Once again developers want to help destroy Kansas City history.
Here's the objection form History Kansas City - Our 2nd favorite advocacy group with a record for raising a ruckus but not actually saving any buildings.
Still, we believe their heart is in the right place on this issue and preservation in general.
Check-it . . .
"Since 2017, HKC has sought to protect the 7th Church of Christ Scientist from demolition. RED Development withdrew its development proposal following HKC’s success in advocating for the adoption of the Plaza Bowl Overlay District.
"HKC also filed an application to locally designate the structure. The local register offers demolition protection, of a sort, but we were promptly sued by the Church congregation. HKC settled the issue and withdrew the application for designation. As the property owner, the Church objected to the application. In Kansas City, you just can’t get something locally designated over owner objection. It’s not a requirement, but a political reality. The only exception is the City Council approved the designation of Union Station over the owner's objection.
"JH Investors purchased the church in 2020."
A bit more on the controversy and now developers don't have to follow rules . . .
"The goal of the Plaza Overlay District is to preserve the character and integrity of the Plaza, maintain the Plaza Bowl concept, and protect the property values and expectations of Plaza property owners, residents and visitors. The Overlay restricts heights and land uses at this location to 45 feet. The Overlay does NOT protect the church from demolition.
"The developer bought it fully knowledgeable of the Plaza Bowl Overlay District Ordinance. HKC estimates they exceed the height by 18 or more feet. This would require a deviation authorized by the City Council, for which there are no standards for evaluation."
The main takeaway . . .
"Allowing one developer to exceed the height limits set by the Plaza Bowl Overlay opens up the floodgates for other developers to ignore other overlay district ordinances and area plans created by neighborhoods and other stakeholders."
Developing . . .