t Parkville’s Board of Alderman meeting held Tuesday, the board unanimously agreed to pass a proposed preliminary plan in favor of building a new housing development on 75 acres at the southwest corner of Brink-Myers Road.
DBH Development, Inc. is housed in Olathe, Kansas and has submitted their engineering plans and intentions to construct a mix of 485 residential units which will include 69 single-family units, 56 row house units in eight clusters, 72 condominium units in 9 eight-plex buildings, and 288 apartment units in 12 buildings.
There will also be a clubhouse and 17 acres of park land with nature trails for exercising.
These will be generally located one-half mile south of 45 Highway on the west side of Brink-Myers Road. This new area has been named ‘45 Park Place’ and the first phase to be constructed will be the single-family units.
“We find this location excellent and believe this development will fit well in the Parkville community,” said Joel Riggs on behalf of DBH Development. “This application process was painful due to so many changes we have been asked to make already, but we have complied with every request the city has had. We hope to begin construction by the end of this summer, specifically getting the sewer lines in place.”
Alderman David Rittman said he feels this new development is a necessary action to take. “According to the Platte County Economic Development Council, Parkville has been named the highest zip code with a disposable income in the state of Missouri, beating out St. Louis,” said Rittman. “So there is obviously a need for this type of housing that everyone can afford.”
Alderman Marc Sportsman agreed there is an evident need in the area to supply housing that any working-class person can afford.
“This is an affluent area where some people cannot afford to live,” said Sportsman. “When this development is completed, people who could not afford the home prices here in the past can afford to live here now. These developers have been unbelievably patient with our requests, and this is an exciting opportunity for our city to accept. It was unfortunate how early in this process there was false information given out which stated this will be low-income housing, because it’s not. Instead, it’s affordable housing that I’m in favor of.”
Many Parkville residents were misinformed how 45 Park Place would indeed be low-income residences when they heard the words “affordable” and “designed for working-class families” at the beginning of the process. Angry homeowners in the nearby Thousand Oaks neighborhood confronted Parkville’s Zoning Commission at their April 26 meeting and those who were unable to attend sent emails regarding their opposition. These homeowners were afraid the placement of large apartment buildings would inevitably cause higher crime rates, littering, overcrowding, and lower their property values.
Parkville’s Community Development Director, Sean Ackerson, described how many of the local residents’ views have changed since becoming more informed about what was happening.
“Many people came to our April zoning meeting to share their lack of support, but as soon as they walked into the room and saw the architects rendering of these houses, they knew they were not for low-income and turned around and left,” said Ackerson. “Parkville has very few apartment buildings and we need them. This will be a great addition. But you will always have your residents that own larger homes themselves and then say ‘If these homes are selling for $250,000 then it will be an instant slum area!’”
In other news at Tuesday’s meeting, the plans to begin a railroad museum were discussed when Jeff Anderson spoke to the board on behalf of the railroad museum committee for the Parkville Chamber of Commerce. Anderson said the initial plans have been supported by citizens and this will be an added attraction to the downtown area. Even tourists have come into Parkville’s depot to visit the unfinished museum after they saw a sign advertising it outdoors, instead only to find the chamber’s offices. There are 20 railroad items already in place from private collections, which the committee hopes to add to. Alderman Marvin Ferguson was chosen to act as the liaison between the city and the railroad museum committee.
A picnic for Parkville residents will be held Sunday, June 11 from 4-7 p.m. at English Landing Park. Mayor Kathy Dusenbery encouraged everyone to come to this family-style picnic where there will be Frisbee games and food. Parkville’s alderman and city staff will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, coleslaw, dessert and drinks. Pre-purchased tickets at city hall cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. Coming on Sunday without a pre-purchased ticket will cost $2 more.