what is happening
Currently, development is occurring in the lower part of KC's Line Creek Forest. BUT there is still MUCH of the forest that can be preserved.
LOWER 272 ACRES OF THE FOREST -
PARK HILL SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANS
In 2017, Park Hill School District purchased about 272 acres of the forest in order to build three schools. About 125 remaining acres are earmarked by the district for future development or sale. We are urging the district to make a permanent conservation plan for some of those remaining acres.
Why did we get involved? The district used 110 million of community funds (debt) to build these schools.
School #1 Hopewell Elementary
Our stance: We supported the development of Hopewell Elementary school, however, we urged the district to make environmentally friendly choices.
Current status: Under construction. The Park Hill School District opted to burn the many acres of trees, some on ozone alert days, leading to citations by the city. Additionally, the district did NOT do archeological surveys prior to beginning construction on Hopewell. At our urging, they did surveys for the next project, and uncovered artifacts.
School #2 LEAD Center
Our stance: We urged the district to explore an alternate forest location for the LEAD school, one that didn't require as the eradication of the some of the older parts of the forest or the development of the Line Creek Parkway, which bisected the forest.
Current status: Under construction. The Park Hill School District opted for the more environmentally damaging plan and burned the trees for this much larger project. However, based on our feedback during the Special Use Permit process at the Board of Zoning Approval and City Plan Commission meeting, Park Hill School District was required to remove sports fields from the permit request, include some conservation language and adhere to several other contingencies.
School #3 Expansion to Full-Fledged High School
Our stance: We are opposed to this plan due to the environmental damage from sports fields and the large footprint in the forest.
Current status: Based on community outcry, Park Hill will need to go back to the BZA and CPC for approval to proceed with this project.
Remaining 125 acres not needed for the three schools
Our stance: We continue to urge Park Hill to create a conservation plan for some of these remaining acres.
Current status: Park Hill has not yet agreed to any permanent conservation plan.
UPPER PART OF FOREST
There are no current plans for development, however much of this forest is privately owned (except for the public trail that runs through the forest).
We are asking our elected officials and government agencies to work with private landowners to purchase and conserve the land.
This also includes:
Developing a feasibility study for permanently establishing an official conservation area.
Passing the Woodland Ordinance to protect our valuable forests and woodlands in the Northland as proposed by the city council in 2011.
Removing the environmentally damaging and expensive Line Creek Parkway from the master plan, per the master plan recommendations of finding an alternate north/south route.
Adjusting the City Area Plan to remove retail and other development plans from the forested area.