Not surprisingly, a recent WPHA survey found that residents appreciate the beauty of our neighborhood and have a deep interest in keeping it looking good. Although the WPHA contributes to this effort by maintaining two public green spaces, much of the responsibility for beautification lies with individual homeowners, according to the Kansas City Code of Ordinances. Several excerpts from the code are summarized below:
Property owners and occupants have a duty to keep the sidewalk, curbing and guttering that adjoins their property in good order. This includes clearing away all earth or litter and removing obstructions that are dangerous, inconvenient or “annoying.” Residents are prohibited from sweeping litter from sidewalks into the gutters and streets.
In between the city’s weekly waste collections, refuse containers must be stored in the rear yard or a side yard. (Residents on corner lots may not store their trash containers on either of the street sides.)
If appropriate storage imposes an undue hardship because of an occupant’s advanced age or physical limitations, storage of refuse containers may be permitted elsewhere on the property. However, the trash containers must be screened from the view of other residential properties by a solid wall or tight fence.
Residents who have scheduled supplemental waste collection pickups may not place their items at the curb earlier than 3 p.m. the day before the scheduled collection date. Items for disposal are permitted to remain at the curb no more than 24 hours.
In Kansas City’s residentially zoned districts, there are two options for parking and storing recreational vehicles, boats, trailers and camper shells:
Meet Mike Allmon, the current Ward Parkway Homes Association secretary, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years. He started in landscaping when he was 14 years old as an assistant with his father’s tree care business. Today, he makes sure the public green spaces in the WPHA are well maintained. Thanks, Mike!
What street do you live on? Belleview Ave.
Why did you choose to live in this neighborhood? Grew up close, great neighbors and history.
Do any family members or pets live with you? Wife Debby, kids Mary and Robert, and dog Max.
Occupation (past or present)? I own Complete Turf and Landscape, full service landscaping company serving residential and commercial properties in the Kansas City area.
How do you like to spend your free time? Getting outside, playing music and traveling.
What is at the top of your bucket list? Traveling to Europe.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I grew up at 76th and Ward Parkway.
What’s the most interesting feature of, or story about, your house? It was built in 1934. The owner lived in the three-car garage (complete with a fireplace) while the main house was being built.
What is your favorite event or memory of the neighborhood? Playing in the abandoned train cars from the old Victoria’s Station restaurant where Burger King is now, at Gregory and Wornall.
What is your favorite area business/restaurant/meal/drink/service? Waldo Pizza.
What Waldo hidden gem would you recommend to neighbors and why? Waldo Grain, cool old building.
Is there anything you would change about the neighborhood? More bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
Thirty-five declining ash trees were slated for removal from the city right of way in our neighborhood from January to April 2018. You’ve probably noticed the tree stumps. The streets most heavily impacted include Belleview Avenue (Gregory Boulevard to 75th Street), Jarboe Street (7200 and 7400 blocks), Summit Street (7100 block) and 74th Street (Ward Parkway to Summit Street).
The trees are dying as a result of the invasive emerald ash borer beetle. While the City of Kansas City, Missouri, continues to treat street trees it deems in “good” condition, foresters expect to see large numbers of ash trees declining quickly this year and in the coming years.
Note that each ash tree removed will be replaced by the end of the next planting season, provided that there is a location that meets the city’s planting specifications. If you want to purchase your own tree and plant it in the right of way, you must obtain a free tree permit. Contact the 311 Call Center (dial 311, email 3-1-1.Call.Center@kcmo.org or visit www.kcmo.gov/311).
Ash trees are declining throughout Kansas City — and in our neighborhood — as a result of the invasive emerald ash borer beetle. Healthy trees that weren’t treated with systemic insecticide this year probably won’t live more than a few years. City Forester Kevin Lapointe estimates that many ash trees will be 70-80 percent dead by next summer. Several streets in the Ward Parkway Homes Association are heavily planted with ash trees and will be significantly impacted.
KCMO plans to remove more city-owned ash trees in poor, critical and dead condition this fall and winter. Lapointe has confirmed that there are currently 48 ash street trees slated for removal in our neighborhood between late November 2017 and March 2018. The majority of them are located on the following streets:
Expect to see notification via door hangers a few weeks before any tree is scheduled for removal. Trees that are removed will ultimately be replaced — at no cost to the homeowner — with small specimens from an approved list.
Have an interesting, whimsical, unique or beautiful yard? Consider being part of the 2017 WPHA Garden Tour this summer. It’s a terrific way to meet neighbors and build community in a casual setting. And you really don’t have to invest lots of time sprucing things up. Residents enjoy seeing the diversity of approaches to maintaining yards in our neighborhood.
The WPHA Garden Tour usually takes place during a three-hour period on a Sunday afternoon in June. The date for this year’s event hasn’t been decided yet. As a thank you for being a host site, we’ll provide a gift card to Soil Service and a stipend for snacks.
Send us an email if you’d like to be featured as a tour stop or want to help coordinate the event.
Have you noticed metal tags affixed to ash street trees in our neighborhood? (They are at eye level facing the street.) The emerald ash borer beetle is infesting ash trees across the metro, causing terminal decline.
KCMO is using numbered tags to keep track of the condition of ash trees in the public right of way. The city is treating some trees and removing and replacing others, depending on their condition.
Contracted crews working for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, are currently removing certain ash trees in the WPHA neighborhood that are in bad shape. The KCMO contractor is supposed to try and make personal contact with residents before removing ash trees in the public right of way. If unavailable, the contractor will leave a door hanger to provide information about the tree removal. (The city will direct the contractor to be more diligent about providing advance notice, as this isn’t always happening as intended.)
You may recall that the emerald ash borer — a beetle that is deadly to all types of ash trees — is spreading across the Midwest and is expected to kill a majority of the region’s ash trees over the next 10 years. Emerald ash borers kill a tree by tunneling under the bark and disrupting the tree’s vascular system, which starves it of nutrients and water. Ash trees across the metro are at risk.
The health of ash trees in our area was assessed by an arborist this past summer, and each tree was given a condition rating. Ash trees in the worst shape are not candidates for any kind of treatment to save them. They are being removed first from the public right of way in front of homes. The project will extend into the spring of 2017. The city will continue to treat trees that are in good condition.
Note that there are many ash trees along Belleview Avenue and Jarboe Street.
The city intends to replace all ash trees removed from the public right of way within one year of removal.
Have questions? Please contact the KCMO 311 Action Center by dialing 311 or 816-513-1313.
Residents with corner urns will have their annual opportunity to dress up the neighborhood at WPHA’s expense.
A volunteer will be delivering flowers in May for those requesting them for their urns. If you are doing your own planting and don’t want us to provide flowers, please contact Alison Baker at email@example.com or 816-822-2006. You also can contact her if you have a corner stone post without an urn and would like WPHA to install one.
Also, WPHA is seeking a Beautification Committee Chair to coordinate with contractors to oversee maintenance for urns and common spaces. The job requires no actual planting and can be shared by more than one person. If interested in volunteering, please contact Ms. Baker.
With the arrival of spring, WPHA will resume its Home of the Month award, which recognizes members who enhance the beauty of their homes and yards. Winners receive a story in the newsletter, a Home of the Month sign in their yard and a $50 gift certificate from the Soil Service.
Anyone wishing to nominate a WPHA member for this award should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.