Petition drive argues against “social blight” designation

bainbridgeSome Midtown residents have started a petition drive urging the City Plan Commission to reject designation of three Armour Boulevard properties as socially blighted.

It’s the latest in a growing conversation about the Bainbridge, Georgian Court and Linda Vista apartments. A recent report said the three properties, redeveloped as lower income housing,  have increased crime so badly that the Armour corridor is socially blighted . The report is the first time a social liability blight designation has been sought in Kansas City.

If approved by the city council, city staff said, the city will use the social blight finding to pressure changes by Eagle Point Cos., LLC, of Maine, which redeveloped and manages the three properties.

The City Plan Commission in January granted a 30-day delay on considering the social blight designation. It was also continued in February and the city said yesterday that a hearing slated for today had also been postponed.

“The Bainbridge, Georgian Court, and Linda Vista apartments along Armour Boulevard are home to over 400 residents, many of whom are families with young children, or are elderly and/or disabled,” the petition reads. “In the past year, a small but influential group of our neighbors have been working closely with the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association board and city officials to designate these properties as “socially blighted,” which will enable the city to shut down and then seize the buildings by eminent domain, and then relocate the residents without their knowledge or consent. This group has excluded members of the larger community and, most importantly, the Bainbridge residents themselves.

The petition questions the validity of the study and suggests “the study’s metrics for establishing physical blight could easily and successfully be applied to the surrounding blocks in North and South Hyde Park, Old Hyde Park, Squire Park, and Manheim Park.”

View the petition

Leave a Comment