Discussion – Smithville’s Southern Gateway and Buffer Zone

“What do you think should happen on the southern gateway to Smithville?”

“The Small-Town Feel and Sense of Community” Task Force has been exploring the importance of having a clear gateway entrance feel on the southern end of Smithville. In addition, they are discussing the concept of a permanent rural or greenspace buffer zone between Smithville and Kansas City developments, which are moving north. The idea is to retain the rural feel, and that there is a distinct separation, creating a unique Smithville arrival experience.

Task Force explores the importance of having a clear gateway entrance feel on the southern end of Smithville.

We would love to hear your thoughts!

What do you think should happen on the southern gateway to Smithville?


  1. Liz Snyder
    August 18, 2020 at 7:07 am · Reply

    I think it should remain as is. Making a “Gateway” is a silly thing to do and a waste of money. We are not Liberty or South Kansas City or Riverside and we should stop trying to act like it.

  2. Melissa Hadley
    August 18, 2020 at 7:13 am · Reply

    It is very important to leave it greenspace!

  3. Kim
    August 18, 2020 at 8:08 am · Reply

    KCMO will build right up to city limits. Smithville needs to make sure they protect southern areas if they want to maintain a small town feel. Look at Liberty, huge developments that are KC right up to Liberty’s city limits. Smithville will have to create its own “buffer” from KC.

  4. Lynn Wright
    August 18, 2020 at 3:50 pm · Reply

    I would prefer a nice, large green space be maintained.

  5. Shelby
    August 18, 2020 at 9:27 pm · Reply

    Smithville most definitely needs a rural buffer from KC. The reason a majority of people live in Smithville is to stay away from the hectic city life. It is crucial to our community to keep the space south undeveloped and rural.

  6. Judy Baker
    August 19, 2020 at 2:13 am · Reply

    It would be nice to see the green grass leading into town remain the same.

  7. Jeff McCauley
    August 19, 2020 at 6:57 am · Reply

    Kansas City, if allowed, will buttress themselves right up to the town border. This will actually siphon off tax dollars from us to them. With all the development going on in town, I don’t know how effective a green space will be at curbing urbanization, but it might alleviate some of the financial suckage.

  8. Debbie
    August 19, 2020 at 8:40 am · Reply

    Yes, we need a buffer or green space. As stated in a previous comment, we moved here for the more rural feel. If we wanted to be in a metropolis area, we would not have chosen Smithville. Keep it the small town feel please!:)

  9. Rusty Beck
    August 19, 2020 at 9:01 am · Reply

    The proximity to I-435 make that area prime for businesses, and not much else. If you don’t allow businesses to build in the pink zones, those businesses will likely end up in KCMO. Smithville will lose the property tax and sales tax revenue from those potential businesses. This area is on a heavily-traveled divided highway, so it will never be a nice quiet park-like setting anyway. Fortunately, the highway has a nice wide green median. I could see requiring any new construction to be set back from the highway and have nice landscaping near the road. Wouldn’t that be a win-win?

    • Name (required)Dan Honeycutt
      August 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm · Reply

      Well said, Rusty! I agree.

  10. Casey
    August 19, 2020 at 9:02 am · Reply

    I support increased commercial activity in the southern corridor. I think it’s possible to maintain both a small town vibe and welcome new businesses to our town. Would make it much more convenient then having to drive into KC. I support whatever it takes to improve residential real estate home values as well.

  11. Dennis R Brewer
    August 19, 2020 at 10:37 am · Reply

    Clay County/Army Corps of Engineers/Smithville Lake already have a program in place of returning fields to the Natural Tall-Grass Prairie that was prevalent in this area prior to the 1820’s. Being very active in the MODOT Adopt-A-Highway program maintaining litter control along the the southern gateway, I know MODOT has a little-known Wildflower Program in place for MO highway right of ways! It was my three-step vision years ago to turn the southern gateway of the MODOT right of way into a Wildflower haven. The Adopt-A-Highway program is designed only for the shoulder right of way along the highways. I obtained permission from MODOT to pick litter from the “over-sized medium” on our southside.. Step one was to clean that center medium (which is actually a planned south-bound roadbed from 30 years ago) and with a group of volunteers we accomplished the goal! Step two was to remove the scrub tree growth on the medium (MODOT performed that one on their own! And, continues to mow it!!) And Step three was to plant wildflowers! Well that is a much larger task than I could bite off as a concerned citizen! My understanding is it requires 3 years to establish wildflowers. But, they are native and self-sufficient once established. So, I would hope the city could work with MODOT on such a venture. Additionally, and somewhat in lieu of the monumental task of wildflowers over the entire right of way, I would hope that some distinctive, native plantings could be located at the corners of every cut-through cross road (Martin Road, Amory Road, 136th St, and 132nd St.) I realized years ago the effort would require tractors, planting equipment, chemical defoliants, seed, knowledgeable personnel, scheduled maintenance and cooperation with MODOT. I would be willing to assist but this really needs to be a committed effort on the part of the City. The Missouri Prairie Foundation is also a resource of information and assistance in planning. I also feel the choice of commercial growth could still be allowed for the neighboring property owners this way and we would still have an attractive buffer that would define us from the encroachment of KC. Thank you for your consideration, DrB

  12. Austin Catron
    August 19, 2020 at 11:24 am · Reply

    As long as the city focuses on community centered events and beefing up local business and the historic downtown areas/outdoor revreational areas, there shouldn’t need to be a worry about KC growing right up to the city limits. If the heart of the city keeps its rural feel, the urbanized outskirts will only benefit us all without stripping the town of its unique identity in the metro. Plus, if we keep businesses from building in southern Smithville, they’ll just move to KC, taking their tax dollars with them that could be better spent in our city making sure the local community stays a vital part of the city.

  13. Jeff Austin
    August 19, 2020 at 12:09 pm · Reply

    I like the idea of keeping a free space between is and KC. Otherwise we will just get swallowed up visually into the metro. Blech!

  14. Kristin
    August 19, 2020 at 1:01 pm · Reply

    Yes, we need an impactful green space. We moved here for the more rural feel and that is what makes this town unique. Keep it the small-town feel!

  15. Kathy Petty
    August 19, 2020 at 3:36 pm · Reply

    We live on the edge of town, south side of Smithville. We are in the gateway area.,134th. St. Please leave it as is. We love the farmland across the street. There are 8 homes on our road. We all have 10 acres. We don’t want more growth. Please leave the beautiful farmland and privacy. Also, 169 is horrible to merge into during high traffic times.

  16. Jeremy Batliner
    August 21, 2020 at 2:31 pm · Reply

    We need to keep a buffer between us & KC. We need more natural landscape and less development.

  17. Gini Fite
    August 21, 2020 at 11:06 pm · Reply

    Great comments by Dennis and Rusty!

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