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KCMO downtown plan will be updated

Posted: 5:26 PM, Jul 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-18 07:34:36-04
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With an ever-changing downtown, Kansas City, Missouri, leaders are looking at updating the plan to develop the city's core.

The city first came up with the Greater Downtown Area Plan in 2010, and with so much changing downtown, they want to refresh the plan to meet the needs of the future.

"We felt that so much has changed in the character and the density of downtown that we needed to take a fresh look," Gerald Williams, the lead planner for Kansas City, said.

Some of the things the team wants to include in the revised plan include creating better walkability, doubling the downtown population while focusing on density, doubling downtown employment, increase visitors, promote safe neighborhoods and promote sustainability.

"It sets a direction that everybody agrees on, and it gives the city a tool to evaluate things that come in, the new developments and things like that," Williams added.

While council members listened, there were some concerns. Most concerns were about transportation items, like bike lanes.

"We keep saying we're going to add, add, add. I've never once seen these plans say education, or responsibility or rules for each party," City Councilwoman Heather Hall said.

"I think it's something we need to figure out how we are going to address it, and that needs to be a part of the planning we're doing," City Councilwoman Katheryn Shields said.

Others who attended the council meeting endorsed the updated guidebook for the city.

"We can not stop. We have got to keep paddling or we'll sink," Kansas City resident Allen Norman said.

Williams said they want to continue to look at extending the streetcar and use that as a catalyst for new development, attracting office space, innovation hubs and housing.

"Downtown is one of those areas that's changed, maybe more than other areas, with the streetcar and all the development that's happened. It's sort of underrepresented, especially in my time. I've not seen anything happen like this downtown," he said.

The committee decided to push the vote on the update plan off until the new council assumes office. The vote for the updated plan could happen on Aug. 7.

To take an in-depth look at the proposals, visit the city website.