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Prairie Village city council races revolve around re-zoning and affordable housing

More than 30 Prairie Village residents told the city council they oppose ad hoc housing recommendations, which aim to diversify the city’s housing stock.
Juliana Garcia
Shawnee Mission Post
Voters will head to the polls to decide who will make up Prairie Village's city council on November 7th.

The big question right now in Prairie Village, Kansas, is whether to adjust zoning laws in order to address the city's affordable housing problem. As that debate rages on in the Johnson County suburb, city council candidates on both sides of the issue have made it central to their platforms.

As Election Day approaches in Prairie Village, city council candidates are centering their campaigns on the biggest hot-button issue in the Johnson County suburb these days: re-zoning.

The goal for some of the candidates is to shift zoning laws in some parts of the city to address its affordable housing problem. A group of candidates that refer to themselves as PV United have pushed back against those moves.

Incumbent Prairie Village Ward 3 Council member Bonnie Limbird, who is working to get these measures passed, says she believes this has larger implications beyond just Prairie Village.

"I definitely think all the other municipalities around us are watching what's happening in Prairie Village," said Limbird. "They're having the same issues that we are. They are also landlocked, and looking for ways that they can do the same thing that we're trying to do, because this isn't just a Johnson County issue, this is a much larger issue that we're just trying to do our part."

KCUR reached out to both Lori Sharp and Kelly Wyer — who are running against Limbird and Council member Ian Graves, respectively — to participate in debates against their opponents on Up To Date. Both of those candidates declined our offer.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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