Kansas City Council | KCUR

Kansas City Council

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Is housing really as affordable for Kansas Citians as we say it is?

A new study finds housing in Kansas City isn't as affordable for low-income residents as we would like. We discuss the study, the recommendations for improvement presented to the city council and what is to come.

Segment 2, beginning at 11:55: Goat Yoga. Need we say more?

A man wearing glasses and a plaid shirt smiles while seated behind a microphone for a radio interview.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1:  Why public money is needed to get a proposed underwater attraction off the ground.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, has long prided itself as an affordable place to live. But a new study commissioned by the city paints a different picture.

The study, commissioned a year ago by the city council, shows that affordable housing options exist for people of high or moderate incomes. But for people who make less than $30,000 a year, options are scarce. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The chairman of the Kansas City Zoo Board says a $75 million proposed aquarium project might be dead if the city can't come up with $7 million.

“I’m concerned that it does not happen without that investment, without that partnership,” Todd LaSala said Thursday after appearing before City Council's Finance and Governance Committee.

The zoo has $22 million in private pledges to help pay for the 65,000 square foot aquarium. In addition, money will be used from the Zoo District's sales tax.

www.elchatarrero.com

Segment 1: Proposed ordinance looks to reduce theft associated with scrap metal recycling.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A proposal aimed at reducing panhandling on city streets has hit a nerve in Kansas City, Missouri, so city officials are taking a step back and plan to rework it. 

On Thursday, more than 70 people packed a room at City Hall to testify both in support and against the measure. Proponents argue panhandling has gotten out of control in their neighborhoods, while opponents say the measure would punish homeless people.  

Man in dirty jeans, a t-shirt and ball cap walking along a concrete median holding a cardboard sign out to cars along the road.
Hanlly Sam / The Accent / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: A proposed ordinance would limit the amount of time pedestrians could spend in crosswalks and traffic islands.

File photo / KCUR 89.3

A proposed pedestrian safety ordinance would have implications for individuals panhandling at Kansas City intersections. 

Councilperson Teresa Loar introduced the measure Thursday. It outlines new rules to increase pedestrian safety at intersections and crosswalks, reducing the amount of time permitted to cross, and limiting the roadside space permitted for walking.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

It's rare that one industry can confound police, firefighters and neighborhood groups. But businesses in Kansas City that recycle scrap metal did just that Wednesday at a packed city council committee hearing.

“The single largest cause of blight in the urban core of Kansas City is the recycling centers,” lawyer Gregg Lombardi told the Neighborhood and Public Safety Committee.

Big Stock

A measure that would allow alcohol to be delivered to your door was well received by a city council committee Wednesday.

The proposal would allow a person to order and pay for alcohol through an online app. Licensed liquor retailers that partner with the app would process the transaction, fill the order and deliver the booze to the front door.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced Friday he will temporarily table his plans to fund pre-K education with a 3/8-cent sales tax, a quick reversal of his impassioned push to get the issue on the November ballot.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Performance space, more check-in areas and restroom doors that swing out — those are some of the concepts incorporated into the latest design renderings for the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

Caroline Kull

A sweeping proposal to revive the eastern side of Kansas City, Missouri, received support and skepticism from neighbors Wednesday at a public hearing.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Mayor Sly James is ready to fight for a 3/8-cent sales tax to improve access to quality preschool in Kansas City.

“Only 35 percent of the kids in this city are engaged in quality pre-K. We have 40 percent of zip codes in deserts where there is no quality pre-K,” James said Monday on KCUR’s Up To Date.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Tenants suffering domestic violence will be able to break their rental agreements without penalty.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

There's a proposed rental inspection program on Tuesday's primary ballot in Kansas City, Missouri, something supporters say would hold landlords accountable but that opponents warn could have negative consequences down the line.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Armour Boulevard in midtown Kansas City went from four lanes to two lanes Friday as the city opened its first parking-protected bike lane from Broadway Boulevard to The Paseo.

City officials said they hope the $700,000 project will result in safer roads for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists by slowing traffic.

“It’s certainly a much safer and easier way of getting around,” Kansas City Councilman Dan Fowler said. “And it’s a signal to the world that Kansas City is a multimodal transportation city.”

