City Plan Commission
Most of the meeting was spent two companion cases, CD-CPC-2019-00201 and CD-CPC-2020-00202, an amendment to the KCI Area Plan from Residential Low, Residential Medium, and Commercial to Mixed Use Community on approximately 500 acres, generally located along N.W. Tiffany Springs Road generally between Line Creek Parkway and N. Platte Purchase Drive and a request to rezone from Districts B2-2 (Neighborhood Business 2), AG-R (Agricultural Residential), R-6 (Residential 6), and R-7.5 (Residential 7.5) to District MPD (Master Planned Development), which will also serve as a preliminary plat, for Twin Creeks Village to allow a mixture of commercial, recreational, educational, civic and residential uses on about 500 acres generally located north of Missouri Highway 152 in between N. Line Creek Parkway to the west and Platte Purchase Drive to the east, respectively. The presentation from the applicant lasted over three hours and questions from the commissioners and testimony from the public extended the time spent on this case even further.
This is a massive, multi-phase development in the Northland that includes housing, a movie theatre, a school, and a soccer complex, which will be constructed over the next 15 years.
Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee
Ordinance 200497 is held until August 5. This ordinance seeks to establish a policy limiting the use of real property tax abatement as an economic development tax incentive within the boundaries of the Kansas City Missouri, Independence, Center, Hickman Mills, Grandview, Raytown, and Lee’s Summit School Districts.
Ordinance 200240 is held off the agenda. This ordinance seeks to reduce an appropriation in the amount of $1,519,466.00 in the Health Levy Fund; appropriating that amount to the evidence based crime prevention program account; and recognizing this ordinance as having an accelerated effective date. Councilman Ellington has for quite some time criticized the efficacy of Aim4Peace, Kansas City’s public health approach to reducing shootings and homicides. While he respects the work of many of those on the ground doing the work, he feels as though the money could be better spent on an evidence-based program modeled after programs that have worked in other cities. There was some public testimony as well as a presentation from the Health Department protesting the cut to their budget.
Ordinance 200424 is held for another week. This ordinance affirms the City Council’s commitment to fund subsequent phases of the 18th and Vine Historic District Improvements by identifying funding sources from 2021-2022 Fiscal Year budget; and directing the City Manager to include a funding request in the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year budget in conformance with this resolution.
Special Committee for Legal Review
Ordinance 200496 is held for one week. Calling an election on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of obtaining public authorization to establish as a City legislative priority in the Missouri General Assembly the pursuit of a state legislative or referendum action that will return Mayor and City Council-led local control to the Kansas City Police Department rather than the current control of the Kansas City Police Department by a committee comprised of four members appointed by the Governor of Missouri and an additional position held by the Mayor of Kansas City; and recognizing an accelerated effective date. Extensive public testimony was heard, but the committee held off on holding a vote.
Ordinance 200573 passes and moves on to full council. This ordinance directs the development of a policy that would have as its objective the offering of pre-trial diversions to Municipal Court defendants for at least twenty percent of non-violent ordinance violations.
Resolution 200575 is adopted. This resolution requests that the City Manager develop a performance management reporting dashboard of certain policing statistics and data and requesting that the Kansas City Police Department provide certain relevant information to the City Manager on a recurring basis.
Ordinance 200578 passes and moves on to full council. This ordinance revises a section of ordinances, Section 50-44, obstructing or resisting public safety officer, employee or inspector to include a requirement that the prohibited acts be done knowingly.
Ordinance 200579 passes and moves on to full council. This ordinance seems to be a response to the 2019 incident where Roderick Reed captured two KCPD officers assaulting Breona Hill on video. The officers gave Reed an order to stop filming, but he continued to film. He was charged with a traffic violation and failure to obey an officer. A judge threw out the first charge, but he was convicted of the second. The two officers involved were charged with assault (and have recently had their charges bumped up to felony assault) and Reed had his second charge dropped after Mayor Lucas officially pardoned him last month.
This ordinance repeals the old language and replaces it with this: No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with a traffic direction given by voice, hand, or other signal by any police officer, parking control officer, firefighter or uniformed adult school crossing guard with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic. The term “traffic direction” shall not include any order or direction that prevents or impedes the witnessing or documenting (by video or otherwise) of the actions of such officer, firefighter or crossing guard unless such act of witnessing or documenting substantially physically impedes the officer, firefighter or crossing guard from official duties.
City Council – Business Session
During the weekly police report, a debate ensued after a presentation of the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC). One of the questions raised was regarding the objectiveness of OCC. The OCC is housed within the police department, so when citizens file complaints against officers, they are filing a grievance with the police. Once the OCC investigates the complaint, it goes to Chief Rick Smith if punishment is warranted. He then decides what punishment to give the officer. Merrell R. Bennekin insisted that investigators do their due diligence in investigating complaints and that every effort is made to investigate the facts. He also noted that five complaints against specific officers had been filed in connection to the protests at the Plaza in late-May/early June and his office had received thousands of complaints more generally related to the protests. There was generally a lot of confusion regarding how the process of filing a complaint works as well as what the investigative process looks like.
City Council – Legislative Session
Ordinance 200254 passes 11-2. This ordinance rezones an area of about 1.74 acres generally located at the northwest corner of Summit Street and West 30th Street from District R-6 to District R-1.5, and approving a development plan for the “30th and Summit Apartments” project. This project has been billed as an affordable housing project with 48 studio apartments at 350 ft2 each.
Ordinance 200597 is introduced but referred to the Special Committee for Legal Review. This resolution seeks to establish as an ongoing legislative priority state legislation and all legislative efforts necessary to afford the City of Kansas City the complete autonomy of governance of the Kansas City Police Department. The thinking behind this resolution is that the November vote for local control is largely symbolic. This ordinance puts teeth on the goal and ensures that council is actively working toward local control.
Ordinance 200598 is introduced but referred to the Special Committee for Legal Review. This ordinance seeks to prohibit the malicious publication of personally identifying information of public servants with the intent to intimidate, abuse, threaten, harass, or frighten a public servant, a public servant’s immediate family, or a public servant’s domestic partner—also known as ‘doxxing.’
Ordinance 200573 is assigned to the third read calendar.
Ordinance 200578 passes.
City council and committees are on break next week.
Monday, July 27
Kansas City Neighborhood Advisory Committee (KCNAC): 6:00pm
Tuesday, July 28
Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners: 2:00pm