Main Street overlay district controls new development along corridor

Posted at 2:02 PM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 19:05:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When passed, city leaders hoped the Main Street overlay district would serve a guideline for what kind of businesses, style of signage and types of materials could be used to build new development along the corridor.

But now that the overlay district is in place, some business owners are not on board with the guidance.

With the potential streetcar extension, the city wanted to be sure that new development along the route would be appropriate.

The Main Street overlay district is meant to help regulate which new businesses can go in and what they should look like.

“We need to make sure that they look appropriate to fit in the corridor, so we just recently have an Overlay Design District,” said Diane Burnette, Executive Director of Maincor, the Main Street Development Corporation.

New businesses will have to meet regulations regarding materials being used on the facade of their building, signage, fencing and other design factors.

“We talk about use, we talk about design standards, set backs, all those things so that as development does occur, it’s more appropriate for the streetcar line and for the neighborhood,” said Burnette.

Businesses that are already in place are exempt from the rules unless they do any new construction.

Historical buildings are partially exempt as well.

Christina Decker, owner of Midwest Cyclery on Main Street said she is a little uneasy about the restrictions.

“I do have mixed feelings, because in America we have the choices to do what we want to do,” said Decker.

The bike shop owner said she worries that too many rules will impact the eclectic character of Midtown.

“You want to keep the creativity around. You don’t want to limit it to the gray box. We want to be able to have all this beauty. That’s what Midtown’s about,” said Decker.

The Overlay District also restricts certain types of new businesses along the corridor, such as vehicle related businesses. New car washes or vehicle repair shops will not be permitted.

Click here for more details about the Main Street Overlay District.