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.
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FangKC
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Re: Westside happenings

Post by FangKC » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:48 am

These people live in ignorance of the financial facts of this city. KCMO south of the river has lost about 30 percent of its' historic population. A historic population that lived within a much smaller land area than today. It's even harder now to replace that population because there are fewer people living in each household. Around 40 percent of all the households in KCMO are single people. The City really needs to replace population south of the river to provide a tax base to support services and infrastructure. There are huge swaths of the City that don't have enough people living on the block to financially support that block. Meaning those residents don't pay enough taxes to support maintaining and servicing the block. The infrastructure of many parts of this City are very old. How do we expect to demolish ruined buildings, add police and city code officers, city inspectors, and pay off bonds to rebuild bridges, streets, streetlights, water and sewer lines without adding new people in older, existing neighborhoods? Right now, older parts of the City are supported by growing, newer neighborhoods in the Northland and some in south KCMO. But even parts of the Northland are starting to get old and depopulating. The Northland can't continue to subsidize the City south of the river forever.

Because many neighborhoods have lost population, they have also lost retail. Thus, there are fewer retail businesses paying sales taxes in those neighborhoods.

The other fact is that the earnings tax keeps this City afloat, and 40 percent of that comes from people living outside of KCMO. That means without the E-tax, KCMO can't support itself. If the E-tax ever goes away, KCMO is going to be in a world of hurt. Property and sales taxes will shoot up because the City doesn't have enough population density to support such a vast land area of city, because it is not dense enough. A lot of people in KCMO don't pay the earnings tax: unemployed, children, and retired people. KCMO has a higher percentage of low-income residents than other parts of the Metro. If the E-tax is ever lost, increases in sales and property taxes would be significant enough to discourage people from choosing to live in KCMO. The City would be less competitive in the Metro.

Let's do a little imaginary math. Let's say one average City block costs $50,000 a year to maintain and service. There are many city blocks south of the river that don't contribute enough property, sales, and earning taxes to pay for their own block's maintenance and services. There are also large areas in the City south of the river that don't contribute significant taxes because they have never been developed: private pastures and forested land, parkland, roadways, etc.

There are also large areas where the local residents don't have retail services in their neighborhood, so they pay sales taxes in other municipalities when they go shopping. They frequent restaurants, bars, retail stores, etc. in another adjacent municipality, and the sales taxes don't go to KCMO.

The Westside is less dense that it was 50 years ago. There are more vacant lots, and also fewer people living in each household.

There needs to be a priority on rebuilding population density south of the river.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by DaveKCMO » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:04 am

FangKC wrote:There needs to be a priority on rebuilding population density south of the river.
YES

this was a stated goal of the streetcar project (and it's actually happening, albeit only downtown).

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by DaveKCMO » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:00 am

from the westside CAN center's email:

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by flyingember » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:16 am

Down zoning, is that a special phrase for "empty lots" ???

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by DaveKCMO » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:50 am

flyingember wrote:Down zoning, is that a special phrase for "empty lots" ???
it's the tyranny of single-family home ownership. those with the means to own a single-family home actively "down zone" their neighborhoods to prevent multi-unit dwellings (which are predominantly rentals).

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by loftguy » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:10 am

DaveKCMO wrote:
flyingember wrote:Down zoning, is that a special phrase for "empty lots" ???
it's the tyranny of single-family home ownership. those with the means to own a single-family home actively "down zone" their neighborhoods to prevent multi-unit dwellings (which are predominantly rentals).

True for the most part, but there are also a significant number of renters on the Westside who are part of the NO crowd.

It's fear of change coupled with the seduction of group outrage united to stop such change.

There is some truth to the observation that change brings problems and challenges. So does childbirth, but it's inevitable and good in the long view.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by chrizow » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:32 pm

DaveKCMO wrote: it's the tyranny of single-family home ownership. those with the means to own a single-family home actively "down zone" their neighborhoods to prevent multi-unit dwellings (which are predominantly rentals).
I am not familiar with the nuances of the proposed Westside down-zoning, but in Hyde Park down-zoning was sought (and achieved) after decades of landlords turning large historic homes into shitty multi-family rentals as the neighborhood declined. The 'hood has plenty of multi-family housing that was built for that purpose, and I am not aware of any animus towards multi-family housing, per se. I am not aware of any "new construction" multi-family housing, or whether such a project would run afoul of the down-zoning, but in our neighborhood at least it has served a valuable function to preserve single-family homes as single-family homes, after many folks spent a lot of energy and resources to "reclaim" single-family homes from being chopped up into apartments.

I do think Westside is in a dramatically different boat, since it is downtown.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by DaveKCMO » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:56 pm

you won't see any new multi-unit construction in these areas that down zone. when we say "midtown was twice as dense in 1950 as it is today" that's partially due to homes being converted to apartments and back to homes with even less people in them than before (yes, there are lots of other factors).

in the end, the only places left with any density to support urban amenities will be downtown/crossroads/river market.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by loftguy » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:19 pm

The Westside has some negative history related to multifamily developers over the past dozen years that has made them hypercritical of multifamily developers and renters.

First, the developers of townhouses at the southeast corner of 16th and Summit presented one vision of what was to be developed to the neighborhood and ended up building something pretty different from that presentation. When the neighborhood started make queries about what they were seeing.........the developer was pretty abrupt and dismissive.

Second, Developers were 'threatening' to build a large apartment complex on the east side of Jefferson at 18th. Basically a hulking wall facing the neighborhood, but with a lot of high rent views to the east. The developers failed to engage the neighborhood in their plan and process. As result, the neighborhood mobilized, politicized and blew the ever-loving wheels off that development.

