Volker Neighbors Protest Apartment Style Development

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some Kansas City neighbors are upset about a new development project planned for their community of historic homes.

It's basically an eight-plex apartment building, but neighbors say it doesn't fit in with the single family homes in the area of 36th and Bell Street in the Volker Neighborhood, just a couple blocks from University of Kansas Hospital.

Lynda and Pat McClelland held picket signs with several other unhappy neighbors Monday. They're trying to spread the word in the community about what's going on.

"We're here because we're trying to save our neighborhood," says Lynda McClelland.

"It's clearly an apartment building crammed into a narrow spot in the middle of our old homes," says Pat McCelland, "the houses are all 100 years old some 125 and the people on this block have lived there, some over 40 years."

Another neighbor, Kathleen Brock, says she's very concerned about the look of the new building.

"We don't want to build future slums here," says Brock, "as you walk down the street it will just be a blight."

Neighbors say they felt mis-led from the beginning. The old home that used to stand at 36th and Bell was supposed to be renovated but then it got torn down. The investment group, headed up by a KU Med Center Doctor, told neighbors the new building will be apartments for on call doctors.

"We were told by the investors spokesperson that this place will house doctors to come and go," says Lynda McClelland, "so when you think of that that makes us think of a motel."

The neighbors say they have no guarantee that the building would only be used by the doctors, if it's zoned as an apartment complex. That zoning is also a sticking point, neighbors say the city changed the zoning in the neighborhood to allow this to happen, and the city didn't notify neighbors about the change.

"We feel like they sold us out in favor of developers," says Pat McCelland.

The neighbors say they have repeatedly asked to meet with the developers. They will continue to protest until they feel like their concerns are heard.

"We're pleading with them to please meet with us and discuss it with us so we can come together," says Lynda McClelland.

KCMO City Councilman Jim Glover told neighbors he'll see if he can help but he may not be able to stop it since the permits and zoning are already in place.

The investor and architect involved in this development did not return FOX 4's phone calls.

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