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Council Recap – 10/03/22

Posted by Bonnie Limbird
Gun Safety Awareness proclamation

Mayor Mikkelson pledged the city’s ongoing support for Grandparents for Gun Safety and others working to find ways to protect all children and their families from gun violence.

Ukraine briefing

Andrew Meyer, Program Director of Stand with Ukraine KC*, and Vlad Polishchuk, President of Stand with Ukraine gave Council and those attending or watching the meeting an update on the war in Ukraine. Dolyna, PV’s sister city, is in the region of Western Ukraine. No forces have occupied this area yet, but Dolyna and many other cities in this region have taken on thousands of displaced Ukrainians.

You can follow to see recent activity plotted on the country map within the last 24 hours.

Stand with Ukraine KC raised about $2k at PV’s VillageFest which went directly to “Because we Care” who distributes food and hygiene kits to displaced families.

*Stand With Ukraine KC is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was started in 2022, after the Russian war conflict escalation in Ukraine has began on February 24th. The purpose of the organization is to provide humanitarian help.

Introduction of Teen Council members

Councilmember Piper Reimer introduced our 2022-23 Teen Council class:

  • David Allegri, Shawnee Mission East, Junior
  • Ainsley Pyle, Shawnee Mission East, Sophomore
  • Abigail Swanson, Shawnee Mission East, Senior
  • Sneha Thomas, Shawnee Mission East, Senior
  • Ava Van Alstyne, St. Teresa’s Academy, Senior

OLD BUSINESS – Council voted to move this before public participation tonight specifically to address:

Ad Hoc Housing Recommendations to the Planning Commission

Councilmember Ian Graves, Chair of the Ad Hoc Housing Committee, addressed the concern of residents that he has spoken to and heard from regarding duplex, triplex, quadplex, multifamily options in R1 zoned areas, including removing those items from the ad hoc housing committee recommendations sent to Planning Commission.

… lots and lots of good conversation… You can watch it all HERE around the 28 minute mark.

Councilmember Greg Shelton reiterated what he said in June, “I’m excited to see what the Planning Commission will do with this”. The PC is an independent quasi-judicial body, and they can do what they want, but this is still an important vote to take to show the residents that we are listening. He encouraged those watching to follow the PC process, respect those members of the PC, and let the process work.

Council voted 12-0 to remove duplex, triplex, quadplex, multifamily from the R1 section of the recommendations. I was going to include an image of the marked up amendment, but I’m going to direct instead to the updated City website dedicated solely to this issue: Housing Policy.

Here is a featured FAQ from that page to share this week:

Is the City trying to over-ride Homeowner’s Association (HOA)covenants?

No. HOA covenants are private contractual agreements that exist in addition to city regulations.  The City does not enforce these covenants and has an obligation to plan and regulate land independent of these covenants.  It is possible that the regulations and covenants may conflict, and in these cases the stricter of the two apply.  Further, covenants often change, expire, or otherwise become unenforceable, and the City plans and regulations must account for that, as well as account for differences among neighborhoods.  In a situation where the City is considering a specific rezoning action, the presence of valid and enforceable covenants conflicting with the zoning action could be considered as part of the City’s decision.


My takeaway is this: I don’t live in an (active) HOA. For those that do, that is great for them, but that doesn’t mean that I have to be limited by their HOA restrictions. The HOA argument is completely invalid to the rest of the city not in an HOA.

Public Participation

Mayor Mikkelson called the residents to the podium one-by-one who had signed up to speak for three minutes. I, however, am only showing folks here who I don’t think have spoken before:

  • didn’t catch his name – 100% against changing R1 in any way. Says it’s a public health issue, school crowding issue, and less regulation would allow too many outside entities to come in and we would lose control.
  • Trish Ullman (speaking for another resident – name not given) – wants to know what the benefit is to current homeowners. Please do not remove their “fundamental due process”
  • Gary Showalter – thanked Piper for responding to his email. still looking for the democracy in the process tonight.
  • Brenda Satterlee – wants us to take out “by right” – she wants to be notified if the neighbor behind her is gonna have bulldozers.
  • Jim McGrath – opposed to rezoning of R1 – believes that population is already high and the current system is working.
  • Mary English – “by right” will take away the rights of homeowners. The builders can not be trusted to build anything affordable, much less fitting to the neighborhood. Wants us to pass an un-amended IECC (this will not help existing homeowners). She says the process hasn’t been transparent.
  • Justin Green – schools are already crowded
  • Lindsey Stewart – thinks the council is populated by a bunch of left wing activists. This is going to lower property values, increase congestion and crime.
  • Karen Gibbons – thinks Council voted for the recs without fully understanding what they were voting for. She thinks the mayor pushed it, and that the Council may be regretting voting for it. Wants all R1 removed as well as by right.
  • John Cantrell – changes tonight were positive. Attended the last PC meeting, and thinks that a lot of residents have a lot of flexibility around ADUs and would want it to go through the existing process. Wants to know, based on the changes tonight, why is R1 still in this (other than ADUs)? Wants to know if there are plans to reduce lot sizes. Also are there plans to increase lot coverage? (Those are not things that are even touched on in these recommendations.) Appreciates PC removing Nov/Dec from the public forum discussion.
  • The last speaker urged Council to remember that all residents of PV are to be represented by Council, not just those who are the loudest.

