ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units), Affordability, Aging/Senior Population, Attainability, Design Standards, Development, Diversity, Housing, Housing Security, National Issues, Proclamations, Rebuilds, Seniors

Council Recap – 02/06/22

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

Girl Scouts Troop 3131 joined City Council before the meeting to work on their “Respect Authority” Daisy petal. They took a tour of City Hall, learned about how the staff and City Council work, and met with Council to share their input on a very important (hypothetical) community issue: soccer goal, new play structure, or super-duper awesome water slide park? Council voted for the soccer goal due to costs. 😜


Presentation of Supervisory Recognition Award to K-9 Officer Blitz

Chief Byron Roberson recognized Officer Overesch and his partner, Blitz, with a citation for work on January 13th, 2022 when they responded to a call from Mission, KS to help locate two armed and hiding burglars. Officer Overesch and Blitz located the suspects and assisted in arresting them with minimal injuries to the suspect and no injuries to the officers.

(blurred for minors in the background)
Black History Month proclamation

The 2023 national theme for the observance of Black History Month is “Resistance” which explores the ways in which African Americans have fought repression from America’s earliest days. Councilmember Cole Robinson, Diversity Committee Chair, read the proclamation. Unfortunately many residents were filing into the council chambers to fill the vacated seats left by the Girl Scouts at the same time it was being read, and they were loud and a distraction from the somber moment. 😞

Recognition of Council service

Mayor Mikkelson recognized City Councilmembers with their annual “paycheck”: a laminated, un-cashable check for one dollar.

Tree Board Presentation

Bridget Tolle, City Arborist, updated City Council on the results and highlights of the newish Tree Protection Ordinance (June 2021 for construction sites only). Since June 2021, 575 trees have been saved on 122 construction sites. 189 private trees were removed; 10 right-of-way trees were removed. 279 private trees were required to be planted along with 30 right-of-way trees. The net gain is 110 trees in Prairie Village’s tree canopy ensuring that future generations will have mature trees. New plantings are also creating more diversity through species and ages.

Mark Morgan and Kevin Dunn, Tree Board members, spoke about the resources now available on the Tree Board web page, their recent events, and their upcoming strategic planning. For more information about tree board activities, check out their page.

Do you know someone who you’d like to nominate to have a tree planted in their honor at the 2023 Arbor Day? Nominate them with the form found HERE.

Public Participation

Mayor Mikkelson gave a brief overview of where City Council currently is in the housing discussion (including that multifamily residences are not being proposed in R1 and R2 districts) and then called residents to the podium one-by-one to speak for three minutes. Here are the speakers I was able to record:

