By Kathy Feist
Mayor Quinton Lucas is expected to appear at the Center Planning and Development Council meeting Tuesday night held at the Trailside Center to discuss two ordinances he is sponsoring: a Tree Preservation and Protection Plan and a Residential Infill Development Ordinance.
“It’s unusual for the mayor to sponsor an ordinance,” says Center Planning and Development President Carol Winterowd. “Why is he sponsoring them? Apparently he’s the only one who wants to.”
Winterowd says Center Planning and Development Council is in favor of the Tree Preservation and Protection Plan and looks forward to learning about it.
But the organization stands in opposition to a specific aspect of the Residential Infill Development Ordinance. The ordinance, which has been in discussion for over a year, is meant to expedite housing development within Kansas City. If approved, new codes would ensure that housing conforms to the character of its surrounding neighborhood. In the interest of expediting, it takes away the voice of the neighborhood and gives authority to city staff for approval of property subdivided into 20 lots or less. Winterowd would like to see neighborhood input included in the approval process.
Little is known about the mayor’s Tree Preservation and Protection Plan. In his August 1st Facebook page, Lucas posted, “Working on tree protection and preservation in Kansas City. The removal of trees has disproportionately harmed our inner city neighborhoods over the years. We are working on new policies to protect (and grow) our tree canopy and to help our environment in the future.”
Along those same lines, guest speaker Morgan Pemberton, 6th District Long-Range Planner for Kansas City, will discuss one of the objectives of the KC Spirit Playbook called Parks and Open Spaces. The primary objective for Parks and Open Spaces, is to expand the parks system into all areas of the city. The KC Spirit Playbook is a 20-year development plan based on input from local residents. It will replace the city’s current comprehensive plan called FOCUS that was adopted in 1997.
The Center Planning and Development meeting starts at 7 pm, Tuesday, November 29, at the Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Rd. It is an in-person event only. The Center Planning and Development Council represents over 25 neighborhood and homes associations in south Kansas City.