The district includes neighborhoods in Kansas City, Missouri and northeastern Johnson County, Kansas. J. C. Nichols designed and developed the Country Club District in stages between 1906 and 1950. Nichols initially acquired 1,000 acres of land south of Brush Creek and successfully lobbied to the city for annexation to get city water, sewers, and streets.
The plats Nichols developed all included deed restrictions or restrictive covenants, which placed limitations on how the land could be used, what could be constructed on it, and to whom it could be sold with the intention of protecting property values. The top priority was to protect the permanence, beauty, and character of Nichols developments. However, these covenants included racial restrictions, which prohibited ownership and occupation by African Americans and other minority groups.
Nichols was the first to tie restrictions to the neighborhood level, which were enforced by the neighborhood associations he created. The restrictions require that a notice to amend be filed five years in advance of the deed restrictions renewal date, usually every 20 to 25 years; and that all homeowners must agree to the change with a notarized vote. Due to the difficulty of removal language prohibiting ownership by minority groups still remains on most deeds and plats despite being unenforceable. This practice soon spread to other cities throughout America.
Sources “‘Curse of the Covenant’ Persists.” Kansas City Star, February 13, 2005, A1:2. J. C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City: Innovation in Planned Residential Communities. William S. Worley, 1990.