  1. Dr. Jacob Wagner, Urban Planner – Vote No on motion on the agenda tonight removing R-1, R-2 and by-right. Housing stock is being radically changed by teardowns for massive new homes. We want to add housing diversity, density, and walkability, and our businesses will benefit from this growth. PV is not more dense than OP or KCMO; those are broad generalizations and you need to look at zip code data.
  2. Tucker Poling, former City Council member – Vote No on the motion because we should not be taking things off the table for discussion right now. The ideas currently being recommended are worthy of consideration. Choosing to do nothing is choosing to maintain the current trajectory of losing all attainable housing in PV. Nothing is going to magically fix this problem, and this is just ONE step worthy of consideration.
  3. Leon Patton – Declining properties values will occur by increased density or acts of your neighbors. Residents are trying to protect their investments.
  4. Bryan Lee – shared a modern day fable comparing City Council to a car full of employees who don’t know why they’re driving somewhere.
  5. Bill Meeker – Supports motion to remove R-1, R-2, and by-right. PV is immune to outside housing trends (I paraphrase).
  6. Bonnie Cutler – Vote No until we get more information.
  7. Elaine Dagleish – Thanked Council for serving. Agree with previous pro-Housing speakers before her.
  8. Johanna Comes – Agreed with previous pro-Housing speakers including Dr. Jake Wagner. Lifelong PV resident.
  9. Clayton Harper – Would not have been able to buy his first house in PV if his parents hadn’t passed it on to him and his young family. The cookie cutter mansions are literally changing the character of our community. This is a complex issue, and we need to explore complex solutions. To suggest that R-1, R-2, and by-right should be forever removed from conversation is saying that my right to say what you can do with your property is more important than your right to do what you want on your own property forever. Vote No.
  10. Madelyn Samuel – 800+ residents that support the pro-Housing conversation. They can’t come to every meeting because they are busy in other aspects of their lives as well as being engaged in PV happenings.
  11. Cameron Garrison – Is glad that the Tree Protection Ordinance is protecting the trees in our community from massive rebuilds; why wouldn’t we do the same for our people? Urged Council to Vote No.
  12. David Magariel – Disappointed to see the motion on the agenda tonight. We all know that by-right just means that if it’s legal under zoning, then you can do it. By pandering to the stop group, we’re allowing this misinformation to continue. No proposals are on the table. Let’s do a Housing Study and see where the gaps are. Don’t just stop the conversation; that is what is anti-democratic.
  13. Dennis Solis – believes this is a watershed moment for the city of PV and this council. Housing must be a fundamental part of any discussion about making change for a future where the past does not define us.
  14. Sherry Solis – we need the conversation to continue.
  15. Pam Justus – Affordable housing… not a topic being considered in PV, so I stopped recording.
  16. Dennis Boody – Wouldn’t be able to afford his house if he were to buy it today. His son and his family can’t buy a home in the community that he was raised in. The reasonable thing to do is to continue the conversation and see what we can do. No one except a previous speaker has ever talked about subsidized housing. That’s not what we’re talking about. Thank you to our courageous public servants. Vote No.
  17. Karen Heath – agrees with pro-Housing speakers, but also agrees with the Stop group flyer “All PV Voices Matter”. Unfortunate phrasing, she said, but she agrees. Listed to all the residents of PV, not just the stop group. Vote No.
  18. Mike Sullinger – Read the City Council Code of Ethics. (This speaker is alluding to the accusation that councilmembers are gaining personally and/or financially by putting forth these housing recommendations. The claim is ludicrous and unfounded, but a popular strategy exists that when arguments based on facts don’t exist, then resort to questioning your opponent’s character)
  19. Karen Gibbons – Vote Yes. Reasonable people can disagree.
  20. Trudy Williams – Agrees with the pro-Housing speakers before her.
  21. Dr. George Williams – Seeks to understand the stop group even though he’s a member of PV4All. Believes through a respectful and civil dialogue, we can come to a solution.
  22. Jan Lane – “Unanimous opposition” to recommendations… untrue, no longer recording.
  23. Kirk Carpenter – Seems to be a lack of understanding by many and would like to see a survey, some seminars, and more.
  24. Dawn Olney – Former PV renter, current PV homeowner, shocked at how high prices have skyrocketed, and the lack of missing middle housing stock. Find ways to make housing attainable in PV. Please Vote No.
  25. Marty Dressman – Proponent of PV4A agenda. We are responsible for addressing injustices that persist, to remove barriers, and provide opportunity.
  26. Terry O’Toole – Talking about pending health insurance discussion on tonight’s agenda. Clearly insurance isn’t necessary to get good candidates, because some have already filed without that benefit. Discussion appears to be altruistic for future Council members. The City insurance plan is very good, so there would be a large financial benefit for those who don’t currently need insurance to move over to this plan.
  27. Michael Jones – “The times they are a-changing.” Hasn’t ever heard subsidized or affordable housing being mentioned in this effort. What he has heard is the loss of autonomy over his own property. Our City staff is bright! If you call and ask questions, you get answers and help. He trusts that we will find the solution if we investigate it and work on it.
  28. Michael Levin – Thinks compromise is possible. Meadowbrook is a great example of what compromise can produce. The “rezoning” policies being discussed are radical.
  29. Margaret Thomas – Agree with other pro-Housing speakers.
  30. Tom Ward – says adding by-right removes his rights and freedom
  31. Chi Nguyen – Least diverse place she has every experienced, and she joined the Diversity Committee where she is proud of the work they have done. She’d like to be able to experience her culture and other cultures right in her own City instead of driving elsewhere. Vote No.
  32. Jessica Fick – former PV resident until she was priced out in 2016. She works in PV and cares about the residents here because they are members of her congregation. Please do not stop the conversation. Wants to see more maintenance-provided options in PV. You’d get families who invest back in their community. Wants to see housing for the common and greater good.
  33. John Stacey – Stop doing the big mansions. Grew up in a diverse area of KCMO. This is a property rights issue, not political.
  34. Dan Tilden – PV native and recently came back. The question isn’t IF we welcome diversity, it’s if we’re willing to give up a bit of equity to welcome them. Vote No.
  35. Kathy Walters – Please Vote No.
  36. Brent Hoover – New multi-family will not be affordable. It will be high-end because that’s all anyone is able to build.
  37. Jim McGrath – Not in favor of the “rezoning”.
  38. Brian O’Laughlin – Spoke about health insurance. Shouldn’t offer insurance to city council members. If Council does vote on it, it should not be viable until two elections from now. Would love to run for Council but can’t put up with the “stuff” that Council has to put up with.
  39. Kyra Lillard – Vote No, but also thinks compromise is possible. It’s possible to disagree with respect. It’s sad this conversation is so acrimonious.
  40. Whitney Wilson – Lifelong PV resident in a multigenerational household with her parents aging-in-place. She would like to see being close to your family members in a single neighborhood normalized. City planning is hard, and takes plenty of healthy discussions. Supports long-term planning that makes a better PV in the future for all of us. Has the confidence in PV council and staff to find the right solution.
  41. Lauren Fischer – It is possible to own a home in PV as a single professional. She’s worried about her property value and what it will look like in a few years.
  42. Mark Vianello – Vote Yes.
  43. Dan Runion – Anything that comes out of Planning Commission, if Council doesn’t like it, requires a super majority vote to override.
  44. John James – Prospective home buyer in PV who observed a lack of civility and openness to listen to the views of others. Suggested everyone take the Dividing Lines Tour that begins at SME. Asked everyone in the room to be our better selves. Didn’t request a vote one way or the other. (I’ve taken the Dividing Lines Tour and talked about it before here – I highly recommend it!)
  45. Tim Swanson – The problem in this country is that housing has gone nuts. Vote yes. It’s about economics.
  46. Lisa Manty (sp?) – Vote Yes to remove R-1, R-2, and by-right from the recommendations.
  47. Mike Shook – Applauds the Diversity Committee. They do a great job, and they have a lot more work to do. Not all diverse people who can afford to live in PV choose to live in PV. We need to change the perception of PV first by doing the work.