At the end of public participation, Mayor again invited residents to stick around and observe the business of the city. All but 7 people left; one of those 7 was a resident that wanted to talk about the traffic calming item on the agenda, and one was a representative from the SM Post. The nearly full house practically cleared out. Again. Even the speakers on record for being against the Civic Center didn’t stick around to hear the discussion around the agenda item on the civic center.

Committee Reports

Tree Board

Greg informed Council that the Tree Board’s Fall Seminar topic will be: How to Sustain and Maintain Our Tree Canopy – October 5th at 7pm at Meadowbrook Clubhouse.

FYI – All of our trees are under extreme stress right now due to the hot, dry summer.

Arts Council

The State of the Arts 2022 Winners Showcase is now on display at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, our partner gallery with JCPRD and JoCo Fine Arts.

Members of the Arts Council, including Inga and I, attended the Arts Council of Johnson County’s Kansas State Arts Councils Symposium at the JoCo Arts and Heritage Center. Also in attendance was our local KS House Rep, Jerry Stogsdill, a big supporter of the arts industry in Kansas.

Mayor’s report
  • Mayor reported on his recent activities.
  • Mayor expressed his condolences for PV Arts Council member, Shelly Trewolla, whose husband, John Trewolla, passed away. He was a memorable and well-liked attendee at our annual volunteer appreciation parties for many years where he would don the santa hat and collect donations and sell raffle tickets. Our hearts are with Shelly and her family.
  • Upcoming: Dec. 1st Mayor’s Tree Lighting (proceeds to local PV foundation 501(c)(3))
  • Upcoming: Dec. 4th Gingerbread House Decorating (proceeds to local PV foundation 501(c)(3))

Ad Hoc Civic Center Committee

Picking back up where we left off as of May 19th when Council voted to approve an updated market feasibility study to see if we still have the level of resident support shown prior to the pandemic (or more or less).

As a reminder, we have taken one step back to revalidate the data we received, before taking any next steps that we were previously prepared to take pre-COVID. There are a series of off-ramps available during this process including shelving the idea completely.

Council voted to send the survey back to the Ad Hoc Civic Center Committee for review and discussion before proceeding at the Council level.

There was also talk that the next step after that may be to have a joint committee/council work session TBD at a later date.

Consider updates to City Council Policy: CP028 – remote participation for public meetings

This was a second draft of this policy based on last month’s comments from City Council. It was approved by Council.

Present and discuss the 2022 compensation/classification study and consider recommendations of implementation from the Finance Committee

City Administrator, Wes Jordan, presented the recommended implementation plan approved out of the Finance Committee. Councilmember Lauren Wolf pointed out that these costs assume a fully staffed City Hall and Police Department, of which we are far from at this point. Councilmember Cole Robinson supports this recommendation to retain our talent, reduce turnover, and attract the top talent to continue to provide the service and amenities that our residents expect. Terrence pointed out that there were a lot of tough discussions during the four hours of meeting on this one topic. He asked about the General Fund Balance, and pointed out that because it’s at about 43% now (because of the conservative approach taken during COVID) rather than the typically targeted 25%, we have wiggle room to pay for this increase.

Then the Council went into Executive Session to discuss specific aspects of the recommendations.

After Executive Session, Council voted unanimously to approve the recommendations. This is a huge step, that no one on Council took lightly, to attract and retain the best and brightest during this unprecedented job market. This will help us fill our empty PVPD positions, in particular, so that they can get back to regular 8 hour shifts, full services beyond just a full patrol, and improve their work-life balance before we lose anyone else. We have amazing and loyal staff in PV, and Wes shared how thankful and appreciative they will be with this adjustment.

Consider traffic calming on Cherokee Drive from 71st Terrace to 71st Street

Council voted unanimously to approve this traffic calming project.

Discussion of Variety KC donation for Harmon Park inclusive play equipment

The City has been approached by Variety KC to incorporate an additional $250,000-$275,000 worth of funds into the Harmon Park Inclusive Play Equipment. This funding is to be used in addition to the previously approved funds of $575,000 for the playset improvements. The funding does include two standard inclusions: 1) signage/naming and 2) fencing to be installed around the perimeter of the play area.

I asked how many actual additional features will this donation allow us for the children playing in this park after it’s taken up by the upgraded fencing and the sign. The answer was not much to very little. I shared that I thought the sign was awful, and would not fit in with our new coordinated park signage that the P&R committee is working on. I also didn’t think we should veer from our standard park fencing particularly since the Variety-required design will feel like more of a barrier to entering than providing more safety keeping children in. The Parks & Recreation chairs then shared that that pretty much summed up the P&R committee’s thoughts, and Council voted to reject this very kind, but not suitable for PV, offer.

Agenda Packet for your reference


So that’s it for this week. This meeting went well over 5 hours. That’s the first one for me, I think. Maybe we had a long one over Zoom, but that’s all a blur now.

Let me know if you have any questions. It’s taken me awhile to get this done, so I pared it waaaa-a-a-y down, but if you have specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I kept most of my notes because I’m a hoarder. 😉 Be well and have a great week!


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