A conceptual design of the Hawk’s Nest inclusive playground that will be completed as soon as late summer. (Courtesy Photo)
Inclusive playground, more residents coming to Raymore
By Raymore Journal staff
About four years in the works, the Hawk’s Nest inclusive playground is about to become a reality as soon as this summer. That could attract people to move into one of the hundreds of new housing units being proposed in Raymore.
After Cub Scouts Pack 4111 led the Raymore City Council in the Pledge of Allegiance, council members went straight to work on Valentine’s Day. Love was not exactly in the air at city hall, but positive vibes certainly were. In addition to signs of continued population growth, Raymore will be home to another inclusive playground.
Hawk’s Nest inclusive playground
On Monday, Feb. 14, Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Musteen gave the council an update on the inclusive playground to be built at Hawk’s Nest. The council voted unanimously to award PlayPower the contract to build the playground.
It is a contract Musteen has been anxious to give out. Mostly his brainchild, Musteen has been tasked to secure funding for the $950,000 inclusive playground. Although it was part of a 2016 voter-approved bond issues, the bond did not cover the full price tag.
The Land Water Conservation Fund grant awarded in 2020 for the Hawk’s Nest All Inclusive Playground was delayed for bidding until September of 2021 due to the pandemic. As a result of the delay, many projects are now over-budget. The Hawk’s Nest All Inclusive Playground recently opened five proposals in which all five exceeded the expected budget.
City capital funds put a $250,000 dent in the costs. Hawk’s Nest inclusive playground received the Land Water Conservation Fund grant for $250,000 in 2020. However, the pandemic forced Raymore do delay bidding to September 2021. That delay caused projects to go over budget.
Fundraising and donations swooped in to save the day. The Raymore Community raised nearly $150,000. Unlimited Play – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps to plan, design and build inclusive playgrounds – and Kansas City-based Sunderland Foundation donated $200,000. It was that donation that changed the inclusive playground’s status from probably/maybe to definitely/100%.
“That was the big one,” Musteen told the council. “That was the one that allowed us to move forward…That’s the one that sealed the deal and got us here tonight.”
If everything goes smoothly, Musteen is hoping for a grand opening of the Hawk Ridge inclusive playground in late summer. The playground will make Raymore the first city in Missouri to have two inclusive playgrounds.
Plans for new housing developments
Raymore is one of the fastest growing cities in Missouri. Two housing developers looking to build in Raymore are trying to capitalize on that growth.
Griffin Riley Property Group is asking the city to rezone 10 acres of land south of Dawn Street and east of Sunrise Drive from M-1 “Light Industrial District” to R-3A “Multiple-Family Residential District.” Approval will pave the way for a 114-unit multi-family development.
According to the proposal, the development will include four-plex and over/under multi-family homes. Units will range from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet per unit. Possible amenities include a dog park, playground and pickleball court. Griffin Riley representatives have indicated a two-bedroom minimum and less than four people per unit on average.
Early plans show Type A screening between the Morningview subdivision, which consists of plants and trees. However, nearby residents want more than shrubbery between the two communities. During a Good Neighbor Informational Meeting, Morningview residents expressed they would rather have a vinyl opaque fence at least 6 feet tall. Developers stated that the request can be an option.
Rezoning passed the council’s first reading unanimously. Developers and property owners will need to return to the council for site plan and final plat approval.
Meanwhile, Clayton Properties Group is requesting approval for the final plats of the Sendera First and Second Plat. Together, the plats include 175 lots for single-family homes.
The first plat is a 109-lot single-family development being proposed south of Hubach Hill Road and east of Brook Parkway. The second plat is a 66-lot single-family development proposed in the same area. The project was split in two phases to account for possible construction delays.