Westside happenings

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
flyingember
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Re: Westside happenings

Postby flyingember » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:17 am

Amazingly that's less dense than some suburban projects going in.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby bobbyhawks » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:09 am

Maybe it isn't that different and still not my favorite design, but I actually like the updated design better than the previous one that had the mini-P&L awning and the concrete walls surrounding the sidewalk. It may have decreased in density, which is too bad, but at least there isn't a street-facing surface parking lot. There is still tons of space for infill projects like this nearby.

I think the city will have to do a lot of work on the easement in the alleyway behind the new development, which is one of the reasons the neighbors are so worried. There are of course a few neighbors who would have had a problem no matter what was proposed. Not sure if it is true since I haven't been to any meetings, but I was told that the alley is to be the main entry point for the parking area. The homes directly abutting the development are about to go from having an unusable path to a well-trafficked road in their backyards, which is a significant change to the people who have lived along that alley for over a decade (or in one neighbor's case, for many decades), regardless of how you feel about density in the urban core. Admittedly, I really don't understand whose responsibility it is to pay for paving and engineering an easement upgrade, but most of the houses in the area do not have driveways (and of course, it's America), so it is pretty much inevitable that some people were going to complain about parking.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby kboish » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:22 am

The design of the corner is much better in the new design.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby chaglang » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:57 pm

I'm not sure how asking the developer to respect the result of the downzoning process the neighborhood did less than 10 years ago is NIMBY. The second scheme is less dense but is a more cohesive design and there's something to be said for that. I'd take a less dense but better design any day.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby pash » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:46 pm

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Last edited by pash on Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby flyingember » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:22 pm

It's not like that's wrong, but this is a good example of a neighborhood that will gentrify if they don't go multi-unit mixed in with homes. The land value is just too high.

We considered building in the neighborhood and lot cost killed that idea.
Bought one across the street from $350k homes in our current neighborhood for around half the price Westside lots go for.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby kboish » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:25 am

This project at 17th and Madison was punted again by PZE the other day w/ the council people telling the developer to "work it out" with the neighborhood. There are so many angles to this its tough to capture.

On one hand, there are the people who live near the project- the developer has been working with them and seems to have met all/most of their concerns by downsizing and adding structured parking. So those are the supporters.

On the other hand their is the tenured Latino population who is against this project. They put forth basically two reasons. The first is they don't want incentives for "luxury" apartments. The developer responded by saying there are units that will fall in the price range of what is considered work force housing by the state. So ok, there is some discussion to be made about this, but I think everyone would agree that no one is being displaced by this development, there is a blighted building and empty lot that would be removed, and the rents would be inline with (or below) the immediate area of the development...so its tough for me to see how it is gentrifying the area (that has already happened)...but, I think there is a worthwhile discussion to be had about the incentive levels. Unfortunately, that is not what is currently up for vote- the zoning and development is.

The second reason people are against it is because it is too dense and doesn't fit into the character of the neighborhood plan. So lets break this down. There are two parcels the developer is developing on a northern parcel and a southern parcel. Only the southern parcel needs a rezoning.

The Westside Plan (WP) and the Greater Downtown Area Plan (GDAP) both call for a mixed use development on the northern parcel. The developers plan fits that and falls within the same height/density of buildings on that street which are similarly zoned. The WP and GDAP both call for single family OR duplexes on the southern portion, which would allow for a density between 4-8 units (EDIT: This is because the southern portion is actually 4 small parcels). The Westside recently went through a down zoning process that limited certain parcels (including the southern one in this redevelopment plan) to 4-6 units. The developer is proposing 8. So the development is within the established area plans, but needs to rezone because it is "too dense" by two units according to the recent re-zoning.

All of the density discussion is about 2 units. Lots of hyperbole about the context of this development.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:27 am

There's a Westside Plan?

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby kboish » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:38 am

There was a Westside Plan. GDAP replaced it and so the westside plan is no longer the guiding plan. If you look at the resolution for GDAP- it cites all of the area plans that it replaced.

The oppposition however, brought it up and stated they did not have adequate input into GDAP and that it does not represent their views. It was shown that GDAP and WP used different terminology, but that they conveyed the same intent for those parcels.

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Westside happenings

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:42 am

So, basically there are 2 Westside plans? and they don't like each other very much.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby kboish » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:48 am

There are many factions within the westside that want many different things and have many different visions for its future, but there is only one "plan" for the westside. The "Westside Plan" and the "Greater Downtown Area Plan" are pretty much consistent with each other. GDAP just absorbed the previous plan and updated its terminology...and the westside did have representatives involved in the crafting of GDAP. The gripe appears to be a misunderstanding of what the plans say.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby JLowe2018 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:50 am

DaveKCMO wrote:There's a Westside Plan?


Apparently so. I was at a neighborhood meeting with some of the concerned residents and Quiton Lucas, and the residents kept mentioning and referencing a Westside Plan. The residents said they put together the plan on their own using neighborhood input and then submitted it to the city for adoption as their area plan. However, they said the city instead "slapped" the Greater Downtown Area Plan onto the Westside and practically threw out their plan.

