Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by flyingember » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:48 am

smh wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:53 am
TrolliKC wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:48 am
normalthings wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:14 pm

They also talked about how rich / poor flu flopping to/from the suburbs is a hugeeee problem no one sees coming.
Not sure I follow this?
We're seeing increased evidence of people of means moving into urban areas and pricing out existing residents who are then forced to seek housing in the burbs...basically.
Think of this from a housing and job access equity situation. We can't functionally afford to have good transit service into the suburbs but increasingly this is where it's needed the most. Free and reduced lunch numbers is a good proxy to show economics of an area.

Belton has every school between 40-60%. Olathe Schools has three that's 80% FRL. NKC schools has 18 over 50% and 12 under 50%. Shawnee Mission schools range from 3 to 80%.

MO data by year, by school
https://mcds.dese.mo.gov/quickfacts/pag ... 0C54B515E8}

For Kansas pick K-12 reports, it's under there
https://datacentral.ksde.org/

The requirements may not be exactly the same across state but that Olathe has schools economically similar to one in old Overland Park and Belton is similar to places like Center Schools shows you that it's not just rich people moving outwards.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by normalthings » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:41 am

beautyfromashes wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:12 am
smh wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:53 am
We're seeing increased evidence of people of means moving into urban areas and pricing out existing residents who are then forced to seek housing in the burbs...basically.
In many ways, I think this is a positive progression. Traditionally in our city, the core has held the unbalanced burden of caring for those in need. By diversifying the economic demographics of the city we should be better able to influence change and give opportunity for families in need. Of course, the difficulty is not moving to wholesale change. You don’t want to displace entire people groups due to them being priced out of an area, either urban or suburban.
He spoke more along the lines of: “living a lowdensity suburban lifestyle is only possible if you have the means to afford a number of added expenses like cars. The urban poor currently live meager lifestyles in neighborhoods where they can walk or take a bus to work/school/Store . And that the urban poor will never be able to afford the added/required expenses of living in American style suburbs nor will we be able to afford alternatives(bus,etc) if that’s where they end up getting pushed too.”

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by beautyfromashes » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:25 am

normalthings wrote: He spoke more along the lines of: “living a lowdensity suburban lifestyle is only possible if you have the means to afford a number of added expenses like cars. The urban poor currently live meager lifestyles in neighborhoods where they can walk or take a bus to work/school/Store . And that the urban poor will never be able to afford the added/required expenses of living in American style suburbs nor will we be able to afford alternatives(bus,etc) if that’s where they end up getting pushed too.”
So, more homelessness?

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by normalthings » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:01 pm

More homelessness, more people unable to access jobs, etc

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by FangKC » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:46 pm

I recently saw a statistic that in some neighborhoods east of Troost to the Blue River, up to 20 percent of households don't own a car. It might have been on FlatlandKC.org.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by FangKC » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:33 pm

normalthings wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:14 pm
Matt asked about Kansas City’s large amounts of lowdensity suburbs/farm fields. Response:Kansas cities and other cities don’t talk about deannexation but it’s an important conversation that will need to be had.
First of all, let me say I have stated several times on this forum that KCMO has annexed too much land.

That said, one of the problems with de-annexation that would need to be remedied is another municipality annexing the land, denying future growth to the city that had originally annexed the land. Sure, it doesn't seem like like a city will ever need this land in the next 100 years, but even if the city grows densely, over time it needs to grow outward. Kansas City is closer to 500,000 now, but in 400 years it might be 5 million. We don't know. Climate change might drive people from the desert cities, and along the coasts, inland by then. The Phoenix metro area is around 4.5 million now, but 70 years ago it was around 70,000.

One of the problems with urban centers has always been parasitic outer cities that suck wealth and resources away from the original city.

What has happened is that the the more affluent decamp across a city border, and then not only do they just live in grassy subdivisions, they begin recreating mini-downtowns and office parks that also suck the life out of the original city.

Then it affects the ability of the metro to support things like facilities for arts, arenas, stadiums, airports, and zoos because a much poorer city is left to finance these things.

It's also a drain on resources. Perfectly-good buildings in the original city sit vacant of tenants--and left to deteriorate--while new buildings are built on the edges to poach employers and retail from the original city.

To prevent this, many cities annexed land they would not need for decades simply to deny adjacent municipalities from taking it.

There needs to be some state remedy that if cities do de-annex, the land wouldn't just be snatched up by another city. I guess there would need to be a quasi-annex level where the city essentially has dibs on the land in the future, but doesn't have to provide city services yet, and no other city can take it. The city could also have some jurisdiction over development in unincorporated areas to stop developers from putting in ill-conceived low-density projects that the city would become responsible for once they annexed in the future.
Last edited by FangKC on Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by flyingember » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:09 am

FangKC wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:33 pm
normalthings wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:14 pm
Matt asked about Kansas City’s large amounts of lowdensity suburbs/farm fields. Response:Kansas cities and other cities don’t talk about deannexation but it’s an important conversation that will need to be had.
First of all, let me say I have stated several times on this forum that KCMO has annexed too much land.

