Rock Island Railroad Corridor Planning
View the Kansas City Regional Rail Handout | LCRA | LSMMBA
The RIRR corridor has been identified as one of the two key corridors for a potential public transit route, pending the outcome of an “Alternative Analysis” study.
Given the potential impact on surrounding developed areas and more importantly, potential development of “greenfield sites” in Lee’s Summit, it is wise to begin working on land-use, zoning, traffic control, building design and other key planning tools as quickly as possible. We have identified two potential TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) sites for consideration during the planning processes. These sites are recommended by our planning department based upon geographic location in our community, highway access for commuters, and topography.
Ultimately, any proposed change to land use will need to be considered as an amendment to our Comprehensive Plan and Zoning District Maps and go through a public hearing process and review. We will continue working with the MARC and other regional planning groups to better define the benefits and challenges of these two potential sites.
Union Pacific has been participating in the negotiation process with the five coalition communities (Lee’s Summit, Pleasant Hill, Kansas City, Greenwood, and Raytown) through the MARC office. There are two key points regarding the potential purchase of the corridor: 1) Union Pacific is only offering a 17 mile segment beginning at the southern City of Lee’s Summit limit northwesterly to the Leed’s Station site near I-70 and 2) the purchase will cause the corridor to be “rail banked” with the Federal Surface Transportation Board allowing future use for transit and trail while diminishing potential abutting property owner disputes. The “rail banking” concept often generates concerns from the surrounding residential communities of the potential future use as a freight route. Our legal advisor from Stinson Morrison has assured the coalition members that it is very unlikely this would occur based upon physical and railroad ownership circumstances.
Please contact city staff for any questions relating to these activities at 969-1010. We have been working with the coalition communities and Union Pacific for approximately five years. You may anticipate the Jackson County Executive seeking the City Council’s support for a pending regional transit initiative that would include the Rock Island Railroad Corridor – 17 mile segment as one of the key corridors.
For more information on the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternative Analysis, visit kcsmartmoves.org