functional and attractive for many years. Of utmost importance to design excellence is a project’s contribution to the public realm, not only in terms of the building itself but in site development, building techniques, maintenance, and the use of sustainable energy. This overlay approaches design with the understanding that each site adds value to the overall corridor and provides standards to create a cohesively developed Troost.

The plan also says it is intended to stabilize property values and reduce investment risks; maintain and promote the economic viability of the area; and encourage preservation of the area’s rare, unique or distinctive character.

Troost Overlay Design Standards

Overlay districts, as defined by the city, are areas that have unique qualities requiring special treatment or locations where special approaches to development may be warranted.

Bill Drummond, a resident of the Manheim Park neighborhood, complained to the commission about a “lack of community engagement primarily from the east side of Troost.” Several others said that they had not had time to examine the document before the meeting or that they had not had an opportunity to be involved in the planning process.

Others praised the volunteer efforts that led to development of the guidelines.

“This was an important collaboration between city development and the neighborhoods,” said Jim Wanser of the Rockhill neighborhood. “The process was healthy, transparent and resulted in good work.”

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