That said, one of the problems with de-annexation that would need to be remedied is another municipality annexing the land, denying future growth to the original city that had originally annexed the land. Sure, it doesn't seem like like a city will ever need this land in the next 100 years, but even if the city grows densely, over time it needs to grow outward. Kansas City is closer to 500,000 now, but in 400 years it might be 5 million. We don't know. Climate change might drive people from the desert cities, and along the coasts, inland by then. The Phoenix metro area is around 4.5 million now, but 70 years ago it was around 70,000.
400 years? I would expect this process becomes visibile within a generation.
~40% of the US lives in a coastal community.

Many coastal cities will see utility system impacts before anything. Miami is especially vulnerable if their aquifer becomes salty. They pull their water from groundwater and due to geography sea level rise will flood their source. Imagine what happens if water levels permanently flood a subway line in NYC.

There's places already having issues with sea level rise. It's not the direct rise, it's the geography changes that result. Imagine what the tide looks like when the swampy areas protecting your home are underwater a little more each year. At some point plants will die and erosion accelerates. If you're safe above the high water mark every tide will begin to erode the land next to your house a little more and a little faster.

There's no way that there's room to absorb the impact this would have. Think of the trillions in hotels and vacation homes along the coast. Even if you live far away if the beach is underwater or eroded away it doesn't really matter if the hotel or your home is, people stop coming. Look at what happens if you lose a major employer today in a small town, the town slowly dies. I expect the impact will be something close to logarathimic curve where suddenly we all see the impact and it's too late.

So back to your point. KC owning so much land will be hugely valuable. As long as we can maintain a water source we'll be set as a city for generations.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by AlbertHammond » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am

FangKC - I usually agree you you, but I respectfully and strongly disagree this time. If you at all subscribe to the StrongTowns message, a large part of the message is about how our modern pattern of growth, that is spread out and much lower density per resident, is what's breaking the bank. KCMO has triple the acreage per resident than it did in 1950. that means each of us needs to pay triple the taxes to maintain that infrastructure and fire/police coverage. Once we triple our population within the same borders, then maybe, just maybe we can justify the current land area.

Let those other municipalities have that unproductive, finance-sucking land area. Areas that are not paying their way, or come somewhat close to it, should be re-visioned. How can they be transformed into financially productive places?...or let go. We can't fix them all, but perhaps 10% of it. It is simply too much area. Let the rest of it go. Chuck doesn't say it so bluntly because those decisions are politically repulsive, but he says those things in private, frank discussions. He is right, in theory. He knows that is a really hard dialog for cities to have.

By the way, this isn't just a KCMO problem. This is a problem for Blue Springs, OP, Olathe, Independence, KCK and all the expanded suburbs.

If this theory plays out as Chuck suggests, if a (let's say) Platte City land grabs all the de-annexed land in the north, then they will be hemorrhaging terribly as they try to maintain that aging, low-density infrastructure in 40 years. They will be broke and would gladly hand it over to a healthy, lean and mean KCMO that focused on smart, financially resilient patterns of density and growth.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by flyingember » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:42 am

AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am
KCMO has triple the acreage per resident than it did in 1950. that means each of us needs to pay triple the taxes to maintain that infrastructure and fire/police coverage.
Well that's simply not true. We didn't develop all the new land with amenities inside the city limits.

The strongtowns approach is misguided in one area, working with history.

The city *could* have built denser earlier but it didn't and in retrospect probably accelerated downtown's growth by decades because it could use the area like a bank would expect, as income to fund bonds. Not annexing wasn't going to stop people from moving away with the same basic hollowing of the city center. In the long-term it's going to be expensive but KCMO would easily have been eclipsed by Overland Park if it hadn't taken a laissez fair approach to development.

Without the annexations it's possible the city could have much higher taxes to cover city services. Remember that the e-tax is a huge part of the annual budget and for that it doesn't matter where as much as how many.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by AlbertHammond » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:04 am

flyingember wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:42 am
AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am
KCMO has triple the acreage per resident than it did in 1950. that means each of us needs to pay triple the taxes to maintain that infrastructure and fire/police coverage.
Well that's simply not true. We didn't develop all the new land with amenities inside the city limits.

The strongtowns approach is misguided in one area, working with history.

The city *could* have built denser earlier but it didn't and in retrospect probably accelerated downtown's growth by decades because it could use the area like a bank would expect, as income to fund bonds. Not annexing wasn't going to stop people from moving away with the same basic hollowing of the city center. In the long-term it's going to be expensive but KCMO would easily have been eclipsed by Overland Park if it hadn't taken a laissez fair approach to development.

