Council Postpones Vote, Will Hold Second Public Hearing On Westside Apartments | KCUR

Council Postpones Vote, Will Hold Second Public Hearing On Westside Apartments

Jun 17, 2016

Credit Rendering courtesy of EPC Real Estate

Concerned neighbors, many of them senior citizens, showed up at Kansas City City Hall last week to object to a proposed apartment project at 17th and Madison on the city's Westside. But few had a chance to testify.

According to former city councilman Robert Hernandez and other community leaders, many were retired and low-income persons who worried that the upscale apartments would drive up their property taxes and force them out of their homes.

But most had to leave before the hearing on the apartments began because an earlier hearing on proposed enhancements to the 18th and Vine Jazz District lasted for several hours, pushing the start time back until after 6 p.m.

The committee endorsed the apartment plan and advanced it for a vote this week. But those who had to leave the hearing will have the opportunity to be heard.

On Thursday, the committee asked that a full council vote be postponed so a second public hearing could be held on the proposal.

Councilman Scott Taylor said there had been a substantial number of calls to council members from persons who for various reasons had to leave City Hall before the June 8 hearing started.

Taylor acknowledged that many who called were senior citizens, and said he understood that it is often difficult for seniors to stay out late and that they often depend on others for transportation.

Council members were also contacted by neighbors who support the apartment plan but did not have the opportunity to testify, Taylor said.

The second public hearing is scheduled to start promptly at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, June  22 at City Hall.

Steve Bell is afternoon newscaster and business news reporter for KCUR.  He may be reached at 816-235-5173 or by e-mail as steveb@kcur.org