Frequently asked questions.
Q. Do you oppose all development on these parcels? Do you want them to stay the way they are?
A. No, we most definitely do not oppose redevelopment of these parcels, nor do we want to be exclusionary. Just the opposite, we strongly support redevelopment on the Troost facing portion of our block. But irresponsible redevelopment will substitute a permanent set of new problems for the ones we currently face, and as proposed the KC Outlook project will bring many new problems.
We believe this redevelopment should adhere to the guidelines established by the Troost Overlay, the Troost-Emmanuel Cleaver II Redevelopment Plan, other relevant plans, and conform to the limits set by current zoning and development code. These plans and this zoning were developed with extensive community input and were adopted by the Kansas City Council. The Troost Overlay was developed with the input and participation of every neighborhood association in its planning area and has broad community support. These requirements are in place explicitly to guide development in a way that will preserve and enhance the character of the Troost corridor while protecting the existing neighborhood from new uses that are incompatible with what is here now.
These requirements are not overly-restrictive or exclusionary, and provide ample opportunity for development that preserves and improves the neighborhood, including diverse types of new housing. We would actively support development that works within this framework and have expressed this to the developer, the Department of City Planning, and anyone else who has asked.
We demonstrated our good-faith in working with developers to redevelop the 4500 block of Troost when we worked with UC-B Properties after they applied for a Special Use Permit to convert the historic firehouse at 4518 Troost. UC-B were required by the Troost Overlay to get a Special Use Permit for the event space they opened in the firehouse, and this was enforced by the City Planning and Development Department. We vigorously expressed our concerns about the project as initially proposed, but we met with the developer and they made reasonable accommodations to address our concerns. That Special Use Permit was granted in 2019.
Q. Aren't the project parcels blighted and in need of redevelopment?
A. Yes, the project parcels are presently in rough shape, and we agree that they should be redeveloped. But this does not mean that development should take place without regard for the neighborhood, neighboring parcels, and the Troost corridor, and without regard for the extensive planning that has taken place.
The parcels in this project have also fallen much further into disrepair and neglect since purchased by the current property owners/developers. There were businesses operating in all but one of these buildings when they purchased these parcels. Now these buildings are vacant and have declined even further. The developer should not be rewarded with exceptions to the rules and public funding because they allowed this to happen.
Q. Would changes to the project make it financially infeasible?
A. No. Quite simply, the City of Kansas City, MO, through the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, should provide adequate public financial incentives to make the redevelopment of the 4500 block of Troost financially feasible. This is the purpose and proper use of these incentives. But public financial incentives should only be used to support projects that adhere to the requirements and guidelines established by the community, which in this case means the Troost Overlay, the Troost-Emmanuel Cleaver II Redevelopment plan, other relevant plans, and the current Zoning and Development code. These requirements and guidelines are in place to ensure development projects do not have significant adverse effects on neighboring properties. As currently proposed the KC Outlook project fails this test. If the developer refuses to revise the project the city should implement its own recommendations specified in the Troost-Cleaver II redevelopment plan.
Q. Who are the members of KansasCity4Troost.org?
A. This website was created and is maintained by one of the residents on the 4500 block of Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO, who is working closely with the neighbors on this block and in this neighborhood. We have worked together closely on this project since 2019, and this is a grass-roots, community-based initiative. We have also worked extensively with our neighborhood association, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, who also recently issued a letter opposing this project as currently proposed. If you would like more information please feel free to use the "Contact Us" page.
Q. Do you live in the neighborhood?
A. Yes. The 4500 block of Gillham Rd. is the western edge of the block on which the KC Outlook project is proposed. The 4500 block of Troost is the eastern edge of the block. We share a property line down the middle of the block. The domain for this website shows a registration location outside of Missouri because it was created using an online website platform that, apparently, is located outside the state.
Q. How can I participate in the City Plan Commission Hearings?
A. For more information on how to participate in the hearings, please visit https://www.kcmo.gov/city-hall/departments/city-planning-development/about-the-city-plan-commission-cpc and follow the instructions. In order to provide testimony during a call, please use the "Raise Hand" feature and you will be promoted to a speaker at the appropriate time. Testimony is typically limited to 2 minutes, so we recommend writing down what you'd like to say ahead of time.