11-8-2022 – Updated to include results from local realtor survey under public participation.
Native American Heritage Month proclamation
WHEREAS, Shawnee, Osage and Kansa Indians formerly owned the land
now developed into the City of Prairie Village.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Eric Mikkelson, Mayor of the City of Prairie Village, do hereby proclaim November as National Native American Heritage Month in the City of Prairie Village, Kansas, and call upon our community to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
First Washington Realty Update Presentation
Gregg Zike, of FWR, shared a list of their 2022 capital investments & improvements which included parking lot improvements, roof replacements, LED upgrade to exterior lighting for better security and reduced energy consumption, and more.
One of the big events that FWR puts on is the Prairie Village Art Show which was back after a three-year hiatus, and the weather was cooperative! (Next year’s date has already been set! It’s June 2-4, 2023 as of now.)
A veterinarian, an urgent care, and a medical office will soon be moving into the US Bank building in PV Shops.
Looking ahead in 2023, FWR will be investing in some social congregation areas with turf and seating, the 7070 Mission redevelopment (old Macys building), and Corinth Quarter phase 2.
So what about the 7070 Mission redevelopment? FWR is still looking at some of the same or similar type of businesses, but no leases have been signed.
Mayor Mikkelson called the residents to the podium one-by-one who had signed up to speak for three minutes. Here are some speakers I don’t think we’ve heard from before:
- Pam Justice – PV is diverse and inclusive. Listen to the people who elected you.
- Ted O’Dell – disturbed by the tenor of the conversation around this topic. Wants to talk about it as a community. We need to look at all angles and all aspects of opportunities. Don’t rush.
- Beth Brown – real estate attorney experience in PV and more with experience in zoning laws. 1961 plat and HOA regulations have made Normandy Square successful. She didn’t get to say what she came up to say. She ran out of time. I was curious where she was going, and I hope she comes back to our next meeting to finish her thoughts! 🙂
- Lauren Fisher – young single professional, worried about her property values and people and pets in her yard.
- Michael Levin – consider objective, material benefits, and unintended consequences. Doesn’t see a problem in PV. “Economic exclusivity is good.”
- Julie Ann Lagerstrom (sp?) – wants “by-right” removed and we already allow ALQs. What do current homeowners gain from R1 and R2 changes. Keep interests of constituents at the forefront of every decision.
- Bob Gibbons – no verifiable data that changes would bring about attainable housing
- Susie Sally (sp?) – we don’t need low-income housing in PV; go to WyCo or KCMO
- Brad Downs – leave well enough alone until the country is better. What a nice and happy man! 😊
- Christine Adams – think about in terms of communication and do better disseminating information about all issues and that will take care of a lot of the issues. (AGREED!) Her neighborhood is being approached for purchase by out of town realtors TODAY. (So it’s not because of these proposed zoning changes…)
- Kate Sullinger – confused about the exact reasons for these changes. Supportive of diversity efforts. Affordable houses are being torn down and being replaced by unaffordable housing. Urged another community survey.
- Nikki McCray – doesn’t appreciate “diversity” being used to distract from what’s happening elsewhere.
- Joan Shieff (sp?) – lives on a very diverse block and thinks PV is already diverse. Look to other cities and states to see how ADUs are working or not working.
All these speakers assume that listening to our constituents and doing the right thing means we need to do exactly what they themselves want. They’re completely dismissive of what other residents hear and experience in PV and want as tax-paying citizens. We are listening to ALL of our residents that are reaching out, and it’s an ongoing process. That lack of self awareness is so sad, and has made this process what it is today. It didn’t have to be like this.
Additionally, I have to say, that this process is slow, and it’s gotten slower since we started in response to public input. The only way we could go slower would be a full stop, and we’re not going to stop researching this any time soon. The toothpaste is out of the tube. Planning Commission has their list of items to research. They’ve set a nice long schedule WITH public input. They’ve prioritized the items to focus on areas with less opposition, and this whole process is working just as it should be. Speakers who complain about bureaucracy are forgetting the important fact that the bureaucracy and the long discussions about process and policy are exactly what protects citizens from slapdash policies and bad faith actors. It should take a couple of years or more to make change that affects a lot of different segments of people.
