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'Very special to a lot of us': Northland residents will miss park KCMO plans to remove

Teri James
Posted at 10:00 PM, Nov 09, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city of Kansas City will leave open to development a large, wooded parks area in the Northland.

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It's caused a social media backlash after voters approved the issue on Tuesday.

The problem is those who live nearby couldn't vote on the question because of city limits.

It’s a strip of land between North Oak and Holmes Street just north of east 32nd Avenue.

Neighbor Teri James says the land means a lot to the people in the area.

"Oh, it's peace," she said. "It's the wildlife, it's been here for generations. Very well-established trees. It's just amazing some of the size of them."

The worry now is what else needs to be taken out to make room for expected development.

There are concerns about how removing trees will affect the runoff that hits the levy and increased traffic along a small road.

The neighbors biggest concern is losing a huge patch of nature.

“We didn't get the opportunity to vote because we are North Kansas City," James said.

The vote that made it happen wasn't on her ballot. It's right on the line in Kansas City.

"And I think a lot of people in the Kansas City area had no idea and they just checked it off as a yes not understanding the impact."

The people who live nearby are sensitive to losing the forest.

There have already been past projects that took trees.

James expects more apartments to sprout in their place instead of on nearby land that's already been cleared.

It's a tale as old as cities themselves as earth and timber are replaced by concrete and metal, but that doesn't make it any easier for James and her neighbors.

“It's just very special to a lot of us,” James said.