I had never heard of a Westside plan before that night but it would be interesting to see what the neighborhood put together, so if anyone knows where to find a copy please post a link. :D

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby kboish » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:59 am


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Re: Westside happenings

Postby chingon » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:46 am

I don't understand the hold-up. The developer was pretty clear that they could develop the site in keeping with the current zoning restrictions and without tax incentives by eliminating the parking structure. Why not just add the 2 units to the north parcel and follow the guidelines approved by the neighborhood and avoid the rezoning wars altogether? Many of the same residents will still be upset, of course, but that's because they aren't really worried about following the zoning plans, or even the incentives.

At some point, the city needs to just come right out and say that it's not the purview of municipal government to artificially preserve ethnic enclaves.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby flyingember » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:21 pm

The westside is a neighborhood that seems at odds with itself.

Many don't want the scale to where the city can demand affordable housing which can keep rents down. Instead it's getting half million dollar homes filling in empty lots. They're right at the edge of clear gentrification where people can't afford to live in the neighborhood when their land assessment triples and their home assessment doubles and their taxes go from $1000 to $4000 annually

There's a huge number of out of town owners in the neighborhood clearly looking to sell their empty lot for a large profit based. That's never a good sign for current residents.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby chingon » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:15 pm

flyingember wrote:The westside is a neighborhood that seems at odds with itself.

Many don't want the scale to where the city can demand affordable housing which can keep rents down. Instead it's getting half million dollar homes filling in empty lots. They're right at the edge of clear gentrification where people can't afford to live in the neighborhood when their land assessment triples and their home assessment doubles and their taxes go from $1000 to $4000 annually

There's a huge number of out of town owners in the neighborhood clearly looking to sell their empty lot for a large profit based. That's never a good sign for current residents.


Give 'em enough rope

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby DaveKCMO » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:09 pm


chingon
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Re: Westside happenings

Postby chingon » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:35 am

I still don't buy that the primary objection to the development is economic, but couldn't/shouldn't the city and county easily fix that concern by freezing property assessments based on some metric of income/age/employment status?

There is, in my mind, not much that is a greater detriment to the life of poor, working class and elderly people than blight, vacancy and auto-dependency. I also find the idea of working to intentionally freeze or devalue the worth of my home, which is my primary investment and the item that is most likely to provide monetary stability for my children in the event of my death, horrifyingly stupid and shortsighted.

That said, I'm middle class, working age and employed, so it's not really my place to determine what I see as a threat to a community I'm not part of. I'm not sure I see the hang-up in a policy designed to assure that people on a fixed income can continue living in homes they own, or at least to mitigate the effects of rising assessments. There seems to be little impediment, after all, to foregoing property taxes entirely for owners of new development.

Maybe an incentive package that includes property tax abatements should include an equivalent time frame of property tax freezes for residential property within an prescribed geographical zone determined to be potentially effected?

Spitballing, obviously.

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:00 am

Could that reasoning also apply to businesses and building owners that are located near projects that receive tax incentives?

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Re: Westside happenings

Postby bobbyhawks » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:00 pm

Don't know if you have ever walked by this warehouse, but it is far from "blighted." When they say it hasn't been "actively used," it has actually been in use periodically, and the paint and facade are in reasonable shape. You wouldn't bat an eye walking by this in the East Crossroads. Ugly? Yes. Blighted by any reasonable assessment? No. Most don't even notice it in the Westside, and many walk by it all the time on their way to brunch. The worst part of the property is the slightly buckled sidewalks.

You are correct that a majority of the neighbors in the immediate vicinity aren't hung up over a potential increase in property taxes as the primary issue (from what I can tell), but some of the uber legacy family members would be against almost any changes to the neighborhood and cite this as a major factor. A lot of the people in that 2 or 3 block radius, if not a majority, wouldn't be considered "blue collar," so there are a lot of misleading things in the article. The hangups are still primarily over the number of apartments and how they will deal with the parking spillover. That the developer is now playing games with the neighborhood by threatening to adjust the plan in the wrong direction if they don't get the tax abatement is a little annoying. I'd imagine many developers would like a shot at this location, so it isn't like the neighbors feel this is their one shot at getting positive development. Hence the extreme skepticism and distrust of a company with zero urban or semi-urban experience.

They will probably have to completely redo a back alley that will directly impact some neighbors, and most people on the nearby streets (myself included) only have street parking on narrow one-way streets without a driveway. The alleyway/easements are not useable for parking purposes as currently maintained, and parking is already an issue on some of those streets during events such as First Fridays or even regular weekend brunch. Personally, I'm excited to have some apartments and maybe another restaurant in the area, but I don't generally agree with tax abatements for small-scale apartment projects in extremely desireable locations in the downtown area. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worried about the parking situation, but that wasn't a non-starter for me. Until I hear a compelling argument why the abatement is necessary, that is an issue at the moment (and pulling the abatement out and half-assing the development is not a good substitute). This section of town will no doubt change a lot in the coming years, but I'd prefer it be done by businesses who are paying taxes along with all of the neighbors. 15 years ago, the area did probably need incentives for a project like this, but I have a difficult time seeing how it is needed now. The warehouse is not at all like the Switzer/West High school land, which was totally in shambles and blighted. I was on-board with an abatement to clean that up, but I fail to see how it is needed in this case.


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