Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Please plan to attend the town hall meeting

If you live in the Leawood Homes Association you should have received your yellow post card in the mail by now. Please plan to attend this meeting on September 24. You will have the opportunity to comment on the final Architectural Standards before they are implemented.
Your support is greatly appreciated, I hope to see you all there. Please review the Standards prior to coming to the meeting at www.leawood.org (click under HOA and then Leawood HOA).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Design Matters

I was recently given a copy of The Value of Design which was written by Marianne Cusato.

Marianne Cusato, a thought leader in the fields of architectural and urban design, is known for her emphasis on building better—not bigger.

Ranked the No. 4 most influential person in the home building industry in Builder magazine's annual “Power on 50” list, Cusato and her design principles are changing the landscape of the housing industry.

This book explains exactly what I've been trying to articulate. There is a way to keep our neighborhood, Old Leawood, alluring. It's called good design. Good design adds value to an individual home and to a community as a whole.

This book is a great resource for city officials, builders, architects, Realtors and homeowners. It covers aspects of function, cost and design. It pays great attention to less is more, common sense and adding value with design.

I was particularly interested in the Preservation - Valuing What We Already Have section of the book. I thought this paragraph was right on:

The value of our existing older communities cannot be overstated. As a society we have developed a bad habit of tearing down existing fabric, only to replace it with new structures that often lack any relationship to the street or contribution to the community. Across America, nice old homes are being torn down and replaced with giant McMansions that gobble up entire lots and leave the street scape looking like a patchwork quilt. Every time we lose a nice old house, our communities lose value.

So if you're building, remodeling or are just curious to the effects good design has on our lives and communities, I encourage you to get your hands on this wonderful book!

A copy of this book can be purchased through Amazon at


Saturday, July 12, 2008

we are making a difference

I'm often asked, by those with signs in their yards, if we're making a difference. I received an email this week and I'd like to share it with you here:

I wanted to write and commend you for the work you are doing to save the character and charm of Old Leawood. We were driving through the area last Saturday as we are thinking of purchasing a house there. We went down one street and I saw this huge new house on a small lot and I thought "Oh no, they're tearing down the ranch houses and putting in houses like you would see in South JoCo." Then we started noticing the yard signs about preserving Old Leawood. We weren't exactly sure what they were about so we can home and looked it up on the internet. I was pleasantly surprised to find your site.

I hope your work and those of your neighbors will put a stop to the developers wanting to build homes that are so out of place. We love the area and hope to become part of the neighborhood in the near future. Good luck to you on your fight to save Old Leawood.

Patti Mason

Thank you Patti Mason for your kind email and thank you to all of those that have been a huge part of this experience.

People do look to Old Leawood for charm and character. Let's not disappoint them by destroying the character of this beautiful area.

Leawood is a tree city

Did you know that Leawood is considered a Tree City?

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Leawood is listed as a Tree City.

This means that we plant, nurture and celebrate our trees. There are also other benefits to being a Tree City. So why is it ok that we allow these builders to tear down the trees?

Are you a builder ? Or do you plan to remodel? Did you know that the Arbor Day Foundation has information about building with trees? They even have 7 tips to help you successfully build with trees.

Some great information can be found at the Arbor Day Foundation site....in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

trees benefit everyone

I often hear from builders and people that put on additions "the trees are going to have to go to make way for the house". I say, create a smaller house and keep the trees....call me a tree hugger, I've been called worse.
Trees, especially these large 50 year old Oak trees provide countless benefits. If you're unsure of the benefits that trees give to us check out what the Heartland Tree Alliance says about tree benefits.
Center for Urban Forest Research is also a good source. As well as Tree Link.
If the trees in our neighborhood are a big concern to you (they should be to all of us) and you are looking for a way to get involved please contact me at www.traybella@hotmail.com

poll results

Thank you to the 61 people that chose to vote on the poll I had running regarding what concerned you most about teardowns and rebuilding in Old Leawood. I wanted to get a feel for what mattered most and the results are:

Size and scale: 55%
Community Character: 63%
Effects on the Environment: 26%
22% of those voted don't care, they think it will happen regardless.

People were able to vote for more than one concern which is why the total %'s are more than 100.

Thank you for your imput.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

more yard signs

More yard signs have arrived!

If you would like to show your support by having a sign in your yard please contact me at www.traybella@hotmail.com and I'll be sure and get a sign in your yard.

Thank you to those who currently have signs in their yards. Your support has been great and it's obvious that people do care about the future of Old Leawood.