Planning Commission Approves Armourdale Master Plan – Welcome to Wyandotte Daily!
by Mary Rupert
The planning commission voted unanimously Monday night to adopt Armourdale’s master plan.
Andrew Moddrell, project consultant for PORT Design, whose group led the master plan project, told the Zoom meeting that there had been a good response from most of the residents of Armourdale they interacted with. , and residents shared their stories and priorities.
The project hired residents of Armourdale to help gather citizen feedback, he said. A website, armourdalestrong.com, has been created.
In response to a question from Planning Commission Chairman Jeff Carson, Moddrell said some residents of Armourdale were wondering if the UG planners were going to be here today and leave tomorrow, but after months of hard work. there they won the trust of many.
Moddrell noticed that the residents of Armourdale shared stories about their daily lives, as some young residents let them know that they like walking the alleys because the trucks are driving too fast on the streets.
Since last month’s presentation to the Planning Commission and the UG Commission, an open house has been held on September 21 for residents, and other meetings have also taken place, according to Moddrell.
The master plan also covered some industrial and labor history, as well as the rich Hispanic heritage of the Armourdale neighborhood in the southeastern part of Kansas City, Kansas, he said. The area got its name from the old Armor meat packing plant and the stockyards in the funds. The region has faced a legacy of negative developments, such as flooding, population decline, segregation, redlining and displacement, he said.
It was also isolated, as it was surrounded by rail tracks, the river and industrial uses, he said.
With the master plan, the UG hopes to transform the disinvested, deteriorated, neglected, isolated, vulnerable and segregated area to a safe, inclusive, empowering and attractive place.
The master plan describes five areas and different strategies. The one with the longest list of strategies was the neighborhood core, where housing solutions are part of the focus, Moddrell said. It is also important to increase the capacity of community organizations in Armourdale, he added.
Trade corridors were discussed, including Osage Avenue and Kansas Avenue. The master plan wants to build on the existing structure, and Osage Avenue would be the heart of the neighborhood, he said.
The plan would encourage the ability to walk in the area, incorporate green and infrastructure improvements, and add bus stops.
The master plan also mentioned access to fresh food, public spaces, cycle paths and cultural facilities for Armourdale.
Industrial plans for the region would expand access, encourage recruiting services, bring services to Armourdale, encourage high-performance industrial plots, capture stormwater, and increase the sustainable operation of industry in Armourdale.
Badly affected by the floods of 1951, as well as the floods of 1903 and 1908, Armourdale underwent changes caused by natural disasters. Unlike in earlier times, residential home construction in the Armourdale area is now encouraged. Development in the region is being boosted by a federal dike project that strengthens flood protection.
The Kansas River, once considered a flood threat, is considered an asset by the master plan. Currently, efforts are underway to develop areas around the river, such as the Rock Island Bridge, as destination tourist spots.
The master plan recommends that the West Bottoms have their own master plan, Moddrell said.
Among the options for river development in the West Bottoms would be an expansion of projects around HyVee Arena, a road for a riverside destination including more civic development, or a logistics and industrial hub.
Planning Commissioner Karen Jones said she viewed the entire master plan effort as “better late than never”.
“For decades, Armourdale languished,” she said. She hopes the region will now move forward.
She added that the community involvement of this project was great.
However, she said some of the well-paying jobs in Armourdale, jobs paying over $ 40,000 a year, go to people who live outside of Armourdale. The average income in Armourdale is around $ 34,000, she added.
“For the sake of sustainability, education is an important component,” said Commissioner Jones. It will take education for residents to get some of the highest paying jobs. Currently, 50 percent of the region’s residents do not have a high school diploma, she added.
Planning Commissioner Evelyn Hill said she appreciated this report and noted the intergenerational participation it was able to achieve. She also asked if residents were concerned about the air quality.
Moddrell said an appendix to the Clean Air Now and Beto Lugo report provided an air study on Armourdale. While there haven’t been many complaints from residents, there is pollution from trains, trucks and some industries, according to Moddrell.
For the most part, the industries around Armourdale are currently focused on logistics, not large stacks and heavy manufacturing, he said. The Clean Air report recommends possible changes to truck routes in Armourdale, he said.
Osage Avenue doesn’t have to be a truck route, he said. At some point in the future, the trucks could be routed via Kansas Avenue or Cheyenne. This would strengthen the core of the neighborhood and Osage could see more foot traffic, he said.
Planning Commission Chairman Carson added his vote of support to bring the tally to 6-0 on the blueprint, which is expected to be submitted to the Unified Government Commission for a final vote at a later date.
Planning director Gunnar Hand said this project included a lot of community engagement. He hopes this signals a change where the community, not the planning department, is at the center of the effort. There has been a lot of effort to involve all departments in the MU, he added.
Monica Mendez, executive director of the Armourdale Renewal Association, said at the meeting that this was the first time they have seen a lot of effort to involve the residents of Armourdale.
Claudine Sanders, vice president of the Armourdale Renewal Association, also spoke in favor of the master plan.
The master plan is also online at https://www.armourdalestrong.com/master-plan-documents.
See the previous story at http://www.wyandottedaily.com/public-open-house-today-on-armourdale-master-plan/.