Without the annexations it's possible the city could have much higher taxes to cover city services. Remember that the e-tax is a huge part of the annual budget and for that it doesn't matter where as much as how many.
This annexation and building less densely on the fringe did feed the city up to now, but that food was the equivalent of high-fructose candy. We are at the end parts of our sugar high now. The suburban fringes are not the health food we need to sustain us over the long haul. All that stuff is getting older and less shiny. The streets and pipes will need rebuilt in the next 20-50 years. The taxable value of those less dense places makes them weak at keeping the city solvent over the long term. The depressed and under-reinvested parts of 'the east side' that are still in-tact are far better contributors to the financial health of the city. If the city bothered to study what parts of town are adding to their bottom line on a per/acres basis, they would know this.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by flyingember » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:22 pm

AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:04 am
The taxable value of those less dense places makes them weak at keeping the city solvent over the long term.
This assumes that zero change happens ever, as if a community is locked in time. That's simply not true.

Based on your idea we need to focus on value and return rather than density. If you own a farm you can just plant a lot of corn or you can rent part of it out for weddings. Affordable housing isn't worth building because it will never appraise as much as a mcmansion will.

You can look at this across the city in places like Prairie Village were smaller homes are torn down and replaced with larger ones. Nothing about the density of the area increased but tax revenues are up. People hate it.

The solution is easy. Incremental increases.
We need more apartment buildings in more places.

Look at places like Gladstone and Overland Park putting in bigger buildings in their core.

It's not high density but N. Oak Village replaced an empty field. There's higher value options sure, but that's a step up in terms of taxable value.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by AlbertHammond » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:38 pm

flyingember wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:22 pm
This assumes that zero change happens ever, as if a community is locked in time. That's simply not true.
Most places are generally locked in some sort of development style. HOAs and zoning don't allow mixing of uses or density. Can I build a 4-plex in any ol' suburban neighborhood? Hell no!
flyingember wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:22 pm
You can look at this across the city in places like Prairie Village were smaller homes are torn down and replaced with larger ones. Nothing about the density of the area increased but tax revenues are up. People hate it.
The teardowns in PV are not in all of PV. These areas are the exception, not the rule for KC. They are about 1% of the metro. These areas have the advantage of excellent proximity to good things, a good network connecting them to those good things (don't have to hop on a highway). Comparing PV to suburban Olathe, Northland, Independence or wherever is apples and oranges. Anyway, this is not adding any density, just bigger, more valuable homes, which does help the bottom line. Also...I wouldn't say that most people hate the teardowns in PV. What they hate is when the rebuild is done poorly.
flyingember wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:22 pm
Look at places like Gladstone and Overland Park putting in bigger buildings in their core.
It is (mostly) great what is happening in those two examples, but they also benefit from a good pre-war street network and without HOAs or other super-organized and segregated post-war patterns that would make them hard to densify incrementally. Are we seeing a good amount of single family reinvestment in DT OP or DT Gladstone like we see in PV? No. They might eventually get there because of their good pre-war bones, but they are a ways off. Places without good bones in the cul-de-sac zones of the suburbs are far less likely to see this transformation once they get old and shabby. They will get even worse in their financial sucking as they age.

I have seen the 3D maps of the parts of KC that are financially beneficial and those that are not. The entire Northland is not even close to paying for itself now.

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by rxlexi » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:56 pm

I have seen the 3D maps of the parts of KC that are financially beneficial and those that are not. The entire Northland is not even close to paying for itself now.
Where does one find such?

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by flyingember » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:02 pm

AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:38 pm
I have seen the 3D maps of the parts of KC that are financially beneficial and those that are not. The entire Northland is not even close to paying for itself now.
You can't just use property tax as a proxy for value of an area. It's way more complex than that.

How does it adjust for tax breaks and non-taxable properties? How does it quantify sales taxes, personal vehicles and e-tax geographically?

Think about a rental owner. If they own 150 rental houses across the inner city but they choose to live in the northland how do you assign the value of their living inside a suburban neighborhood to a map?

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by AlbertHammond » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:50 pm

rxlexi wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:56 pm
I have seen the 3D maps of the parts of KC that are financially beneficial and those that are not.
Where does one find such?
Here is one version that is public...
https://twitter.com/UrbanAngleKC/status ... 6135990272

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Re: Strongtown: Suggestions for KC's downtown streets

Post by normalthings » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:01 pm

flyingember wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:02 pm
AlbertHammond wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:38 pm
I have seen the 3D maps of the parts of KC that are financially beneficial and those that are not. The entire Northland is not even close to paying for itself now.
You can't just use property tax as a proxy for value of an area. It's way more complex than that.

How does it adjust for tax breaks and non-taxable properties? How does it quantify sales taxes, personal vehicles and e-tax geographically?

Think about a rental owner. If they own 150 rental houses across the inner city but they choose to live in the northland how do you assign the value of their living inside a suburban neighborhood to a map?
If the map he is referencing is from strong towns or their partner (urban 3 I think it’s called) then it takes a number of factors into consideration besides just property tax.

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