Consider removing references to R-1, R-2, and by-right in the “Amended Council Recommendations” that were previously sent to the Planning Commission concerning attainable housing Dave Robinson / Courtney McFadden

Councilmember Shelton couldn’t attend the meeting tonight, but sent a letter to Council that will be included in the public record. Please see embedded 5-page PDF below.


Greg also attached this excerpt from the JoCo Housing Study to his email:


Councilmember McFadden teed this discussion up by taking part ownership of the poor way this was rolled out, and how it has made our efforts toward attainability and diversity even harder. The motion does NOT mean that this is the end of the conversation; it is a beginning to the conversation. Seconded by Councilmember Dave Robinson.

Councilmember Cole Robinson proposed an amendment to the amendment to retain R-2 in the recs and only remove R-1 and by right. Seconded by Councilmember Chad Herring. Councilmember Ian Graves expressed support for Cole’s motion to improve the underlying motion, though he doesn’t expect to support the final underlying motion.

Councilmember Dave Robinson sees this motion as a way to calm the storm and pause the discussion for the time being (that’s kind of counter to what the original motioner described).

The motion to amend the underlying motion was approved 8-3, so now the motion is to “remove references to R-1, R-2, and by-right in the “Amended Council Recommendations Based on the Ad Hoc Housing Committee Recommendations” that were previously sent to the Planning Commission for consideration.”

Councilmember Inga Selders says that these basic initiatives have been on the books for 17+ years now, and we should not throw out this work that so many have worked so hard on for so long. We need to clear up the confusion, and talk about the positive aspects of options like ADUs. As for “by-right”, teardowns are allowed by-right, but no one has asked for that to be removed from the zoning.

Councilmember Terrence Gallagher pointed out that removing this now does not stop this process. We’re removing it for separate discussion. Doesn’t feel like there is a cohesiveness to the message and what we’re trying to do.

Councilmember Ian Graves shared that Planning Commission felt more comfortable operating in their lane, and more comfortable with City Council giving them more guidance on certain items, including R-1.

City Attorney: Removing R-1 (and/or by-right) now does not mean that Planning Commission can’t come back with recommendations for those later on their own.

Councilmember Ron Nelson does not support the motion tonight because we need to be able to deal with the “size, scope, and largesse” of specific rebuilds in the R-1 district. If we do away with R-1 recommendations, we are telling the PC not to look at those even though Council and residents have been talking about this for years.

Councilmember Chad Herring appreciates the spirt and intent of the motion, and admitted that there were a lot of missteps that were made during this process. Part of that is by design and by the rules of the governing body that make putting our heads together and finding solutions together difficult (such as the KS Open Meetings Act which says a quorum of councilmembers constitutes a meeting and must be open to the public and published a certain number of days in advance). Liked the idea of PC taking the baton next in this process, as they are the experts, and he thinks that still could be the right track. He thought he heard some ice-breaking tonight amongst our public speakers, and he has hope that if the process is allowed to work, that it can still work. If the motion does pass, it is incumbent on us to very quickly determine the next steps. Chad thanked the visitors tonight who care deeply about PV. The by-right conversation is really bizarre to him. By-right is an important concept in zoning, and the removal of it from zoning or just the recommendations would explode the process and every single thing an owner does would have to be brought before the governing body to review and approve. It’s become a heated and personal thing, and he’s trying to respect that. We need to be responsible and attentive to the process as it moves forward.

Councilmember Dave Robinson thanked Chad for his comments and restated that this is a vote to pause and reassess. The project isn’t currently positioned for success, and we need to course-correct to find the right way to do it.

