The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

November 9, 2011

Residents blast four posed housing projects

JOPLIN, Mo. — Extensive and sometimes heated opposition was voiced Wednesday night by residents to four particular proposals to build low-income or affordable housing and apartments with tax credits in Joplin and Carl Junction.

In addition to opposing the projects, a number of those who spoke criticized what they characterized as a lack of disclosure of details about the projects and said there had been no official notice of the hearing by the Missouri Housing Development Commission at Joplin City Hall.

The bulk of the opposition was expressed against:

• A project by Dalmark Development Group LLC of Lee’s Summit to build low-income rental houses in what is called the Hickory Highlands subdivision near the Northport subdivision off Zora Street in Joplin.

• A project by Gardner Development Inc. in Springfield to build 38 low-income and 10 affordable houses on scattered lots in areas largely between 22nd and 24th streets from Illinois Avenue east to Mississippi Avenue, and in the area of 28th Street and Jefferson Avenue.

• Construction of 44 low-income houses and 12 affordable houses and duplexes by Zimmerman Properties LLC of Springfield in the Briarbrook area at Carl Junction.

• A proposal by DTS Joplin LLC of Webb City to build 34 low-income houses in The Meadows at Tallgrass Estates at Duquesne.

In all four cases, residents were largely opposed because they said the projects would put smaller houses in subdivisions and neighborhoods where larger, more expensive houses exist, some in developments that carry restrictions.

Rodney Bray, who lives in the Northport subdivision, was one of about 30 people representing 26 residences that would be affected by the Hickory Highlands development who spoke to the commission. He said the houses proposed would place low-income or affordable housing in a neighborhood of houses with an average value of $200,000 to $250,000 where no rentals currently exist.

He said the type of housing proposed would be better suited to be built in storm path of Joplin’s May 22 tornado.

Another resident there, Shannon Crouch, 2924 Hickory Lane, said he was made aware of the proposal only a few days ago when a real estate agent called and advised him to put his house up for sale because of a pending proposal to build low-income housing behind his large house.

“You don’t have to go to an area of high-end homes to build these when they have a need for this type of housing in the debris area,” Crouch said.

Mike Robinson, 2808 S. Jefferson Ave., said he lived in an established neighborhood for 30 years before the tornado destroyed his house and his neighborhood. He and most of his neighbors are rebuilding larger and more expensive homes. He said that before he began rebuilding, he consulted with a Joplin City Council member who represents his zone and was assured that no rezoning would done to allow multi-family dwellings, yet now Gardner Development Inc. is proposing to build affordable houses there, and he and his neighbors knew nothing of the proposal until a day before the hearing.

“I feel duped and stupid for keeping my tax dollars in Joplin,” if the city and the state would allow lesser value houses around him to devalue the investment he has made and would subsidize homes for other people with the tax dollars he pays, he said.

“Who’s going to give me a tax break next year (when he gets the tax bill for his house)?” Robinson asked. “I also am embarrassed to be made to sound like an elitist because I do care about people who lost their homes, but that was not the type of house that was in my neighborhood.”

Realtor Doris Carlin spoke for Gardner Development Inc., saying the company was willing to help restore the historic Frisco Building downtown and convert it into apartments for senior living. She said the houses that company proposes would be affordable but not low-income, and that the company would construct quality houses.

She was called down by some in the audience who said she should sit down because the hearing was meant for residents to comment, not those with a financial interest in the outcome. She said it was her understanding of the Gardner proposal that the houses would be owner-occupied, and someone in the audience shouted, “Well, let them build them across from you.”

The proposed Briar Creek Estates in Briarbrook brought comments from 11 residents on behalf of about 40 who attended the hearing.

Ken Williams, a Briarbrook resident who is a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said Carl Junction residents were not consulted by the city before the council there voted to recommend the project to the state commission. The council has since retracted its recommendation, he said, in view of public outcry.

He said the Briar Creek developer proposes to put in lower cost housing in an area of houses that are valued at $200,000 to $400,000. He said the plan would devalue surrounding properties.

Another resident, Michael Saale, said Gov. Jay Nixon announced that he had set aside $100 million in tax credits to help rebuild Joplin housing lost in the tornado. “This money the governor proposed was meant for the disaster area. It should be spent in the disaster area” rather than Carl Junction, he said.

Several residents said they learned of the proposals from signs posted by the developers in the yards of the proposed properties rather than by any announcement or notice by the cities or the state commission.

William Ulm, director of rental production for the commission who conducted the hearing, said there likely should be more communication. He said the commission will accept written comments until it meets to decide the proposals on Dec. 16. He said information can be obtained on the commission’s website at

“I want to assure you these comments will be taken under consideration very seriously,” he told the audience, which filled the Joplin City Council chambers.

The Joplin City Council will discuss which proposals the city will recommend to the commission at a special meeting at 5:15 p.m. Monday.

Mayor Mike Woolston said he attended the hearing because he received questions and comments from some residents, and he wanted to hear people’s concerns at the hearing.

“Given my council experience, I can tell you that public input carries a lot of weight” with the commission, he said.

Public say

COMMENTS regarding tax credit proposals may be emailed to William Ulm at

Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

  • Issues prompt pair to seek help from city; allocations approved for repairs in tornado zone

    Two people spoke to the Joplin City Council on Monday night about issues they would like the city government to address. Elizabeth Clement, a Neosho resident who works in Joplin, asked the city to operate more surveillance in parking lots because of the number of cars stolen. She said her car was stolen from the parking lot at Northpark Mall and used in robberies.

    April 7, 2014

  • National institute releases final report on Joplin tornado

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Friday released a final report into the technical investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin — the deadliest tornado in the United States in the 64 years that official records have been kept.

    March 28, 2014

  • r031814tornadofunds2.jpg Local tornado fund board cites appreciation, accomplishments

    The 991 donations ranged from $1 to $119,000. They came from all over the world. On Tuesday, the managers of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund gave an accounting of how those donations, which totaled about $995,950 with interest, were given in 41 grants, recipients of which included 27 local agencies.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dan Riddell 0604013.jpg Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment

    After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • r021714rescuedog.jpg Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog

    Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.

    February 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum

    National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.

    February 4, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos

Featured Ads
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief