Once again our elected officials in Kansas City have proven that their word and most of the laws that govern locals are nothing but imaginary garbage.
Don't worry, it gets worse . . .
IN THE DESPERATE PURSUIT OF DENSITY, MAYOR & COUNCIL HAVE DOUBLE-CROSSED NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERS!!!
This fight is really a struggle to keep locals from building on top of one another and turning some of the nicer parts of this cowtown into crowded slums . . . Sadly, neighborhood leaders are forced to be nice about this issue and pretend that Kansas City politicos understand compromise.
Of course this is a pleasant but doomed approach . . .
Kansas city politicos only function by way of their lizard brain . . . Fear & greed is all they understand.
Still, here at TKC we hope to keep things civilized in the opening days of the new year so we offer this reasonable explanation from nice people . . .
URGENT: Non-conforming Lots -The Remix
I hope you are doing well and had a joyful holiday. If you don’t remember me, my name is Lauren Thompson and I fought against ordinance 190506 known as the ‘Non-Conforming Lots’ Ordinance. If you’re needing a reminder of that ordinance, you can watch these two videos I put together back in 2019:
I’m writing to you today because you were part of the group that vocalized opposition to that ordinance. Unfortunately, City Planning and Development has brought forth a new ordinance that I refer to as ‘Non-Conforming Lots: The Remix.’ For more information on this ordinance, use the following information Case No CD-CPC-2021-00214 - Chapter 88 Amendments. Importantly, this ordinance will go before the City Plan Commission this Tuesday 1/4.
This new ordinance is essentially the same ‘Non-conforming Lots’ Ordinance that we saw in 2019 with new additions to undermine current zoning standards, limit the influence of neighborhood groups, remove current standards for public notification and testimony, and provide more authority to the director of City Planning and Development to approve developments.
The new ordinance is notably wordier and more complicated than what we saw in 2019. There are several, incredibly important, components to understand about this ordinance that I will explain below. The ordinance is split into two sections: Lot and Building Standards and Minor Subdivisions.
Lot and Building Standards Amendments:
This section is essentially a repeat of the Non-Conforming Lots Ordinance. It’s written in a different and more complicated way and is in a different location in the Zoning and Development Code, but the outcome is exactly the same.
* It would allow construction of large houses on tiny lots, even if they are jammed in between existing houses.
* There are no reasonable limits on how close they can build to existing homes. Similar to the 2019 ordinance, we would be looking at many scenarios where houses could be built 2.5ft away from existing homes.
* It would not require any notice to neighbors that this was happening. Someone could just go to the planning department and get a building permit. The first the neighbor would learn of it was when construction started.
Minor Subdivisions Amendments:
These amendments will affect every neighborhood in Kansas City, regardless of their underlying lot structure and their current zoning. This section is divided into four types of minor subdivisions and then an exemptions section. The exemptions section is a repeat of Non-Conforming lots. Again, written in a different way and in a different location in the code but has the exact same outcome. An important issue with all four types of minor subdivisions is that all of these are approved through the Director of City Planning.
There will be no public notification, there will be no required meeting with the neighborhood, there will be no opportunity for public testimony, and they do not need to follow current lot size requirements.
Ultimately the changes in this section will allow the Director of City Planning to split existing lots and create up to 20 new lots of any size, with no public notification, no neighborhood engagement, and no council approval.
These changes give an incredible amount of power to the Director of City Planning and Development, an unelected official, without any oversight by the city council.
You may be wondering, ‘Why haven’t I heard anything about this directly from the city?’ I think that is an excellent question to ask.
Why is a major policy change being pushed through during the holidays and a pandemic with essentially no public notification or opportunity for input?
We aren’t even allowed to testify in person at CPC, but this major policy change is being pushed. I find this process incredibly concerning and frustrating. I hope you will join me again in opposing this ordinance.
It goes on from there . . .
There was a big meeting today trying to prevent this but public participation isn't really the problem.
The issue is one of trust.
The current crop of leaders at city hall CANNOT be trusted.
COVID has isolated most of them from any semblance of accountability.
And so . . .
Everything they do is within a vacuum . . . They simply don't understand neighborhood concern and view every criticism as hostility.
Attempting to appeal to their decency and responsibility to voters only makes any problem worse.
Developing . . .