Councilmember Cole Robinson is planning to vote Yes on the motion. The idea back in June sounded like a good plan, but a month later it became a political issue even though it’s no longer being acted on by the political body. The proverbial ball has hardly moved at all, and PC does not want to handle R-1 policy on something that is very political. Cole wants to bring the policy discussion back to the dais for hashing out. If the motion fails, then he wants to see some direction come from Council to PC.

Councilmember Ian Graves shared that PV’s zoning codes are constructed on the premise of by-right of ownership. In Ward 6 this problem is especially prescient. 25% of homeowners around Hy-Vee are cost-burdened – that means they are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. This current process is going as planned – a long, slow process to allow lots of public input. He wants to hear from Planning Commission on where their line of demarcation is for what they are and are not comfortable with addressing.

Councilmember Piper Reimer thanked all for the conversation and thinks the removal of by-right is misleading that we’re removing or changing something that we are not. She made a second amending motion to remove by-right from the underlying motion and bring R-1 immediately back to City Council. Councilmember Lauren Wolf seconded.

Councilmember Selders said that it sounds like PC is going to kick this back to us after tomorrow’s meeting so we don’t need a motion to remove or make a plan to review at City Council.

Councilmember Lauren Wolf agrees with removing R-1 from the recs so we can immediately take action on it, and she agrees with taking out the by-right because we don’t want to signal to PC that we want no more by-right at all in the future. We can do this better, so let’s do it. Debate can be messy and time-consuming, but it needs to happen.

When my turn came, I thanked Courtney for taking the blame, but said it’s not on her – it’s on all of us. We could have rolled this out better; worded the recommendations better; communicated differently, etc. etc. etc. I thanked all of council for the deep discussion. Then said that based on the conversation tonight, I’ll probably feel comfortable no matter which way this vote goes because all of council has made it clear that this isn’t the end of the discussion, it’s just a different next step for R-1. However, I am conscious of the fact that just removing it now only to still talk about it later is a bit disingenuous and may be perceived that way by residents. I think the process is working as it was intended – slow and open to public input – and I want to see this inflection point with PC that Ian is expecting and get their request to officially take R-1 off their plate, so I am a No vote.

Councilmember Ian Graves added that he would like to get final words from PC on where they’re landing, but all signs point to it coming back to Council.

The motion made by Councilmember Reimer passed, so now the motion reads: “remove references to R-1, R-2, and by-right in the “Amended Council Recommendations Based on the Ad Hoc Housing Committee Recommendations” that were previously sent to the Planning Commission for consideration.” Essentially removing the first three bulletpoints of recommendation #1 from the PC purview and Council will work those items.

Final comment by Councilmember Nelson: it is not Council’s job to craft ordinances; it is our job to write policy.

Motion passed 6-5. I voted No, but I think at this point “to-may-to / to-mah-to”. 🍅 I look forward to seeing a specific R-1 policy change and discussion on an upcoming meeting agenda, and soon!

Committee Reports

VillageFest Committee

Councilmember McFadden reported that the VillageFest committee has been meeting and getting plans underway. Chris Cakes has raised their prices, so note that their price day-of will go up a smidge to you as well. 🙂

Tree Board

Councilmember Graves lauded the Tree Board for their knowledge and work in Prairie Village including their work for the Mission Rd improvements north of the Shops.

Teen Council

Councilmember Reimer reported that Teen Council met with Public Works this evening before the Council meeting and thanked Public Works Director Keith Bredehoeft for his time.

Environmental Committee

Councilmember Reimer shared that Environmental Committee passed their proposed 2023 budget and will be partnering with OP on one of their two recycling events (on College Blvd), and they and other JoCo Munis are partnering together for a combined recycling event around 67th and Antioch.

Staff Reports


Wes Jordan, City Administrator, answered Councilmember Gallagher’s question about the Community Center surveys and when the live survey will begin. Postcards have hit mailboxes, but we don’t have an exact date for the live phone surveys yet.

If you need help filling out the online survey, definitely go visit the Corinth branch of the JoCo Library.

Consider change in CP001 – City Committees

Assistant City Administrator Tim Schwartzkopf presented requested changes to Council Policy 001 to change the Diversity Committee’s leadership structure. The Committee would like to add an additional Vice-chair with a member of the Diversity Committee. In addition, the Diversity Committee is meeting monthly versus every other month.

I asked if this structure could be replicated on other committees too, and it was confirmed that, yes, it could be.

The committee approved this unanimously.

Discussion on adding members of the Governing Body to the City’s health, dental and vision insurance plans with the same cost sharing as if they were full-time City employees Tabled to a future meeting.

Agenda Packet for your reference


Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share this newsletter/post with your PV neighbors!

Please try to stay well and have a great week!


P.S. The Evergy project on Mission Road will be moving north to Somerset-83rd Street on Monday. This will be a hard closure on Mission Road for approximately 2 weeks.

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