By Gerry Richardson
Special to the Luminary
Ten years is a long time and two paragraphs is a short space to write about it. To keep it short and sweet (I am, after all, the “no frills” Mayor) I will concentrate on just two areas; people and places.
People: In ten years, there will be more of us; I estimate that the Parkville population will grow at an average of about 5% per year because we will continue to offer key attractors; great schools, a variety of very attractive residential areas and easy access to valued business centers and social amenities. We will be a little older; the “average” age of Parkville residents will increase because most of our available housing will appeal more to the “baby boomer” generation than it will to young adults and because the cost of most housing in Parkville will continue to be out of reach for many young families. Park University students will become notably more visible and have more influence as the number of resident students, rather than commuter students, will increase substantially.
Places: Residential growth will continue to drive the Parkville economy. Professional offices will become more prevalent, but we will still be a “bedroom” community. Property values will be up, but so will utility bills. Downtown retail will continue to be eclectic and to cycle between thrive and survive. The new Platte County Park, and the associated traffic, will benefit the downtown economy but will also demand significant improvements to roads, bridges, sidewalks and rail crossing safety. The Parkville “center of gravity” will shift to the West as we see substantial development along 45 Highway between 9 Highway and I-435.
In ten years Parkville won’t look so very different from today; it will still be a great place to live because we will still have so much of what so many people want; beautiful scenery, attractive housing, great schools, plentiful parks and green space, healthy lifestyles, big city amenities nearby and that genuine home town feel.