General Meeting Minutes August 25, 2021

VNA General Meeting, Wednesday, 8.25.2021, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom

Attendees: Ryan King, Mary Jo Draper, Jim Martin, David & Lauren Snodgrass, Dana Meier, Ashley Rodney, Jennifer & Ed Larson, Kathy Linder, Cheryl Baird, Bob Crutsinger, Kevin (Norman Lofts resident), Stacey (Coleman Highlands resident), Delaney Smail (AmeriCorps Vista: Midtown KC Now, Homeless Outreach), Joe Hall & Ann Shaughnessy (City in Motion Dance Company), Butch Dougherty & Thong Thai (B+A Architecture)


  • Dance in the Park, Saturday, 9.11.2021, 7:00 p.m., Roanoke Park
    • Special guests Joe Hall (President, City in Motion) & Ann Shaugnessy (Director), presented information about the return of Dance in the Park, produced by City in Motion Dance Studio with help from the five surrounding neighborhoods and the Parks Dept. Expect about 800 guests + a livestream audience.
    • Brief overview of the history: started in 1999 by dance instructor who resided in Volker. Neighborhoods quickly became involved. By 2009, City in Motion was producing with great assistance from the community.
    • Covid precautions: audience area will have designated for spaced groups, sanitizing stations. Costs have gone up, so please consider donating (online or at the event).
    • Neighbors/audience members are encouraged to bring seating and refreshments. Use of home recycling bins would be appreciated.
  • B+A Architecture: Midtown Plaza Development (MGE building), 34th & Broadway
    • Presentation by Butch Dougherty and Thong Thai updating the neighborhood on changes to Phase 3 & 4 of the development project that had already been approved by neighborhood and City Plan Department. Members of the VNA Development Committee had already met with the architects and some of the expressed concerns have already been adjusted and incorporated. Developer’s primary goal for change of plans is to increase the density for profitability. Architects expressed that they desire VNA’s approval before submitting new plans to the city.
    • Original, approved plan incorporated 20 3-bedroom townhomes (to be sold as condos) fronting Pennsylvania Ave. with a traditional style similar to houses in the neighborhood. Two curb cuts for parking access would have been necessary.
    • Updated plan calls for three levels of apartments in a modern style, using materials found on neighborhood homes (brick, stucco, and vertical, wood-slat siding). Updated plan called for 45 units but have pulled back to 38 after development committee expressed concerns. Floor one units would have ‘porches’ with a main entrance on Pennsylvania. 2nd and 3rd floor units would have balconies and enter from the rear parking lot. No curb cuts would be needed as all access would be from 34th St. Units would range in sizes with some studio apartments, as well as one- and two-bedroom units.
    • All parking would now be on the surface lot, with an additional 218 parking spots for Phase 3 & 4, which is more than the city requires.
    • All total, the entire project would have @ 350 units.
    • Developer and architects would like to present the updated project to the city ASAP and are hoping for a quick resolution with the neighborhood.
    • Additional notes: Tenant of Phase 1 will begin moving in mid-September. Phase 2 (retail portion) is on hold indefinitely.
  • VNA Discussion of Midtown Development Project:
    • Following the presentation, neighbors discussed the plans and concerns. Mary Jo Draper will take discussion points back to the project leads. As a group, there was a consensus on the following items:
      • Seems to be ample parking. Neighborhood requests that parking is part of the monthly rent rather than a separate fee in order to minimize additional street parking from residents.
      • Density of the project was agreeable to VNA. Neighborhood would prefer a mix of rental and owner-occupied like in the original plan. VNA encourages the developer to design the units so that they could be serve as rentals or sold as condos as the market dictates.
      • New design is not as pleasing to VNA as the more traditional, original design. It was described as trendy and not sympathetic to the overall design aesthetic of the neighborhood. VNA encourages the developer to try to improve the design.
  • Safety Team:
    • David Snodgrass shared the link for the the new Citizens app that some neighbors are using to receive real-time alerts of incidences occurring nearby. Information can be found on VNA’s website.
  • VNA & Covid-19:
    • Discussed how comfortable people were with resuming in-person activities as long as we limited them to outdoor spaces. Consensus was that was acceptable and would be a positive for neighbors to be able to meet again. The next general meeting will be held at the outdoor patio at Browne’s Market, 9.22.2021, 7:00 p.m.
  • Word on the Street:
    • Delaney Smail from Midtown KC Now was present at the meeting and reminded neighbors of opportunities to join with other Midtown neighbors at various events sponsored by MKCN. Visit the website for dates, times, and locations. Delaney also shared information on her role doing outreach to the homeless population in Midtown. MKCN serves as a resource to steer individuals to the help they need. She is currently offering pop-up services at the Westport Branch of KCPL, two times a week.
    • Neighbor, Bob Crutsinger, brought up issues that have been occurring near his property due to situations at short-term rentals (Air BnB, VRBO, etc.). 
      • Dana Meier will provide Bob with names of individuals with the city that could help resolve issues.
      • Discussion on whether VNA should compile a list of owners so that individuals would be able to contact them if needed. Also discussed taking action if any are not licensed.

Submitted by Jennifer Larson, Secretary

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Valentine Neighborhood Association

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