The 2016 Citizen Satisfaction Survey includes several indicators of support for redevelopment in downtown Independence. Only 20% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the type/quality of development west of Noland Road. An overwhelming majority (89%) stated it is important to maintain the character of the Independence Square, and 93% stated it is important to preserve the City's historic sites. The City Council considered the survey results while developing its strategic plan.
The 2017-2021 Strategic Plan Independence for All aims to improve core neighborhoods and corridors in central and western Independence as indicated by objectives such as, but not limited to: stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods; reduce crime and disorder; improve visual appearance of major commercial corridors and historic sites; grow retail and commercial businesses; and reduce blight. The City is currently working on a number of strategies designed to meet these objectives, for example: farmers market project, City Hall Master Plan, 24 Highway Fairmount Business District Plan, and streetscape improvements in the Englewood Arts District and the Independence Square.
Staff recommends appointing a citizen committee to enhance coordination among downtown projects and initiatives. The committee will advise the City Council on the prioritization and funding of projects, including opportunities to leverage public investments to recruit private development. The primary purpose of the committee is to ensure that public resources are maximized to achieved the objectives of the Independence for All plan.
The 10-member committee would be chaired by Council Member Dougherty. Staff will solicit applications for qualified residents to fill the remaining committee seats, subject to review and appointment by the City Council at a later meeting. Additional information regarding the committee's purpose and composition is included in the attached resolution.