Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ironwoods Park Hub Bub

There is big trouble brewing in laconic Leawood.

Leawood is this extremely well run little affluent city. They have few problems. People are generally satisfied. Amenities and property values are high....crime is low. It have everything except excellent water slides (bad reference to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)

I've been watching, getting emails, and following this issue regarding a proposed expansion of Ironwoods Park now for a little while.

The plan in a one line summary is expanding a outdoor theater that is currently there into a bigger one. There seems to be disagreement on some of the facts based on who you talk with about the size, the cost, who will pay, how many events, and how much it intrudes on the people living closest etc. Neighbors suggest big like Sandstone and Leawood Park and Rec says just a little bigger with bathrooms, dressing rooms and more parking.

For the issue for me has always been that this park belongs to all the residents of Leawood and not just the people who live directly around it. Generally, what I find is that people who live near parks prefer as much as possible to keep other people out of it so they can enjoy the green space to themselves. So, you can imagine that the reasonable debate is how to manage those two things. So we have a conflict.

I have been in favor of this new theater expansion and have written as such on this blog in the past. I've received nasty emails from Steeplechase people as a result. My impression from them so far is they are kinda assholes who want the park to themselves. One guy complained in an email about a school having a walk-a-thon in the park on a Saturday morning as ruining his day.

I was reviewing this website they put up and it does give me some questions. They suggest it might be a little bigger than I thought. Some of it is bullshit and clear exaggeration but of course I get where they are coming from to a point. Are they just frantic JOCO assholes with conspiracy delusions or is the City of Leawood really trying to pull a fast one on them. Good questions. The current residents already seem to think the events that are going on now out o line and would like them to stop. I've been out there and they seem reasonable to me. The man with the fake glasses and moustache plans to find out.

I need to research this more to understand it. If it is what I originally thought then I am still for it. I love the idea of having a venue like that to take my family to. However, how much bigger does it need to be? If they want to put a Shawnee Mission "Theater in the Park" in Ironwoods then I am not for it. Will there be basically just musicals and David Basse concerts and such or will they also have rock concerts? I'd say no to rock concerts, yes to the others. I'd say good if all shows are free, no if they plan selling tickets, using a management company, etc.

I think we deserve better information on this and details, details, details.

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