Last month the Downtown Neighborhood Association kicked off another year with a brainstorming session to inform and shape our efforts in the year to come. Several topics came to light that are outlined below.  

If you were unable to attend the meeting and have thoughts or ideas of things the neighborhood association could work on in the coming year to improve please let us know at dnakcmo@gmail.com. Also, we are looking for individuals to champion and work with the board in all the areas above. We would welcome your help. The more people that are involved the more we can accomplish. Thanks for helping to make downtown great.

Downtown Zoning:

Last fall, it came to the attention of the DNA that select areas in our neighborhood have not been brought current with the downtown zoning districts. These zoning districts were adopted to further implement the vision of the Greater Downtown Area Plan. The DNA plans to urge the City to make the necessary updates so that our entire neighborhood is zoned in a manner that is conducive to development that fits the vision of the GDAP. 

Downtowners discuss goals for 2014

Downtowners discuss goals for 2014

Development Communication:

In the coming year we would like to better our communications with the City and other economic development organizations to ensure our voices are heard regarding development in our neighborhood. We plan to develop a committee that will meet with developers to review proposed projects and make sure neighborhood viewpoints are considered. 

State Historic Tax Credits:

State Historic Tax credits have played a vital role in the redevelopment of our neighborhood and are a tool that the DNA would like to see continue. The State has again been talking of significantly cutting this tax credit. There are a number of historic properties in our neighborhood that could benefit from this credit and we will continue to push our State representatives on this issue.

Handicap Accessibility:

Whether it is in buildings our outdoor spaces, accessibility for all is important to our organization. There are many historic buildings in our neighborhood with entrances and interior spaces that are difficult and some impossible for individuals with disabilities to enter and experience. Also, there are several areas along pedestrian pathways that are not compliant for individuals with disabilities. We would like to strive to bring awareness to this issue, ensuring that problem areas are corrected and all new development is accessible to everyone.

Public Education:

As we look to grow our population and diversity downtown, we must have a high quality public school option for families living in our neighborhood. The KCMO school district is undergoing major changes and we want to make sure we are doing all we can to bring strong education options that encourage families to live in our neighborhood. The DNA will continue to keep our members informed as the KCMO school district changes.

Pedestrian/Bike/Greenspace Improvements:

We will continue to advocate for the best pedestrian and biking experience throughout our neighborhood. We remain in communication with BikeWalkKC and their efforts. The DNA will also work to inform appropriate parties of areas in our neighborhood that need attention.

Homeless:

Our approach to the homeless population living in our neighborhood is to support the many local organizations that provide aid and services to these individuals. We feel that this is the most effective way to help. Throughout the year we will be looking to organize volunteers and host donation drives to support these efforts.

Crime Prevention:

The leading crime happening in our neighborhood continues to be auto break-ins. This is a crime that can be easily prevented. We will continue to spread the word and support the KCMO Police Department’s “Put Your Junk in Your Trunk” campaign. The DNA also acknowledges that the neighborhood is comprised of “active” areas with steady pedestrian street traffic and “inactive” areas. We continue to advocate for increased street activity, creating inviting pedestrian routes in all areas of our neighborhood and encourage open communication with law enforcement officials.

Outreach to Residents:

Our neighborhood is growing every day and we want to get the word out to everyone living and working downtown that there is an active neighborhood association that would love their involvement. A first step we have identified is reaching out to all residential property managers to open up communications to residents and bring awareness of our organization.

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