Brentwood Bound

The City of Brentwood, Missouri began creating a vision of a project called Brentwood Bound in 2015. The plan contained an area of about 80 acres along the City’s southern border involving its oldest commercial corridor, Manchester Road, and a flooding nemesis named Deer Creek. Since 1956, properties and the road have flooded 27 times with occurrences increasing in recent years. The repeated flooding caused millions of dollars in property damage and rising public safety costs. The land uses within the area are among the City’s oldest consisting largely of light industrial and commercial uses in various states of vacancy and/or declining condition. The Brentwood Bound plan for the area consists of three parts:

  • Creating flood control measures that could double as park and recreation areas and connections with the City and regional trail system while providing major stormwater retention areas.
  • Capitalizing on planned Missouri Department of Transportation improvements to Manchester Road to create a more walkable environment and streetscape.
  • Using the investment of $100 million in flood mitigation, parks, trails, and roadway improvements as an attraction for developers to redevelop the corridor area properties to create a new neighborhood for the City.

The City selected a group of urban planning, engineering, park and recreation, and landscape and architectural consultants and began the process of making its planning vision come true in the fall of 2017. The City and these entities were supported by the City’s legal counsel and special counsel firms. This was a major planning and design effort that, in addition to the engineering design for the flood mitigation, involved:

  • Preparing a conceptual development plan for the corridor that would provide the City’s vision for the future redevelopment of the area,
  • Updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan,
  • Creating a special zoning district for the area,
  • Planning and design of the parks, trails, and other recreation amenities,
  • Meeting with more than 40 developers,
  • Conducting countless hours of public input and open house sessions reflecting the dedication of City residents to refine planning and design elements,
  • Coordinating with the public agencies that were a party to or contributed to the Brentwood Bound program,
  • Soliciting developer proposals and negotiating an agreement with the selected party.

Accomplishing this project plan involved 7 State and/or local public agencies (not including FEMA), 8 planning and design firms, the City’s project management firm, and the selected developer.

Today, the flood mitigation, parks, trails (including a tunnel under Manchester Road that connects the new trails to the rest of the City system), and roadway improvements are nearly complete with all those elements expected to be finished by the spring of 2024. Residents are riding the trails and using the parks. The expanded sidewalks with decorative street lighting and street trees on Manchester Road are in place.

On July 17, 2023, the City selected Green Street Real Estate Ventures, LLC and their proposed $436 million development plan to carry out the City’s vision for redevelopment of the Manchester Road Corridor. Development of this mixed-use development program will take place in three phases consisting of residential uses of various types, retail and service commercial establishments, active senior living facilities, a hotel, and various dining and entertainment uses. Property acquisition has begun with construction on the first phase beginning in 2025.

Parkville Development Code Update

With its historic downtown core, beautiful scenery, and centralized location just north of downtown Kansas City, Parkville, MO is a small town primed for big growth. Most of the City’s recent development has been focused on housing around the lakes and other natural amenities in the community, or commercial centers along state and county highways. Parkville’s recently completed master plan emphasized the City’s historic strengths—including the diverse contexts in which future development could occur—and prioritized context-based public realm design to shape future growth. The plan provided the foundation for a rewrite of the City’s development code.

Multistudio (formerly Gould Evans) used a public information strategy that verified the primary themes of Parkville’s master plan and identified where the current regulations conflicted. The existing development regulations were adopted after much of the historic downtown and original neighborhoods were built, and the regulations promoted suburban-style development. The original neighborhoods were zoned inappropriately to reflect the density of this compact walkable area, leaving them exposed to out-of-scale development. Parkville’s downtown similarly had been protected primarily by layers of design review and aesthetic standards that ignored the form and scale of the area. Additionally, much of the community’s future growth areas lacked tools to implement context-appropriate development patterns within Parkville’s diverse settings. Stakeholders were prepared through discussion papers and workshops to consider strategies less based on conventional land-use tools, but more focused on context, public realm design, and place-making strategies identified in the plan.

The new Development Code—both Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations—includes:

  • Open space design standards that distinguish rural and natural landscapes from compact social spaces, and implementing these standards based on contexts identified in the plan.
  • Conversion of the “Old-town Neighborhood” District to building-type standards, protecting the predominantly single-family nature of the area while also allowing small-scale multi-unit building formats that reflect the walkable character of this district.
  • Streamlined downtown zoning to focus on the format and scale of building types, lessen the emphasis on uses, and target design standards for the relationship of building sites to the public realm.
  • Street design standards that promote context-based solutions, prioritize “complete streets,” and include strategies for coordinating design and development with the many county and state highways in the community.
  • An improved approach to planned districts, adding flexibility and criteria to master planned developments.
  • A refined site plan review process with increased administrative flexibility and streamlined development approvals.
  • A user-friendly format, including the use of many tables and graphics.

Overall, the development code update has been very successful and the City staff, boards, commissions, and elected officials remain very pleased with its use. The new code has simplified language to convey regulations via tables and figures rather than verbose text; cleaned up or removed sections that duplicated or conflicted with one another (taking the document from 41 chapters down to 10); updated regulations according to the latest revised Missouri state statutes (RSMo); and updated regulations to reflect current best-practice standards. The City has received ample positive feedback from members of our development community (e.g., developers, architects, engineers) who have found the updated code easy and user-friendly.