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Teardowns and McMansions - threats to intown neighborhoods - again.

Teardowns and McMansions are once again happening in Kansas City, now that a housing recovery is underway after the market crash in 2008. 

Teardowns don't have to have only negative outcomes, nor are they the only alternative to building a new home.  MARC - the Mid-America Research Council - has published a guide to renovating and modifying several postwar housing types in Kansas City's inner-ring suburbs.  That book - "First Suburbs Coalition Idea Book" - is available here.  Author and architect Sarah Susanka has written two very well received books about socially-responsible living and building, "The Not-so-big House" and "Not-so-big Remodeling".  These books are available at your local bookshop or online from stores such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

If a house is so far gone that it's simply not worthwhile to try to save it and a teardown is necessary, please think about going green and recycling the house's components through Habitat ReStore.  Kansas City has its own chapter of ReStore.  Any donations you make are tax-deductible and you'll have the further satisfaction of reducing the amount of stuff that goes into a landfill.

Finally, know that teardowns can happen anywhere in the city.  If you find that your neighborhood is under attack from ill-considered development, be proactive!  Join your neighborhood's architectural review board, if they have one, or think about starting one up.  That way you can at least begin to guide the growth that occurs, rather than being powerless to modify it.

The Kansas City Star published an article on August 3, 2008 about a teardown in Prairie Village, Kansas.  Here's a link to a pdf version of the article.

The illustration below shows the new house in relation to its neighbors.

Union Station

Kansas City, MO

Jarvis Hunt


Links to HKCF Articles:

Teardown Basics    |     How to Fight Teardowns     |     Compatible Infill Zoning

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