Comments and Questions

Draft Smithville Character Areas – Comments and Questions

Please use the comment box below to provide your input on the draft Character Area for Smithville


  1. Robert Cosgrove
    September 23, 2020 at 2:15 pm · Reply

    Overall, I love Smithville and I love the effort and resources the town and its partners are investing in developing this plan. I have reviewed various pieces of the plan and have sat in on a couple of Facebook live sessions. Its my opinion that the consulting firm you hired is first class and has done a great job along with our officials.

    While I am a believer and advocate for your future vision for our town,, I do have several concerns regarding the execution of the plan. First, my background. I am a retired Active Duty Army Officer. I was an MP in the Army to include a duty assignment as a chief of police for an Army post in Germany, so I have some level fo experience working on the “town” side of matters. I also have a Master’s in Criminal Justice and currently work as a consultant for the US Army MP School. So I like to think I speak with a bit of knowledge and background on the following matters.

    1) Has any looked into how the mixed land use in the southern part of the town may impact crime rates? Some studies suggest that certain types of mixed land use (commerical and residential properties in close proximity or intermingled) may increase some types of property crimes and crimes against persons. Have we thought through how we would incorporate crime prevention measures in the actual development of these areas? CRC Press has a book written by Derek Paulsen called Crime and Planning: Building Socially Sustainable Communities that discusses some of these issues in greater depth.

    2) Has anyone conducted a traffic study to look at how much increase in vehicle traffic we can expect to see on HWY 169 if we were to fully implement this plan? HWY 169 is the only true north-south artery in town. Its already congested quite a bit during rush hour during the weekdays and at times on Saturday afternoons. I cannot imagine how much more traffic we would experience if we built more residential housing on the north side of town coupled with commercial properties and multi-story residential properties in the south. I think a significant increase in traffic, which would be the reality, would have a detrimental impact on our overall quality of life.

    3) What are the quality control measures the town will have in place to ensure that developers adhere to the concept and vision? I am quite disappointed that the town allowed the “luxury” townhomes built at the corner of HWY 169 and HWY W. I was told by an alderman prior to construction that they were luxury townhomes…….they are FAR from luxury and to me are an eye sore. I find it hard to believe that the town was not aware of the developer did not intend to actually build luxury townhomes before construction started. I am also disappointed that the town allowed a SECOND HARDWARE STORE to come into the new Price Chopper plaza. Why in the world do we need two hardware stores in town?????? Did the town officials actually assess a need for a second hardware store? My neighbors and I are confused by this decision and its outcome. Doesn’t make any sense. These two examples have weakened my confidence in the town to actually achieve the vision stated in the concept. While the concept is awesome, I don’t trust town officials to make sound and logical decisions that would enable us to achieve the concept’s vision.

    4) Finally, if we increase the number of residential and commercial properties in the town, do we have a firm understanding of the impact on our water, sewer, and trash resources and systems?

    I would hope that we conduct various studies regarding the concept’s potential impacts on emergency services (police, fire, etc), utilities, and the like WELL BEFORE we begin executing the plan. I think most towns run into problems because they did not truely understand the near and long-term impacts growth had on various aspects of public safety, existing infrastructure, and resources.

    Bob Cosgrove

    • David Beurle Future iQ
      October 30, 2020 at 3:39 am · Reply

      Bob – Thank your for your thoughtful comments. A number of the issues you raised are addressed in any project development phase. It is pretty clear that Smithville is becoming increasingly attractive to new residents and to potential business / investors. The pace of development is likely to continue or even increase. I think that is why the Comp Planning process was such good timing as it allows the staff, Council and various Boards to get ahead of the curve, and really think about the type of developments and their impact. We did drill into this quite extensively in the engagement phases of the planning process. Of course the balancing act for Smithville is to manage growth and not lose the sense of community and the small town feel – and in fact actually enhance this experience. I also passed your comment onto the City, and the police chief provided a response – indicating that the Police Department has been moving to a more data-driven approach to crime prevention and is reviewing all data in connection with staffing and resource allocations/needs. Again, thank you for the comments and input, David

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More Information

For more information about the City of Smithville Comprehensive Planning project, please contact:

Jack Hendrix, Director of Development
City of Smithville
107 W. Main St
Smithville, MO 64089
Tel: 816.532.3897