by Debbie Coleman-Topi
A developer who had proposed two high-density, multi-family housing units in eastern Platte County is responding to an array of criticism from area residents who are concerned about the plan's potential impact on the surrounding area.
Todd Lieberman, senior vice president of Brinshore Development, said the company is responding to a barrage of criticism from residents by “re-considering all our options.” The proposal is being considered for an area near Barry Road and North Platte Purchase.
Residents who attended a recent public hearing were mainly concerned about income-assisted tenants and the development's impact on property values, crime rates and stretching city services and school districts as they absorb the increased populations.
“We're very interested in getting feedback,” Lieberman said. “That's exactly what this process is all about.”
Lieberman said both proposed developments were located within a few blocks of the Platte Purchase Road area.
City of Kansas City Council members Teresa Loar and Dan Fowler, whose districts are located within the previously-proposed site, said their offices have both received many emails and phone calls negative of the proposal. Both said that some people who contacted their offices and who signed an online petition were misinformed. Many thought the development would solely house residents who rely on income assistance.
The council members and Lieberman verified that the planned development would only include one-third Housing and Urban Development-subsidized housing and the rest would be occupied by those not subsidized. In other words, only about 25 to 30 units, or one-third of the planned housing in each development, would be for income-assisted residents, Lieberman said.
He said that the plan called for “a wide variety of price points.”
Council member Dan Fowler, who met privately with Brinshore officials along with council member Loar, said Brinshore “has all kinds of options.”
Lieberman said a planned July 18 meeting has been canceled while Brinshore, which is based in Illinois but also has a Kansas City office, collects comments from the public and re-considers development options. Those options will include Northland sites, but he declined to identify specific locations.
Lieberman encouraged comments to the company's email address, which is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
He said those who email questions should expect answers by next week.
In addition to the controversy surrounding the proposed locations, some residents had been critical of what they considered late notice of the July 5 meeting. In response, Lieberman said he has promised to provide 15 business days' notice before the next public hearing.
Kansas City Council Member Teresa Loar said the early July public hearing proved the project was plagued by misconceptions and miscommunication.
“People start thinking about housing projects from the 1970s,” she said. “I think we just all need to be patient and learn the facts about what affordable housing is these days.”