What concerns do residents have about Midtown’s future?

Last month, the process of creating a new Midtown-Plaza area plan began with a public meeting. Residents told planners why they live in Midtown and what they would like to happen here in the future. They also expressed concerns about what could go wrong in coming years. Their comments were recorded and a report on the meeting has just been released.

As city planners create a new master plan for the Midtown-Plaza area, residents are weighing in on their reasons for living here, their hopes and their concerns for the future.

Friday, the Midtown KC Post detailed the reasons people say they live and work in Midtown, defined as the area between 31st and 55th,  from State Line to Prospect.

The Midtown-Plaza Plan, when completed, will recommend guidelines and strategies for development, housing, neighborhoods, economic development, transportation, capital improvements, open spaces, and urban design.

Today, we offer an overview of what residents told planners they worry about. Tomorrow, a profile of what residents say about the future.

At the kickoff public meeting of the Midtown-Plaza area plan process, participants listed their concerns for the future. Those concerns covered a number of areas:

  • Concerns about the quality of life in neighborhoods including:
    • Graffiti and litter
    • Failure to replant trees
    • Allowing suburban businesses to replace local ones
    • Letting people from outside view Midtown as their playground
    • Not bringing in grocery stores and good food
    • Insensitivity of large institutions (universities, hospitals) to neighborhoods
    • Building more “empty tooth” parking lots
    • Not dealing with crime and the perception of crime
    • Continued problems with drugs, alcohol, homeless
    • Not attracting young people
    • Failure to maintain parks and boulevards
    • Prostitution on Troost
  • Concern about historic buildings and streetscapes including:
    •  Danger of “inappropriate” development of the Plaza
    • Need to preserve the Plaza Plan
    • Desire to keep new development on a human scale.
  • Concerns about housing including:
    • Fear that housing stock will be demolished or lost
    •  Lack of code enforcement
    •  Ownership of housing by absentee landlords
    • Too many vacant properties, loss of affordability
    • Low-income housing clustered in small areas
    • Need for shelters for the homeless.
  • Concern about the quality of schools.
  • Concern about deteriorating infrastructure including:
    • Age and condition of infrastructure
    • Sewers
    • Water main breaks
    • Lack of smart planning
    • Too many red light cameras
    • Curbs, street lights and sidewalks in disrepair
    • No small neighborhood parks
  • Concerns about economic issues including:
    • Not holding CIDs accountable
    • Rising taxes
    • Lack of funding for community improvements
    • Payday loans
    • Economic development for distressed areas
    • Need for employment for less skilled workers
  • Concerns about the environmentincluding:
    •  the need for renewable energy and recycling.
  • Concerns about transportation and walkability including:
    • Too much reliance on automobiles
    • Hard to walk on arterial streets
    • Lack of bike lanes and bike infrastructure
    • Need for improved east-west transit
    • Cost of transit
    • Protecting the trolley trail
    • Transit from airport
  • Additional concerns including:
    • Southwest Trafficway acting as a barrier between neighborhoods
    • 31st Street east of Gillham
    • 39th Street east of Troost
    • Loss of local businesses
    • Loss of small town feeling
    • Gentrification when new residents don’t share values
    • Finding ways to encourage neighborhood cooperation

On February 28, residents have a second opportunity to give input into the plan. The project staff will review the input from the first meeting and then break participants into small groups to discuss specific issues in greater depth.


Midtown-Plaza Area Plan Public Work Team Meeting

  • Thursday, February 28, 2013
  • 6-8 p.m.
  • at The Kauffman Foundation 4801 Rockhill Road

Online input 

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