Community mourns slain deputy

A visitation for Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Theresa King was held Wednesday night at the Jack Reardon Convention Center. The area was crowded with people who paid their respects to the deputy, who lost her life in the line of duty on Friday.

Streets were blocked off and parking lots were full for the visitation for Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Theresa King near the Jack Reardon Convention Center at 5th and Minnesota Avenue tonight.

Deputy King was slain last Friday in a shooting near the Wyandotte County Courthouse. Also killed during the inmate transfer was Deputy Patrick Rohrer.

A large American flag hung from the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department apparatus at the visitation’s entrance.

Available for counseling services, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was present at the visitation tonight. Team members drove from Dallas, Texas, to be at the funeral.

There will be no visitation for Deputy Rohrer.

A combined funeral service for both deputies will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday at Children’s Mercy Park, the home of Sporting KC, at I-70 and I-435 in Kansas City, Kansas. Gates will open at 8 a.m. The funeral service is open to the public.

Some of the Unified Government offices will be closed or short-staffed from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 21, so that employees may attend the funeral, according to an announcement from the UG. For more details, see http://wyandottedaily.com/ug-staff-members-to-attend-funeral-service-thursday/.

For more information about the services or how to donate to a memorial fund, see http://wyandottedaily.com/community-prepares-for-funeral-service-for-two-deputies/.

The funeral will be held Thursday for Deputy Patrick Rohrer, left, and Deputy Theresa King, who were killed in the line of duty on Friday.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team drove to Kansas City, Kansas, from Dallas, Texas, to provide support for those who are mourning.
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UG staff members to attend funeral service Thursday

Unified Government and state offices will close temporarily or have limited staff on duty Thursday morning.

Unified Government offices will be open on Thursday, June 21, but some of the city and county offices within the agency will be either closed or short staffed during the hours of 8 a.m. to noon to allow employees to attend the funeral services of Wyandotte County Sheriff Deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King.

All UG offices will return to normal operations and fully staffed by noon, according to the UG’s announcement. UG officials apologized for any inconvenience this may cause during this time and thank the public for their patience as they remember and pay tribute to their fallen heroes.

UG departments

• Kansas City, Kansas Municipal Court has postponed court hearings between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The court will resume court dockets as scheduled at 1 p.m. Payments due on Thursday will remain due as scheduled. To inquire about the status of any Kansas City, Kansas, Municipal Court case visit www.municourt.net. Residents may also access the pay online function at this site.

• Human Resources Will be closed Thursday, from 8 a.m. to noon. Those who would like to submit an employment application may go to teh office between noon and 5 p.m. June 21. Online applications are available on our website at www.wycokck.org and can be emailed to jobs@wycokck.org.

• 3-1-1 Operations Center will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon. Visit the UG website or the WyCo Mobile app to submit requests during this time. The requests will be processed by staff after noon.

• Emergency management Will be closed until noon. Emergency management staff can be reached by cell phones or radio or through the main number at 913-573-6300.

State agencies
• District Attorney’s Office will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon.
• District Court will be open, but will be short staffed from 8 a.m. to noon.

There may be other departments and government agencies that will be closed or short-staffed until noon that are not listed, according to a UG spokesman.

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Residents turn out to ask about zoning code rewrite

UG Planning Director Rob Richardson, right, answered questions today about a zoning code rewrite. (Staff photo)

Gravel driveways, AirBNBs and tiny homes were just a few of the topics that came up at the first Kansas City, Kansas, zoning code rewrite meeting today.

A lot of community interest was shown in the zoning code rewrite, with a packed meeting room today at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Village at 6723 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. About 115 people attended the meeting.

Some residents had wide policy comments, while others who attended were concerned about how a zoning code rewrite would affect their own property.

A second public meeting on the zoning code rewrite is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. today, June 20, at Memorial Hall, second floor, 600 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

Besides sharing their opinions at this meeting, residents may go online to a website to make comments about what they want to see in the zoning code at surveymonkey.com/r/kckzoningrewrite.

The survey has questions on AirBNB, Hosted Homestays, Vacation Home Rentals, development priorities, little free libraries, bars with live entertainment, how many sheds should be allowed, where horses and goats might be allowed, and how walkable should a neighborhood be.

“How did dollar stores pop up next to residential areas without us knowing?” one resident asked at today’s public meeting.

Also, another resident, Elnora Jefferson, wanted to know how the state could try to put a parole or probation office within a few feet of a child care center, without having to go through a UG zoning process. She wanted to know if something could be put into the new zoning rewrite that would address the issue. Officials told her that the state did not have to go through the zoning process as long as a building was already zoned commercial. A public outcry forced a change in that plan to locate offenders near a child care center a couple of years ago.

Another resident wanted to know about zoning changes in historic neighborhoods such as Strawberry Hill. Still another asked about areas that were zoned for one use, but had a lower use. A resident wanted to know about zoning at a mobile home park near South 59th.

One man talked about how he wasn’t allowed to build a structure on his property because utility lines went through the middle of the property. Another man said a church had a plan to build tiny homes, but the project could not get approval.

Would nonconforming uses in effect now be grandfathered, one resident asked. One of the goals of the rewrite is to limit nonconforming uses, and the final plan will depend on public comments and officials’ approval.

Rob Richardson, Unified Government planning director, told the audience that the current code was written in the early to mid-1970s. He said multiple meetings will be held for public response on the zoning code rewrite before a Planning Commission meeting will hear a proposed rewrite, perhaps nine to 10 months from now.

The zoning code focuses on “what you will be allowed to do on your land,” he said. Will you be able to subdivide it? How much maximum area is allowed for a shed? These are the sorts of questions the zoning code will answer, according to Richardson. Public comments are being used to develop the new code, he said.

A steering committee is being appointed that will consider any differences that are brought up in public comments, according to Richardson.

Mark White, a planner and attorney at White and Smith, LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, is working with the UG on the zoning code rewrite.

There are goals that have been set for the plan, according to White. Also, the community will decide whether to have strict mandatory requirements for zoning, or whether to be more flexible.

He said plans will be rolled out in modules, with a goal of getting the zoning code rewrite to the Planning Commission by winter of 2019. A draft of the zoning code rewrite is scheduled for late summer 2018, followed by a revised draft in fall of 2018. After approval by the Planning Commission, it would go to the UG Commission for final adoption.

More than 100 persons attended a zoning code rewrite meeting today. Another meeting will be held tonight. (Staff photo)
Mark White, a planner working with the zoning code rewrite, answered questions today on the process. (Staff photo)
Public comments and questions were written at the zoning code meeting today. (Staff photo)
Several persons asked questions during the zoning code rewrite meeting today. (Staff photo)
The zoning code rewrite should be user-friendly , avoid nonconformities and have several other qualities, according to officials.
Zoning officials said there were currently 36 total districts here. There are areas in Piper where the residents are under slightly different zoning codes, going back to days when it was unincorporated, according to officials. One of the goals is for uniform zoning codes across the city.
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