© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Prairie Village candidates opposed to zoning changes win majority of city council races

A black yard sign with a red stop sign in the center reads, "Stop PV Rezoning." In the background is a curved road and a neat row of houses.
Josh Merchant
The Beacon
Signs in support of PV United line some streets in Prairie Village. The group formed in response to City Council recommendations to explore zoning changes in single-family neighborhoods

Candidates supported by “PV United,” which has fought against proposed zoning changes that would allow for more affordable and multi-family housing options in Prairie Village, won four of six races on Tuesday night.

In some of Johnson County’s most-watched general election races this year, Prairie Village candidates backed by a housing opposition group won four city council seats.

A fifth housing opposition-backed candidate remains in close contest and will need to wait until provisional and mail-in ballots are counted.

This year, the Prairie Village City Council election was in the spotlight as the 11 candidates vying for six seats were split on the hotly contested housing discussion — which has divided the city for more than a year.

More than half of the candidates were supported by Stop Rezoning Prairie Village, the group of residents who banded together last year in opposition to the city’s ad hoc housing recommendations.

The group, also known as PV United, backed nearly every single non-incumbent running for office and called on residents to vote out the current city council and circulated a petition that sought to create a six-person city council, effectively ousting half of the city council mid-term.

Read more about the Prairie Village housing issue and Stop Rezoning PV — and the PV United petitions here.

Here’s who won in each of Prairie Village’s six wards on Nov. 7.

Ward 1

Terry O’Toole ran unopposed and won the Ward 1 seat being vacated by Councilmember Chad Herring. He took home 90% of the votes.

O’Toole, who was supported by Stop Rezoning PV, said he knew his result going into Election Day, but he’s glad Prairie Villagers got out to vote.

O’Toole said his top priorities as a councilmember is to work to bring the city back together.

“The last year hasn’t been enjoyable for anybody,” O’Toole said. “I wouldn’t have run if I didn’t think there was a middle ground that we could all come together on, and I’m excited to be part of that as a solution.”

Ward 2

Incumbent Inga Selders defeated write-in challenger Ed Boersma, who was supported by the Stop group, for the Ward 2 seat. Selders won 56% of the vote.

Selders nor Boersma immediately responded to the Post’s request for comment for this story.

Ward 3

Incumbent Bonnie Limbird fell to challenger Lori Sharp, whose husband, Rex Sharp, wrote the petitions the Stop group tried to get on the Nov. 7 ballot. Sharp won with nearly 58% of the vote.

Sharp told the Post via text message that “tonight is a victory for the Prairie Village residents.” Sharp said the 3,700 residents who signed the petitions “sent a message tonight.”

“I started this journey to represent Prairie Village citizens and listen to your needs,” Sharp wrote. “Not to a party platform, not to outside interests, but the current residents of Prairie Village. That is what I will do. You will have an advocate in me. “

Limbird told the Post that she’s proud of the campaign her team ran despite the outcome. Limbird said Ward 3 voter turnout increased with the 2023 election “like we haven’t seen in probably decades,” and she hopes residents will stay engaged — as she plans to.

She also said she hopes the new city council will continue to have conversations about housing.

“It may not be the same conversation we were going to have, but hopefully they will recognize that it’s still what we need to be doing,” Limbird said.

Ward 4

Tyler Agniel, the Ward 4 candidate backed by Stop Rezoning PV, won his race against incumbent Piper Reimer. Agniel won with 59% of the vote.

Neither Agniel nor Reimer immediately responded to the Post’s requests for comment for this story.

Ward 5

Ciara Chaney faced Nick Reddell for the Ward 5 seat being vacated by Councilmember Courtney McFadden. Reddell defeated Chaney by winning 60% of the vote.

Reddell said he is honored to be the newly elected Ward 5 councilmember. He thanked current Councilmember Courtney McFadden for her time in office, as well as his opponent Chaney for running a clean race.

“I think when I get in there, I think the only priority really is to just be a steward of the people that live around me that are in my ward,” Reddell said of his priorities as a councilmember.

Chaney did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment for this story.

Ward 6

Incumbent Ian Graves faced PV United-backed challenger Kelly Wyer for the Ward 6 seat.

The race is too close to call, though Graves leads with 50.5% of the vote compared to Wyer’s 49% of the vote.

Graves said he ran with “everything on the table” as far as addressing attainable housing goes. He said he trusts the Johnson County Election Office to get the official final vote count right, “and whatever happens, happens.”

“Either way, I’m leaning into working on the issues of attainable housing in Prairie Village and Johnson County and that’s not changing,” Graves said.

Wyer did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment for this story.

This story was originally published by the Shawnee Mission Post.

Juliana Garcia is a reporter with the Shawnee Mission Post.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.