Arts Council, Community, COVID-19, Development, Diversity, Environment, Ordinances, Parks, Recreation, Retail, Safety, Sustainability, Teardowns, Trees

Council Recap – 3/15/21

Posted by Bonnie Limbird


Presentation: Jeremy Knoll, BNIM

Jeremy Knoll presented to Council on the improvements to the 2021 International Energy Conservation (IEC) Code. (City Council adopted all of the 2018 Codes March 1st.) He shared the graphic below as an easy way to illustrate that the intent of reducing our carbon footprint is to get back to an equilibrium between carbon in the air and carbon in the atmosphere.

graphic presented by Jeremy Knoll, BNIM

My takeaways from the presentation:

  • Kansas City is particularly susceptible to heat island effect, heat waves, droughts, and floods.
  • There is no need to update our other newly adopted codes. Only the IEC Code would be warranted as it is a significant upgrade over 2018.
  • Adopting the 2021 IEC would lower the energy cost burden for renters (and homeowners presumably after their initial investment).
  • The net increase in cost to build is approximately 3%.
  • The materials and technology needed to meet the 2021 IEC are readily available in the KC area (except for current COVID-related shortages).
  • Staff is already working on this update. They set up the presentation, ordered the 2021 IEC Code book, and have begun their research. It will take approximately a year to complete on top of other current and ongoing staff duties.
Planning Commission

Council voted nearly unanimously (one “nay” vote) to approve a new Tree Protection Ordinance. It affects all right-of-way trees, trees on lots getting new construction, trees on lots having at least 10% of demolition, and/or trees on lots receiving 600 s.f. or more of additions. The ordinance requires tree preservation at certain tiers and tree root zone protection for all. You can read more about it in the MuniCode section 19-47 Landscape Standards when it’s updated.

Did you know that residents and/or developers have actually resorted to POISONING trees to make them die to get approval to cut down?!?! Can you even imagine!?!? I was floored by that information! Grrrr! 😡 Violation of an ordinance is a $500 fine plus a mandatory court appearance, so all the court and attorney fees associated with that.

The ordinance goes into affect June 1, 2021, and will require additional staff to review additional drawings, inspect trees, and more. City Council will likely be reviewing that request at a later date, but it’s a small price to pay considering the immense community and financial benefits trees bring to our city. It’s important to preserve them! 🙂

Diversity Committee

The final Diversity Committee membership is:

  • Chair Inga Selders
  • Vice Chair Tucker Poling
  • Eric Mikkelson
  • Etienne Clatanoff Orozco
  • Todd Harris
  • Dr. Jameelah Lang
  • Dr. George Williams
  • Pastor Dennis Solis
  • Michael Shook
  • Melissa Brown
  • Chief Byron Roberson
  • Staff Liaison Tim Schwartzkopf
  • David Magriel (appointed 3/15)
  • Dr. John McKinney (SMSD, Director of Student and Family Services) (appointed 3/15)
Parks & Recreation Committee

Per standard operating procedure, City staff are working on opening the pool complex this summer on schedule. Barring any negative information on the COVID front and/or a motion and vote by City Council, the pool will open Memorial Day weekend as usual.

Council voted to approve atypical hours for the 2021 pool season (noon – 8:00 p.m. daily) and lower age minimums for high school staff in accordance with state laws and American Red Cross guidelines. These changes will allow for a deeper pool (oh, yes, pun intended!) of prospective employees and better retention of lifeguards.

The Parks & Rec Committee is considering converting the Windsor park tennis courts into pickleball courts. This would not be combined courts with tennis and pickleball paint: they would be solely for pickleball.

Also, P&R, Diversity, and Arts Council are forming an ad hoc committee to commission a mural for this bare concrete wall at the pool complex:

Arts Council

As part of the Consent Agenda, Mayor Mikkelson made another new appointment to the Arts Council:

  • Lisa Frey – 2021-2022 (one year to fulfill a departing committee member’s term)

Lisa Frey brings additional marketing experience to the committee that they’ve been asking for as well as more of a 25-35 year old age group perspective to our programming. We can’t wait to welcome her at our April meeting!

Mayor’s report
  • Kansas is moving to phases 3 and 4 of the COVID reopening plan.
  • Prairie Village had a great response rate on the U.S. Census: 83.3%! This is so important to accurately reflect Prairie Village for future redistricting, funding, and more!
  • The 2020 budget year has been closed out, and we met the budget despite COVID. While revenues were down, the expenses through tightening belts in all departments were also down. The pension fund also had a 12% return this year, which is relatively high.
  • Brighton Gardens will have a new owner soon, Tutera Group, and they are planning a renovation.
  • First Washington Realty says “mom & pop” store leasing is down, due to COVID, but other areas are up.
    • U.S. Bank is getting a renovation and more tenants.
    • Interest in the old Macy’s building is high, but no announcements yet. Demolition inside has started.
Emergency Management Update

Tim Schwartzkopf, Asst. City Manager, explained why some PV residents didn’t hear the tornado siren Monday. Joco is divided into 5 zones, based roughly on the typical trajectory of tornadoes (from the SW toward NE).

map from JoCo AIM

Prairie Village is in parts of Zones 2, 4, & 5, and Zone 5 goes clear down to 159th Street where there was a tornado warning.

The triangles represent the sirens. The circle is the coverage area of a siren, and the circles for all of the triangles overlap to cover every square foot of ground. The blue triangle is the siren in Zone 5 that is the closest to us in Ward 3, so that is the siren many of us heard Monday. The sirens in Zones 2 and 4 were not activated, so if you live in the farthest NW corner of Ward 3 or in Wards 1 and 2, you may not have heard a siren at all.

Agenda Packet for your reference


So that’s it for this week. Some things I’m working on:

  • Purging the basement and closets for PV’s annual Large Item Pickup! Ward 3 = April 24th!
  • Assisting Arts Council with the organization of a brand new event: the Prairie Village ArtWalk! Coming in June 2021!
  • Working on surveys for Arts Council patrons, artists, and guests to see how we’re doing and get ideas for where we can improve.
  • Managing the social media posts for Arts Council the League of Women Voters of JoCo.
  • Working with two residents in different parts of Ward 3 to get a traffic study started for speed mitigation.

Take care, continue wearing your masks, and get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.

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