The Battle in Prairie Village (cont.)

by Will Hoerl

Johnson County District Court Judge Rhonda Mason has ruled on the three petitions filed by citizens of Prairie Village  (FreeStateNews:  ‘Battle in Prairie Village’).  

Judge Mason issued an initial oral ruling on Wed. Sep 5th, but then modified that oral ruling with her subsequent written Memorandum Decision written ruling.

This created momentary confusion for both the citizen group and the City of Prairie Village.   

Judge Mason has since clarified her ruling  (Case No. 23940635 courtfile-167), which allows the citizen petition seeking to adopt a new form of city government to be put on the ballot, but denies both the rezoning petition and the petition seeking to abandon the city’s current form of government.

Judge Mason ruled that both of the ‘denied’ petitions did not meet legal requirements.  

The citizen petition to adopt a new form of city government asks that the number of Prairie Village City Council members be reduced from 12 council members, down to six, ending the terms of six current council members two years early. Going forward, Prairie Village would elect six new city council members in the upcoming November 7th election.  

Thursday morning (Sep 7th ) Judge Mason held a hearing via Zoom, where attorneys from both sides made arguments on the Memorandum Decision. Judge Mason will issue a detailed final decision within 7 days.  

If Judge Mason’s decision to allow the ”Adoption Petition” holds through the final decision, Prairie Village will have to put this measure on the ballot.

The Johnson County Election office’s administrative deadline to get a petition on the Johnson County November 7th ballot was September 1st; however, the Johnson County Election Office has granted a 1-week extension to allow this issue to be resolved in court.  

Opponents say that the petition to adopt a new form of city government does nothing to address the underlying issues raging in Prairie Village, and that it damages Prairie Village by reducing representation.  

Supporters say this petition is a ‘good start’ to getting those issues addressed by a new city council that is more responsive to the wishes and needs of Prairie Village than the current city council.

Regardless of the eventual outcome of this citizen petition,  both sides seem to agree that the intense emotion these issues have raised, will live on in Prairie Village for the foreseeable future.

The debate on ‘zoning’ and ‘density’ in Prairie Village, is not yet finished.

One comment

  1. Increasing population & housing density will only serve to permanently change the character, the very living experience Prairie Village has maintained since inception. Conceived as a bedroom community that offered tranquil living conditions with just the right amount of amenities (e.g. shopping, parks) just a stone’s throw from urban KC, PV will be transformed into a bustling mass of people, buildings, bikers & walkers, EV charging stations, taller buildings, more crosswalks & traffic lights & so on. Those who wanted to live in PV for how it feels now will realize they’ve been had, but it will be too late!

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