It must bear repeating too: PV is not looking into low-income housing. That is not a thing that we are doing. Anyone saying that is just misinformed or trying to scare our residents. Attainable housing is not the same as low-income, and I look forward to the Planning Commission working to define the term better for residents as they spoke about in their last meeting.
One gentleman shared (anecdotally) that one realtor he knows isn’t showing in PV right now because of this discussion, and this resident is worried that others will follow suit. Since last night, I have reached out to four realtors who work primarily in Northeast Johnson County, and there is NO knowledge of any hesitancy among realtors to show or list properties in Prairie Village.
One lady did share information about public forum vs. public hearing (in regards to the ongoing Planning Commission process). I’ll have to research the two options and if they are as different as she described, but the way she described it seem reasonable to me. I would, of course, want public comment on the record. How else would we document it? I’ll keep ya posted! 😁
All but eight people left… I think they stuck around to listen to the agenda item about public participation, and I wish more people would stick around to be part of the ongoing business of the city.
Public Hearing to consider approval of Ordinance 2477, approving the vacation of right-of-way adjacent to 4401 Somerset Drive
Approved unanimously with no discussion because Keith Bredehoeft did a great job teeing this up at a recent CCOW meeting.
Councilmember Piper Reimer welcomed all of the Teen Council members to the dais for the first time since before COVID to really appreciate the experience of local elected officials.
Three members of the Teen Council will be attending the NLC Summit in KC as youth delegates.
Councilmember Reimer also reported that the environmental committee met to plan their 2023 events recently and are excited for the new year!
Prairie Village Arts Council
I welcomed our newest PVAC member, Trinity Ready, as a non-voting teen member, and reported on our latest show and the exhibit opening last week.
Visit this dual-location show at both City Hall and the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse to see the beautiful works of Jack Stemm, Anne Nye, and Grant Charpentier!
We have a meeting this Thursday to finalize 2023 exhibits and welcome our newest members in person.
Watch for our 2023 Schedule of Events announcement very soon. We have a lot in store for you! 😜
First Suburbs Coalition
The most recent First Suburbs Coalition meeting was extremely timely for a topic that PV is researching: the zoning modifications that are currently under the purview of the PV Planning Commission.
During presentations on the topic of Communities for All Ages and how two local communities earned Gold status in that program, we heard specifically from Grandview, MO who has successfully reviewed their zoning ordinances and implemented changes to adapt to the evolving aging-in-place and affordability needs in their community. The ADU policy and overlay district that Grandview has enacted is very detailed and, I think, will be a good resource for PV as the Planning Commission looks at possible proposals. One of our Planning Commission members was in attendance at the meeting as well.
Additionally, when, or if, things settle down for staff, I’d like to start the process of PV becoming a Community for All Ages…
Councilmember Greg Shelton stated that the committee met to memorialize their point and purpose: Tree Canopy Vision and Plan.
Councilmember Dave Robinson brought up oak fungus which is affecting Red Oak and Pin Oaks and more. Greg said that PV arborist Bridget Tolle is working on an article for one of the upcoming Village Voice newsletters to let people know about this virus. The drought and the teardown rebuilds have put major stress on our trees making them susceptible to disease.
Councilmember Shelton also said that the PC will be meeting again December 6th. It will be a regular meeting but will also include the next leg of the ad hoc housing committee recommendations discussion and they will be focusing on commercial and mixed-use zones.
As reported in the Shawnee Mission Post, “Single-family housing districts in Prairie Village have been temporarily removed from the conversation on the city’s housing recommendations. Moving forward, the city’s discussion is now narrowed down to focus on commercial, multifamily and mixed-use districts.”
Parks & Recreation
Councilmember Terrence Gallagher said the November committee meeting has been postponed until December. Watch for the rescheduled date to be posted at pvkansas.com
- Mayor reported on his recent activities, including small group meetings with residents about the housing issue.
