There Was a Glimmer of Hope

At last Tuesday’s City Plan Commission, Jeff Williams, head of our illustrious planning and development department, presented an amendment to the Zoning and Development Code which would create a new section for Tree Preservation and Protection.

This sounds like a good thing in so many ways, but seemingly could still be overruled at a City Plan Commission hearing or even by council members who decide their proposed project is so important, it warrants chopping down trees.

Construction is still underway to unnecessarily widen Red Bridge Road from Holmes to Wornall. Had this new section been enacted several years ago, over 20 old trees wouldn’t have been mowed down in order to lay more heat absorbing pavement.

It could also have prevented Cerner from uprooting 12-15 trees which had been planted in the median of Hillcrest Road prior to them removing the median and closing the road to the community.

Another very positive thing happening centers around the Heartland Conservation Alliance. They are working very hard to return the environs of the Blue River back to its former self. Their mission is to “conserve, protect, and restore natural lands and open space within the Kansas City region.” They are working to create recreational opportunities the length of the Blue which actually starts in Kansas and flows to the Missouri River. That’s where the disheartening part comes in. There are many groups working to make these things happen, but one has to wonder where KC is.

The KC Parks Director was asked if his department is a part of this huge and wonderful project and he had no idea.

So, glimmers can be seen and we have to hope they will widen. At least there is a start even if some things are a bit late. Many of us remember the Mayor declaring a “climate emergency”. What a powerful message – with little follow through. The message we’ve all known was coming, came yesterday. There will be a “downtown” ballpark which has made a lot of climate activists cringe. After all, the mayor said there is an emergency. He didn’t say he cared.

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