3D Development

A $95 million redevelopment plan for the former Kansas City Star property that includes renovating the historic structure and building a boutique grocery store and marketplace above a 500-space underground garage has cleared its first hurdles at City Hall.

The full Kansas City Council on Thursday approved an ambitious plan from developer Vincent Bryant, who told a council committee Wednesday morning that he wanted to make the former Star campus the economic center of the Crossroads area.

Rebecca Hange / KCUR 89.3

Domestic violence victims often have a hard time moving to safety because landlords won’t let them out of their leases.

That could soon change in Kansas City.

City Councilwoman Jolie Justus says abusers often live with domestic violence victims or know their address.

Moving might be the only way for victims to stay safe, but some landlords are reluctant to break a lease, Justus says.

So she’s proposed an ordinance to change that.

Barbara Shelly / KCUR 89.3

Lora McDonald says she had to live with mold in her Kansas City, Missouri, apartment for six months before her landlord took any action.

“It is a long time to live with mold outside my son’s bedroom,” McDonald says.

McDonald, executive director of More2 and an advocate for equitable housing, says she took her concerns all the way to the director of the Kansas City health department, who told her that aside from testing for mold and advising the landlord to fix it, there was nothing the city could do.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Council is considering a measure to increase transparency in city government.

The measure, introduced by councilman Scott Taylor, would limit lobbyist gifts and meals to city councilmembers to $5, require city officials to wait two years after leaving office before lobbying or doing business in front of the city and limit taxpayer-funded travel for members of the city council.

JASON ROSENBAUM/ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO FILE

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander will join the already-crowded field of candidates vying to replace outgoing Kansas City Mayor Sly James in 2019. 

Last week, a Kander spokesperson told KCUR that Kander was "deciding how he can best serve." On Monday, Kander's camp confirmed the one-time U.S. Senate candidate will run for mayor.

Lucas for KC

Third District Councilman Quinton Lucas is entering the crowded race to be Kansas City, Missouri’s, next mayor.

Lucas is the sixth current city council member to announce a mayoral bid, and the ninth person to enter the race.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

The developer of the One Light and Two Light luxury high rises in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, will get tax breaks to build a third luxury apartment tower, Three Light, at 14th and Main streets.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council in an 8 to 4 vote authorized a 100 percent tax abatement for 23 years to Cordish. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Updated 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21.

The estimated cost of the new, single-terminal KCI Airport is $300 million more than previously thought, officials said Thursday.

In addition to four more gates, the terminal building itself will be bigger, causing the cost to rise to between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion.

Aviation director Pat Klein assured the city council during an update that the airlines who use the airport —and who will ultimately be on the hook for the cost — support the increase.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3 file photo

A plan to build a strip mall on a vacant lot in Kansas City's Historic Northeast neighborhood is drawing the ire of some community groups. 

The lot, at the corner of Independence and Prospect avenues, is on the site where a fire destroyed a building in 2015. Two Kansas City firefighters died when the building collapsed.

MAC Properties

A “transformational” plan that would add hundreds of apartments and new businesses to the rundown intersection of Troost and Armour was unanimously endorsed Tuesday by the Kansas City Plan Commission.

Chicago-based MAC Properties, which has developed more than 1,500 apartments along Armour Boulevard over the last decade, wants to invest $78 million in its biggest project to date. It would add 450 apartments and 27,000 square feet of retail to the area.

It received a warm welcome from the Plan Commission.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Developers who ask for tax incentives in Kansas City can claim an apartment that rents for $1,600 a month is affordable — and eligible for incentives.

An ordinance passed by the Kansas City Council on Thursday changes that.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Acting to exert greater control over the financially strapped American Jazz Museum, the Kansas City Council's Finance and Audit Committee Wednesday approved two ordinances that would halt any new city money going to the museum, remove Third District councilpeople from the board and, eventually, clear the way for Mayor Sly James to name a new board of directors.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

A committee has narrowed the list of what might be renamed in Kansas City to honor Martin Luther King Jr. 

The advisory committee, named by Mayor Sly James, said it will vote on its recommendation Sunday.

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