Mt. Pendleton – An epic failure

Neighbors in Pendleton Heights have grown increasingly frustrated these last few months with the ongoing debacle with the Buddhist Temple at Lexington and Park Avenues.

This nosy newshound is curious as to when the unsightly mound of earth in the parking lot is going to disappear and the rest of the site brought into compliance with city code – historic standards notwithstanding.

The project began more than two years ago with much fanfare. Unfortunately, that euphoria has descended into abject angst given the present state of things. The offending and quite objectionable pile of earth has come to represent how good intentions can go horribly awry. The site is fraught with code violations, is a danger to the safety of young ones who stray into the area, and the whole thing continues to be a black eye for the Pendleton Heights neighborhood. Sadly, the situation doesn’t show signs of any type of resolution given temple representatives testified in a public hearing that they lacked the proper funds to finish the project as it was proposed.

Unfortunately, the temple project is a microcosm for off-the-radar, un-permitted construction projects  throughout Kansas City’s urban core. The “no permit, no problem” mindset seems to be the rule rather than the exception, especially given the city’s lackadaisical attitude when it comes to code enforcement.

While this newshound doesn’t necessarily endorse Derron Black’s storming of the stage last week at the mayor’s State of the City address, this pooch can certainly understand the mounting frustration on the part of neighborhoods and residents of the city’s urban core.  Residents are sick of the city’s paradigm that inaction on codes enforcement is actually an action and an operating strategy. That strategy, specifically in the case of the Buddhist temple situation in Pendleton Heights, has been an abject failure. In other words, don’t look for that heap of dirt to disappear anytime soon.


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