- Mayor imparted the unfortunate news of the death of the son of a secretary to Dolyna, Ukraine who visited PV during our Sister City participation (shared with us by Michael Kelly who used to be a PV resident and who was part of that Sister City committee). His death did occur while in the armed services protecting Ukraine. Our condolences go out to this young man’s 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))
PV Police Chief Byron Roberson highlighted the Q3 crime report for PV and MH. There is a lot going on right now, but this is about average for YTD stats. Calls for service and auto burglaries/thefts are up, but no cause for alarm. However! Do the 9PM Routine!! Many of these crimes are Crimes of Opportunity!
Chief also reported on PVPD’s recent hiring efforts to get a great new group of sworn officers. Four are in training, and four are in background checks. That still leaves us seven officers down.
Coffee with a Cop will be Wednesday, Nov. 16th at Panera. Please join!
Councilmember Chad Herring thanked Chief for the updated photo directory. Yes! It’s great. City Administration provided one for their staff as well! 😊
Public Works Director, Keith Bredehoeft, updated Council on the pool project that had leaks the last two summers. The have opted to abandon the existing pipes and run new pipes. However, they received no bids. 😞 Staff are currently working with contractors to modify the scope. Still hope to get it completed before the next pool season, but this has been a wrench in the plan.
City Clerk’s Office
City Clerk Adam Geffert reported on a recent meeting with Republic Services about their recent poor service with missed pickups. The meeting included the mayor and city staff to report on issues that residents have been experiencing with trash, recycling, and yard waste. Republic said they have 13 routes on the Kansas side of the metro and only 9 (CDL) drivers. They like to have 15 drivers. They currently have a few new drivers in training, and are hopeful that the issue is being resolved. They also significantly raised their wages to attract CDL drivers. The City does have the ability to fine Republic, and that is something that the City will be looking at on our next invoice.
Adam said that PV residents should call the PV City Clerk’s office (not the Republic call center) to get fast and accurate information and resolution to the issue. The contract with Republic is a 10-year contract, so we’re about half way through the term. (I thought it was shorter, however:) That contract, which included a rate hike cap, has been quite the coup for PV during the last three years (as other municipalities around us have had to absorb exorbitant rate increases), but the service of late has been wanting.
Discussion of possible changes to public comment period at Council meetings
City Administrator Wes Jordan shared that this is about being able to give outside speakers (consultants) a better idea of when they will be speaking since they often come from out of town or on Zoom.
Council President Chad Herring opened the floor for discussion.
Councilwoman Lauren Wolf suggested we designate agenda vs. non-agenda speakers so that speakers who are here to speak on a specific agenda item DO get to speak before the agenda item comes up and Council votes on it.
I said that I personally wasn’t comfortable with this change at this time because it’s in the middle of a hot issue. If we were changing the policy during a lull, I could maybe be persuaded, but right now I’m not sold that it’s a good idea.
Councilmember Dave Robinson said that we’re here to listen to our customers so it’s incumbent upon us to listen now and continue having conversations until the residents feel they have been heard.
Councilmember Piper Reimer reiterated the value of Staff time and that it is not appropriate to change our practice at this time. She did propose that if there are presentations that would be relatively brief and/or not require a vote, we could schedule those prior to public participation.
Councilmember Cole Robinson used CFD2 Chief Steve Chick, who sat through a recent meeting for 2+ hours, as an example of a presentation that would be good to schedule prior to public participation, but keep the overall process as it is.
Councilmember Courtney McFadden stressed how important these face-to-face and in-person interactions are to understand that more of us agree on topics than don’t.
Councilmember Terrence Gallagher concurred broadly.
Council President Herring also concurred and doesn’t see the urgency to change the process now if we move some speakers to earlier in the agenda. Chad also stated that he is grateful that we give every person that wants to speak a chance to speak, and he is particularly grateful for those who come forward in a respectful manner and respect other speakers.
Mayor Mikkelson acknowledged the consensus heard tonight during this discussion, and he, staff, and the Council President will take this under consideration as they prepare future agendas.
I’ve had multiple coffee chats with residents over the last several weeks about the ad hoc housing recommendations, and I have several more scheduled coming up soon. I look forward to clearing up the questions of any Ward 3 residents, so let me know if you have any questions. 😁
Please feel free to share this newsletter with your PV neighbors!
Be well and have a great week!