Light agenda for new mayor’s first meeting

A goat situation was resolved in a relatively quiet first meeting for Mayor David Alvey and the Unified Government Commission Thursday night.

All UG commissioners attended the meeting, including new Commissioner Tom Burroughs.

In a compromise move, the UG Commission approved some goats to remain on a two-acre lot in the 3500 block of North 47th Street. The Planning Commission had recommended denial of the special use permit for 12 goats on the property.

Commissioner Melissa Bynum proposed that up to six of the goats could remain on the property, with the exact number to be based on a conservation office evaluation of the amount of land needed for goats. Commissioner Gayle Townsend was in favor of the conservation office determining the number.

The applicant for the special use permit told the commission that while it had taken longer than they planned to send some of the numerous farm animals on the property away, they had now complied with the regulations. The family leasing the property told the commission they were unaware of the rules concerning animals when they first moved in, and the farm animals were for their children. The family had to tear down some structures they had built, including a playhouse, which did not have a permit.

In another planning and zoning issue discussed at the meeting, KVC hospital received permission to have 12 adult patient beds currently, and would end in 2019 when another facility is constructed. The space was being leased by the University of Kansas Health System. A representative of KVC said they were asked by the state of Kansas if they could add the adult beds, because there was a need for them. The facility is on Brenner Road, near 59th and the Missouri River.

The amendment allowing adult beds was originally opposed by about 10 neighbors at an earlier planning commission meeting, but one neighbor who appeared tonight said he did not oppose it now that he had had an extensive discussion with the facility’s staff.

Another neighbor pointed out that the area was supposed to be residential and rural, but facilities that were more commercial and industrial, such as the KVC facility and the BPU plant, had been placed there.

UG Director Rob Richardson went over the history of the facility. The adult beds were added in the past few years without a special permit for them. The facility’s permit was for juvenile beds. Some of the neighbors appearing at the earlier meeting had talked about an adult patient who had left the facility without permission, broke into a home nearby and stole items.

Facility representatives said they had corrected the security at the institution, and Richardson said planning staff toured it, and saw double locked doors now in place. The staff was satisfied with the security.

Commissioner Jane Philbrook said she had toured the facility with a community group and saw there was tight security there now.

According to the agenda, children were on one floor of the facility, while adults were housed on another floor, with security in place between them.

After a neighbor suggested that the UG’s amendment include a provision that only “nonviolent” patients be allowed to be housed there, that phrase was added to the special use permit, proposed by Commissioner Philbrook.

Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia remarked that she was alarmed to hear that adults had left the facility without permission, especially those who might hurt themselves. She said her first priority would be to protect the community, the neighbors who actually live in Wyandotte County.

The representative of KVC said they learned quickly and rectified security problems.

The KVC amendment to the special use permit was approved 9-1, with Commissioner Burroughs voting no.

The UG Commission also approved memoranda of understanding with the plumbers’ and laborers’ unions, with Commissioner Mike Kane recusing himself from the vote on the laborers’ agreement.

The commission also set a date of Feb. 8 for a public hearing on the Neighborhood Revitalization Area and the 2018-2020 Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

A late addition to the agenda was the approval of a plat for the new Gloria Willis Middle School, at North 64th Terrace and Sears Drive, which is near the current Coronado Middle School.

A number of other items were approved as originally proposed on consent agendas.

For more detail, visit the agenda online at www.wycokck.org or view the UG meeting on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrJddBiQ-c8.

Before the 7 p.m. meeting, a new recruit class of four persons graduated and will join the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office. The students included Shatisha Flowers, Marcus Johnson, Michael Lopez and Christopher Tompson. The valedictorian was Marcus Johnson.

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