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Old 12-20-2011, 01:35 PM
 
4 posts, read 11,808 times
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Am looking at accepting a job in Kansas City, MO this summer. We are looking at settling into JCO. Have been to Overland Park, and looks like a nice place to bring up a family (3 kids 5-8 yrs). Is Overland Park still a top place to raise a family? It appears that the Blue Valley School District is top notch. Is Leawood a good option as well? We would be looking to rent a house for the first year. Any feedback would be welcome. Thank you
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
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Yes, most locals would say both those cities are good for families. The Blue Valley district is considered one of the best in the area. As you probably know, only the southern parts of Overland Park and Leawood are in that district.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
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Shawnee Mission, the other district in Overland Park is also very good. And, if it's at all important to you, there are areas that are far more walkable to some shops etc. in the Shawnee Mission district. My future in-laws live well south of 435 and it is literally the least walkable place I've ever seen. There is nothing (other than a small park) to walk to in more than a mile and a half.

I grew up in a nice middle-class suburb too, but as kids we would walk to the ice cream shop, or to Quik Trip for those giant sodas in the summer, and later in high school my job at a bar and grill. They laid south Overland Park out on this massive grid and they zone these huuuuge swaths of residential and then these huuuuuge swaths of commercial, with the end result being the most car-dependent suburb I've ever seen and surely one of the lowest walk scores on walkscore.com (12!)
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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Well, having driven in Boston a few times, I can assure of one thing. You won't believe how sparse the traffic is here compared to where you're coming from. People around here who complain about traffic have no idea what traffic really is!
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,496,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
Shawnee Mission, the other district in Overland Park is also very good. And, if it's at all important to you, there are areas that are far more walkable to some shops etc. in the Shawnee Mission district. My future in-laws live well south of 435 and it is literally the least walkable place I've ever seen. There is nothing (other than a small park) to walk to in more than a mile and a half.

I grew up in a nice middle-class suburb too, but as kids we would walk to the ice cream shop, or to Quik Trip for those giant sodas in the summer, and later in high school my job at a bar and grill. They laid south Overland Park out on this massive grid and they zone these huuuuge swaths of residential and then these huuuuuge swaths of commercial, with the end result being the most car-dependent suburb I've ever seen and surely one of the lowest walk scores on walkscore.com (12!)
I was in OP/Olathe a couple weeks ago. I grew up in OP, but left at age 18 and hadn't been in the KC area in 5 years. Anyway, friends invited me out to a restaurant around 138th and Roe I think. And I went to a gym out south of 435 on Metcalf. I was rather annoyed at how far apart everything is, and how it just looks the same and keeps going on and on. I'm not used to such low-density development and total dependence on a car. The roads are so wide, then commercial development (strip malls) have what appears to be a quarter mile setback from the streets. I found it to be incredibly annoying to drive around and find anything. You can't even see what stores are in the strip malls because they're so far away from the street.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Not a fan of South JoCo format either but at least there are many options in KC metro of various suburban formats. For those used to pure car dependency, it works for them. The upside is among better schools and plenty of high end retail.

Sounds like the OP already visited JoCo so knows what to expect.

Last edited by xenokc; 12-21-2011 at 12:26 PM..
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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Thank you all for the info. We are pretty dependent on cars where we live now (south of Boston), so we should be alright with that. Do you all feel that the area in Overland Park is still a good place to raise a family? I know there was alot of press 2008-2010 about one of the best cities in the US. Do folks still feel that way? Thanks again
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,207,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenokc View Post
Not a fan of South JoCo format either but at least there are many options in KC metro of various suburban formats. For those used to pure car dependency, it works for them. The upside is among better schools and plenty of high end retail.

Sounds like the OP already visited JoCo so knows what to expect.
^But that was exactly my point. JoCo is huuuge and encompassing a couple different lifestyles. I was just pointing out that north of 435 the schools are still wonderful, the area still upscale, but there are significantly more choices for something a bit on the walkable side should the OP be looking for that.

There's a big difference between car dependent, which really all of Johnson County (and the vast majority of the KC metro) is, and what South JoCo is, which is truly, completely unwalkable. For me personally, that's why I would have hated being a kid out there, and it's why I would struggle to call it as family friendly as the magazines do. I find the downtown Overland Park area quite charming however because you still get the suburban experience, but there's true community spaces.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,493,517 times
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It doens't sound the op wants or needs the area to be walkable. Sounds like he wants pretty typical suburbia and yea, Overland Park is probably one of the nicest suburbs in the country for those that prefer traditional suburbia. Most of KC's outer suburbs (MO and KS side) are great for raising a family, Overland Park being no exception.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:02 PM
 
Location: IN
20,168 posts, read 34,480,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
It doens't sound the op wants or needs the area to be walkable. Sounds like he wants pretty typical suburbia and yea, Overland Park is probably one of the nicest suburbs in the country for those that prefer traditional suburbia. Most of KC's outer suburbs (MO and KS side) are great for raising a family, Overland Park being no exception.
That is true, but like others have mentioned the walkability in south OP is zero compared to north OP with no shops or stores to easily walk to from any of the neighborhoods. Also, HOA's in south Overland Park are probably several orders of magnitude more stringent than what the OP is likely coming from in Boston. It's just an entirely different mentality in that regard.
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