Residents of a number of cities are using their concerns about increased traffic to question or oppose redevelopment deals in Johnson County.
People who live near projects in Prairie Village, Shawnee and Overland Park need to press city officials to diligently examine traffic patterns and how they might affect current homeowners.
In most cases so far, city planning officials have said redevelopers are taking traffic into account. In addition, traffic is never the sole reason given for speaking up about a new project.
A sampling of what’s going on:
▪ In Shawnee, residents are worried that a planned apartment complex called The Vantage at Shawnee could create extra traffic near their neighborhoods and also might turn into housing for low-income residents.
But the city’s planning commission has endorsed the preliminary rezoning and plan for the site, and the City Council is scheduled to review the package next week.
▪ In Prairie Village, some neighbors of the proposed Meadowbrook redevelopment — set to feature a public park along with housing and a hotel — are upset about where traffic could enter the area.
City officials have been looking at different ways to solve that problem. That’s appropriate, because this entire project could benefit Prairie Village in the long run.
▪ In Overland Park, residents are still asking traffic-related questions about the proposed redevelopment of the Brookridge Country Club.
This is the proper time for homeowners’ involvement, because the massive project could affect traffic patterns for decades. Properly so, developers have scaled down its size, which could reduce traffic-related woes.
City officials must listen to the public at a hearing later this month, then determine whether enough changes have been made in the plan to earn City Council approval.