Valentine Development Priorities Report

Draft 2 July 28, 2020 including comments from participants and comments received online after the meeting, not yet approved by general membership

The Valentine Development Committee, co-chaired by Chris Jordan and Mary Jo Draper, invited neighborhood residents to discuss future development and redevelopment issues at an online meeting July 22, 2020. The stated goal of the meeting was to allow residents to set priorities to be used by the neighborhood board and development committee when speaking with developers, city officials and the media. Sixteen residents attended the online meeting. After the zoom session, several residents submitted comments and several folks made additional suggestions.          

The meeting began with residents discussing the “big picture” development issues they see in the neighborhood (summarized in appendix a). Chris Jordan then updated the group on current development in process and city policy on neighborhood redevelopment. We also discussed the history of Valentine and the formation of the neighborhood association in response to a KC Life plan to tear down everything north of Valentine Road. The participants then reviewed the 2015 development priorities and agreed upon this amended list of priorities.

Priorities for Development and Redevelopment

  1. The neighborhood continues to support mixed use development at 33rd Street and Southwest Trafficway. We want to see this corner redeveloped with a mix of locally-owned businesses that serve the neighborhood. We do not want to see big box retail on that corner. The participants had mixed opinions about the (hypothetical) example of a Trader Joe’s. While some thought they might support a (hypothetical) Trader Joe’s on the site, there was concern about the potential increase in neighborhood traffic.  
  2. Valentine residents favor a mix of single family homes and apartments buildings rather than a redevelopment plan that calls for only apartments. We would be more favorable toward projects that include ownership, including condos, rather than only rental units. The scale of apartments is important so that single family homes are not overwhelmed by massive buildings, and so that the neighborhood remains primarily single family with a mix of neighborhood-serving business and smaller-scale apartments. 
  3. Single family homes south of 35th Street should be sold to owners who would occupy them.
  4. We see the opportunity for creative infill on vacant land in the neighborhood.
  5. We would support mix-used redevelopment that includes neighborhood-supporting businesses. In particular, we would like to have a grocery store and restaurants. 
  6. We are concerned about deterioration of property in the neighborhood and want to look for ways to reduce further deterioration. 
  7. We are proceeding with application for national historic preservation and may consider local designation as an incentive to homeowners and developers. 

Creative Ideas for Redevelopment of Vacant Property

  1. Designate part of the vacant land for small homes, such as those Jason Kander has been advocating to help homeless veterans. With the National Headquarters of the VFW in our backyard, and the WW1 Museum nearby, perhaps they might be interested in supporting something like that for veterans. Perhaps we’d get a lot of visitors to the neighborhood looking at the houses because they would be something you don’t see anywhere else.
  • Focus on moving Valentine to be an inter-generational community, to include the key components of students housing, senior housing and pocket parks for children. Such “senior pods,” for example, could consist of six small homes built around a common cafeteria.
  • I would like to suggest a VNA GreenHouse Coop.  Think about fresh organic, locally grown herbs and vegetables, and products elaborated from these crops: Pestos, Sauces, Salsas…actually hundreds of different items available changing seasonally year around.  Similar to the community garden, but on a much larger scale and operated as a commercial business rather than for home use only.   If KCLI, for example, owns the land, they could grant the land and invest in the infrastructure.  From there, interested parties could buy into the plots (similar to the community garden, but obviously a bigger investment in this case is required).  The main difference would be that this project is set up for resale, either for profit or not-for-profit.  with the proceeds being split (Coop), Land owner is responsible for developing the infrastructure, but in return receives 50% of proceeds on year one, with the percentage depreciates 5% per year until a minimum of 20% is left. (6 years).  Meanwhile, the growers get 40% with the profit increasing 5% per year over the same term, elaborating whichever organic crops or products they wish to sell.  The idea would be the growers split their profits equally to better coordinate product offering and pricing, rather than competing with one another.  VNA gets a steady 10% to use in support of community projects or services as needed, and voted by the association.  I recently saw a similar set up in Maui Hawaii, and thought it was a fantastic idea.  

Appendix A: Additional input from neighborhood

Development issues identified by participants

  • KC Life
    • KC Life ownership has led to disrepair
    • I’m absolutely sick of KC Life adding vacant lots to the neighborhood for no purpose. I’d like to see that stop immediately.
    • Has led to vacant space, tearing down houses
    • KC Life has had a negative impact on the neighborhood
    • Have tried to trust KC Life, they have let us down every time
    • Important to have a plan for when, eventually, KC Life will turn over its properties for redevelopment
    • Be aware that KC Life may want to close Knickerbocker Place (the street) in the future
  • Development/redevelopment preferences
    • Prefer a mixed use area with a strong residential base
    • Prefer to see single family homes
    • Improvements to KC Life properties still standing
    • Support for local business
    • Keep Penn Valley students in mind: consider what type of apartment and local businesses would be beneficial to students
  • Concerns
    • Concern about empty houses, maintenance
    • Concern about development on edges and entire neighborhood
    • Problems get “pushed around”
    • Need to be supportive of two homeowners still owning north of 35th Street
    • Additional development could lead to parking issues north of Valentine Road
  • Action steps
    • Convince city to help us create a development plan, as called for in the Midtown Plaza Area Plan


Appendix B: Preferences for Redevelopment, 2015

  1. Knickerbocker should be restored and reopened
  2. KC Life should divest of ownership south of 35th Street
  3. The neighborhood would support some types of mixed use development on 33rd Street and along the Trafficway around the corner, as described in the Midtown Plaza Area Plan. 
    1. The neighborhood prefers to see the area along 33th Street from Broadway to Southwest Trafficway redeveloped as a commercial area of small, non-chain businesses that will draw people north and encourage people to walk to local services and businesses. 
  4. Single family homes north of 35th Street should be sold to owners who would occupy them. We might be open to some type of redevelopment that adds housing, especially owner-occupied housing, north of 35th
    1. We would like to see the area from 33rd to Valentine Road, from Broadway to Southwest Trafficway, developed or redeveloped with a mix of owner-occupied and rental properties fitting the current scale of the neighborhood. 
  5. We cannot support demolition of homes or buildings without knowing that plan for the lot once it is cleared.
  6. The neighborhood would like to be involved in any redevelopment process as early as possible in order to help developers ensure the success of their proposals.  
  7. We want to encourage and would support the following types of amenities:
    1. ##Gym/pool
    1. Coffee shops
    1. Restaurants
    1. Shoe repair
    1. Flower shop
    1. Candy store
    1. UPS store
    1. Community meeting spaces
    1. Hallmark store 
  8. We would not support big-box retail in this area. 

Valentine Neighborhood Association

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