Last month we told TheNorthlandNews.com readers about the growing opposition to the Maple Corners Housing Development. It will set west of Interstate I-435 at the corner of 48th Street and Randolph Road. You can read the first two stories by clicking HERE and HERE.
Maple Corners is part of the $30 million The Choice Neighborhoods program grant that was awarded last year to the Housing Authority of Kansas City (HAKC) and the City of Kansas City to revitalize the Paseo Gateway and raze the Chouteau Courts public housing complex.
The development will be a mix of market rate housing (40%) and a mixture of mixed-income and public housing replacement units (60%). The proposal also includes a community center to provide services for the Maple Corner residents.
Neighbors that are concerned about the proposed complex have organized a petition drive against it both online and in paper.
So far the online petition has gathered 542 signatures and the paper petition has gathered another 1600. You can visit it by clicking HERE. The full text of the petition is as follows:
Kansas City Missouri has won a $30 million grant and is revitalizing the northeast area around I-35 and Paseo Blvd. In doing the revitalization, the Chouteau Apartments located at 1220 E. Independence Ave will be demolished. The Housing Authority of Kansas City Mo are wanting to build subsidized housing in the Northland at 48th St & Randolph Rd (by Worlds of Fun) and relocate the residents from Chouteau Apartments to the Northland. The development plan consists of 90 units with 40% being market rate and 60% being a mix of public housing replacement and mixed-income units.
The Maple Park community and surrounding neighborhoods are no place for the establishment of “affordable housing” project. The area around Maple Park is already saturated with government subsidized housing. It is our belief that this will not only negatively impact our community but will also negatively impact the residents being relocated as we do not have the resources that are needed such as public transportation, retail within walking distance, healthcare access r employment opportunities.
We, the undersigned, petition our City Council Representatives to not proceed with the project in the Northland.
Allow this petition to send a resounding and unequivocal message…NO affordable housing project in the Maple Park neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods!
Yesterday, we spoke with Emma Niccoli who is the Northlander who has organized the petitions.
Niccoli began the conversation yesterday stressing to us that she had done significant research into the project and was not just expressing her personal opinion. So far she has gathered several documents about the project that includes the grant terms, the original grant proposal submitted by Kansas City, and the Paseo Gateway Transformation Plan.
We asked if she could send us copies of the documents. According to Niccoli, there’s a large amount of paperwork involved and it currently fills a large binder. She did offer to sit down with us and let us look at it, but we were unable to do that due to time conflicts.
Niccoli said that her biggest concern about the proposal is the new residents will have significant problems accessing important services. She’s worried residents would have little access to public transit during the week, and none at all on the weekends. The lack of transit would then prohibit their ability to get to the Clay County Health Department, the Division of Family Services, retail and grocery stores, and potential jobs.
The documentation that Niccoli possesses includes a survey conducted by the HAKC of 79 families that potentially would be moved to the new project. Of those 79 families surveyed, only 22 families have private transportation. Only 14 families have a “workable income”. Of the 14 families with workable income, only 4 families have a full time income. One of those families currently walks to work.
The project sits inside of the first district which is represented by Councilwoman Heather Hall and Councilman Scott Wagner. Niccoli said that opposition leaders have met with both Hall and Wagner. We asked how their concerns had been received.
Niccoli stressed the fact that her interpretation she was about to share was her opinion. She told us, “Councilman Wagner seems like he’s very for the project. Councilwoman Hall seems like she’s willing to gather more information to make a final judgement.” (We are reaching out to both Hall and Wagner’s office to provide a full response to this story and will publish anything they send us in its entirety on the site.)
Currently Niccoli and other residents who are opposed are starting a letter writing campaign that will be directed at at Councilmembers at Kansas City City Hall. She said that they have received some response from that.
“Our feeling on it basically is if it does come down to a vote with the Kansas City City Council and the other council members are not aware of the opposition then they’re going to look at Scott Wagner and say this is your ball field. Our hope is that some of them will look at Wagner and say you’re really upsetting these people maybe you shouldn’t play ball at that playground.”
Join The Northland News’ email newsletter that delivers the most popular stories right to your inbox: