Mission council debates Broadmoor redesign options; informal vote favors plan preferred by business owners

The updated plan being considered by Mission officials would allow business owners to retain more of their private parking space.

Plans to fix Broadmoor Street could go one of two ways, but Mission city leaders must decide soon or risk losing county funding for the project.

Mission must tackle the $1.1 million project soon because the project is eligible to receive 50 percent of construction costs from Johnson County’s 2019-2023 CARS resolution.

With crumbling curbs, Broadmoor is in need of an update — but city officials are trying to balance business owners’ parking needs. Photo credit Johnson County Appraiser’s Office.

Option 1, identical to the plan that was proposed in 2011, would bring the stretch of Broadmoor from Johnson Drive to Martway Street up to city code compliance. On the other hand, business owners have voiced concerns because it swaps many of their private parking lots with public on-street parking spaces (similar to those on Johnson Drive).

Option 2, developed this summer, allows businesses to keep their private parking and fixes the street, curbs and sidewalks and adds green space as well as a few on-street parking spaces. It does not bring the street into city code compliance. But businesses have said they would prefer it over option 1.

Balancing pedestrian, motorist needs along business stretch

While making Mission walkable remains a priority, some councilmembers wanted to ensure the businesses along Broadmoor are still motorist-friendly because many of their services — a furniture store, dry cleaning, a drive-through restaurant and veterinarian services — typically require vehicle access.

The Mission council took an informal vote on Broadmoor on Wednesday. Five councilmembers preferred option 2, which is preferred by the business owners. Sollie Flora was the sole councilmember to prefer option 1, citing her wish to stick to city code whenever possible, especially on pricey projects. She also wants to see the city make an effort to follow its West Gateway Form Based Code. Councilmembers Hillary Parker Thomas and Nick Schlossmacher were absent.

Mayor Ron Appletoft said that, ideally, he’d prefer option 1, but it doesn’t work with the current layout of the structures juxtaposed to the street.

“We’re trying to retro-fit a street into a district,” Appletoft said. “The chances of someone coming along and buying that block and trying to redevelop it (are) probably not going to happen.”

Either way, the city needs to take action, the mayor urged, or the city could lose the CARS funding.

Broadmoor Street is out of compliance with city code because it is too wide, and there’s little green space and narrow, inconsistent sidewalks.

John Belger, public works director, said he thinks both concepts are doable, but option 2 provides the middle ground that option 1 lacks.

“I can say with confidence, after the open house the other night: I think that the business owners would be way more receptive to the second one because it gets the street fixed, (and) it does improve pedestrian walkability by getting good sidewalks through there,” Belger said. “While some of those things aren’t to the level that we would like them to be, I still think it (option 2) is an improvement over what’s there.”

Belger encouraged the councilmembers to consider option 2, considering the city had been working on the project since 2011.

“My biggest thing was I didn’t want the same outcome,” he said. “I didn’t want to put it back on the shelf because we’ve gotten to the point now where we truly need to do something to that section of Broadmoor.”

The $1,162,706 budget for option 1 would eligible to receive funding from Johnson County’s 2019-2023 CARS Resolution to cover 50 percent of construction costs.

Belger said he didn’t have an exact estimate for option 2, but it would cost less because it requires fewer changes.

Staff will present a recommended option at a future community development meeting; Belger anticipates it will be in October.