Rosedale residents can reshape their community for the future

Rosedale residents are being encouraged to dream big for their community. In early November, the first meeting on the Rosedale Master Plan and Traffic Study was held at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Kansas.

Vince Gauthier, lead advisor at BNIM Architects, felt it was important to have input from the neighbors before a master plan is put in place next year.

“You live in a magical place. You are in a position right now as neighborhood representatives, business owners, hospital or school representatives to have the opportunity to reshape this place for the next generation or two,” he said.

“What is it about Rosedale that is magical to you. You hold the magic wand and if you want something you can make it happen. We are here to listen and understand what is important to you and build upon that,” added Gauthier.

It has been a decade since the last master plan was implemented. During that time period, the Rosedale community saw new businesses line the Rainbow corridor. The University of Kansas Medical Center continues to invest in the community with jobs and construction projects.

The community has also seen the implementation of bicycle paths and trails to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle.

Zack Flanders, urban planner with BNIM Architects, encouraged everyone atten-ding the luncheon meeting to consider the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that exist in the Rosedale area.

Flanders showed a power point presentation on how cities with similar neighborhoods to Rosedale have improved their communities and discussed some points that worked for them in mixing business and residence homes.

“How do we provide the mix of housing, retail and amenities to take advantage of growth trends? How do we design our streets to best position Rosedale for the future? How should Rosedale grow alongside its health, education and tech institutions? These are just a few questions I would like you to consider and discuss,” said Flanders.

The attendees were divided into five different groups and encouraged to delve deeper into street improvements—extending the thoughts past just improving the street, but how that improvement could drive sidewalk improvements, lighting improvements and transit improvements.

Some of the topics covered were transportation, infrastructure, real estate, economy, health and safety. On the plus side of living in Rosedale, residents said they bought their homes in the area because they wanted to live where they would be able to walk to area businesses, walk to their jobs or to local stores. They liked the homes and the welcoming neighbors.

One resident was happy that the community has put in the Rozarks-Southeast Rosedale Trails but hopes that they can do more for the individuals or families that want to get outside and exercise.

The master plan is the official policy of the Unified Government regarding development and infrastructure. It documents the community’s vision for the future of the area, identifies public infrastructure investments and promotes coordination between city departments. The plan is used to make determinations on development proposals and forms the basis for zoning amendments.

The current meetings are being held to update the existing plan that was completed in 2005. During the open meetings they will address a wide range of issues such as development, housing, transportation, parking, safety, parks and open space and urban design.

Ahead of the meetings, Rosedale residents participated in a survey and the majority of the residents responded that they wanted to see improvements to their parks, walkable and bike friendly neighborhoods and sidewalks connecting them to the community around them.

Residents wanting are encouraged to take part in a bicycle tour through Rosedale neighborhoods on Saturday, November 21 at 10 a.m.

Community meetings are scheduled at Rosedale Middle School on January 14, 2016; March 23, 2016 and May 12, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Rosedale Master Plan has a website online, www.RosedaleMasterPlan.com and they are on connecting with the community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and have a MySidewalk page for listening to ideas and feedback online.