Neighbors, preservationists rally to fight development in KC’s Westport district

Westport, one of the most important historic areas in Kansas City, has no official designation as a historic district. But a coalition calling itself Help Save Old Westport has mounted a GoFundMe campaign to raise $25,000 to pay for a building inventory, a necessary step to apply for historic overlay district designation.

That recent realization by historic preservationists ups the ante as midtown neighbors mount opposition to new apartment developments proposed for an area of the city that dates to the 1830s.

One apartment proposal — scheduled to be presented to the City Plan Commission on Tuesday — would tear down an old building at the southeast corner of Westport Road and Broadway to pave the way for a new 256-unit apartment and retail complex.

Some neighbors also are upset at a proposal to permit closing of a section of Westport Road and Pennsylvania Avenue to vehicle traffic on specified nights, weekends, holidays and special events. Mayor Sly James and members of the Westport Regional Business League say putting up temporary road barriers is the best way to control late-night access and limit dangers at the popular bar and restaurant crossroads.

The City Planning and Development Department is evaluating the street-closing application, and no public hearing dates have been set for it.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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