Several other skirmishes and battles later, the old guard is now joined by newer residents who bring fresh vigor and less knowledge of the reasoning behind prior battles and the fact that not all density is a bad result.

It's fair to state that this lack of understanding of the value, benefit and necessity of density in greater downtown, is not unique to the Westside. The process of education and the soothing of frayed fears must be repeated in all the areas that are experiencing construction of multifamily. It's hard to remember that most people don't understand the process, nor do they possess long views of where we are going. They tend to just know that they had trouble parking their car yesterday.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by JBmidtown » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:00 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:you won't see any new multi-unit construction in these areas that down zone. when we say "midtown was twice as dense in 1950 as it is today" that's partially due to homes being converted to apartments and back to homes with even less people in them than before (yes, there are lots of other factors).

in the end, the only places left with any density to support urban amenities will be downtown/crossroads/river market.
I don't understand. If a suburban lifestyle is what they truly want then why the hell did they move to the urban core? It's not enough they white flight ripped the city's infrastructure and amenities to shreds by pulling economic investment out of the city...now the investment moves back in and they want to just turn these urban neigborhoods into JOCO subdivisions. Gross

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by bobbyhawks » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:24 pm

Should still be noted that the "no" crowd is often overrepresented in meetings and is mostly made up of the old guard/families who have multiple generations in the Westside. They are the ones who seem to be most motivated to attend meetings. Personally, I find that the newer residents are the ones who are more in favor of plans that involve increasing density and adding neighborhood amenities.

People in the neighborhood that aren't as worried about new development or are indifferent are also not super motivated to attend meetings to voice opposition to the "no" crowd. The announced plans have been okay, but hardly the type of thing that gets people motivated to campaign against a no vote. I think if there was a better initial plan, more people might show up in support. The last plan I saw was a pretty JOCO attempt to add to the urban feel of the area, which did not impress me. It looked like something that would be built in West Lawrence. I still think increasing the density of 17th through to the Crossroads would be great and have not supported any "no" efforts. Full disclosure, I've had a conflict for every meeting so far, so I can't say if it is just the usual suspects showing up or not.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by chingon » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:53 pm

The relative merits or demerits of any development and its architecture or suburbanity should be weighed against how long something hasn't been done with a given parcel. I remember the KC(pre)Rag freak out from a decade ago about the East Village architecture and how they renderings were "only" 5 stories tall...what I wouldn't give for a Fountainview Apartments style development in the East Village for the last 10 years.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by longviewmo » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:07 pm

loftguy wrote: Second, Developers were 'threatening' to build a large apartment complex on the east side of Jefferson at 18th. Basically a hulking wall facing the neighborhood, but with a lot of high rent views to the east. The developers failed to engage the neighborhood in their plan and process. As result, the neighborhood mobilized, politicized and blew the ever-loving wheels off that development.
Speaking of that corner, does anyone have an idea of what this was? https://goo.gl/maps/s3LG7bLoMZv
With no context, it looks like someone ran out of money and had to tear down the shell?

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by FangKC » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:34 am

Loftguy is exactly right on this issue. The City needs to begin engaging and educating residents on the issue of density. It needs to be explained why there is no retail left in many neighborhoods, and it's not solely because of vacant lots, but because of population density. The high percentages of single family houses occupied by one adult, and the fact that the majority of single family houses now have no children living in them, have caused retail to shut down. Residents need to be informed as to why this very low population density affects the ability of a grocery or drug store to stay in business. They also need to be educated why this contributes to the City having difficulty meeting needs and providing services. It's a big tax revenue issue. This is what happens when the City has lost 150,000 residents or more south of the river.

The only real way I know to frame this issue so that residents get it is to talk about not having things like grocery and drug stores in their neighborhood, and that their taxes might have to be raised in the future if the density problem is not solved.

There is nothing wrong with having a policy that protects existing large single family houses from being converted into apartments. However, there is also nothing wrong with allowing new apartments to be built on several adjacent vacant lots. Nor is there anything wrong with allowing zoning changes where people can built small in-law houses for their relatives, or to rent out. Or, instead of building new single family houses on single parcels--building a duplex house. This last issue can be framed by the growing societal problem of aging seniors. In many cases, senior family members wouldn't need to go to a nursing home if they were able to share housing with family members. It's a less expensive option than nursing home, or assisted-living care.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by flyingember » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:54 am

longviewmo wrote:
loftguy wrote: Second, Developers were 'threatening' to build a large apartment complex on the east side of Jefferson at 18th. Basically a hulking wall facing the neighborhood, but with a lot of high rent views to the east. The developers failed to engage the neighborhood in their plan and process. As result, the neighborhood mobilized, politicized and blew the ever-loving wheels off that development.
Speaking of that corner, does anyone have an idea of what this was? https://goo.gl/maps/s3LG7bLoMZv
With no context, it looks like someone ran out of money and had to tear down the shell?
http://vanishingstl.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... -city.html

http://www.pitch.com/FastPitch/archives ... e-has-died

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by smh » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:04 pm

Plus, the design of the proposed development is just terrible. I've heard it described as "plucked from JoCo".

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by DaveKCMO » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:12 pm

smh wrote:Plus, the design of the proposed development is just terrible. I've heard it described as "plucked from JoCo".
that's what the non-TOD development code allows.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by smh » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:39 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
smh wrote:Plus, the design of the proposed development is just terrible. I've heard it described as "plucked from JoCo".
that's what the non-TOD development code allows.
True, and a good argument for getting the TOD code implemented. But that still doesn't excuse the building--they could design it better under the existing code, they just aren't required to do so, unfortunately.

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:50 am

now, thanks to NIMBY feedback, the project is even MORE suburban (read: less dense).

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Re: Westside happenings

Post by flyingember » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:17 am

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

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