Preserve what makes
Prairie Village Unique!
Welcome to PV United!
We are neighbors, old friends, and new acquaintances from all around town who came together last year to make our voices heard in city hall — with the simple goal of preserving what makes Prairie Village unique.
At the heart of the matter are moves made by the City Council and Planning Commission to drastically and unnecessarily change the zoning framework that has helped make our city one of the most desirable communities in the region.
If these changes are approved, developers and builders will be able to demolish existing homes and build multi-tenant structures with no consideration of the impact on existing neighborhoods. The rights of homeowners within a 200-foot radius to be heard and file protests would be eliminated.
We are a warm and welcoming city with a wide range of housing options, as evidenced by the fact that Prairie Village is already the most densely populated city of the first class (10,000 or more) in Johnson County — by far. The council’s desire to further increase density is just not practical in our small, landlocked, and fully developed community, particularly in our single-family, Tree City USA neighborhoods!
We invite you to join the thousands of other citizens who are speaking out about the future of Prairie Village. Read on for more information and how to get involved.
October 3, 2023: City Council Adds to Confusion Ahead of Election
Now, with an election looming on Nov. 7, the council is making a last-minute move to try to gloss over its previous unanimous vote with a new vote to distance itself from some of the more controversial elements of its plan to increase population density.
The move comes after thousands of Prairie Village residents rallied over the summer to submit citizen petitions to allow a direct up-or-down vote of the people on the rezoning changes. When the petitions exceeded the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot, the city sued its own citizens to block a vote on the petition issues.
During the public comment portion of Monday’s City Council meeting, one Prairie Village resident said, “Why, having spent over 75,000 taxpayer dollars [on attorneys] to block us from our right to vote, have you decided to make your motion tonight? You have purposely created division, chaos, and confusion with all your wordsmithing, disinformation, and name calling. This has been a senseless battle that you created. What an incredible waste of time and money.”
Unfortunately, contrary to a city government statement released about the Monday night vote, the council has the authority to revert at any time to its original unanimous position to significantly change rezoning rules.
Community group PV United’s goal remains unchanged: Preserve the quality and uniqueness of our single-family residential neighborhoods by maintaining the existing approach to zoning that provides the right to protest and a public hearing to facilitate neighbors’ input.
Concerned citizens are speaking out to limit:
• More crowding of already crowded schools
• Loss of green space
• Drainage issues
• Demand on an aging utility infrastructure
• More traffic / less parking
As a result of their actions on rezoning, City Council members Inga Selders, Bonnie Limbird, Piper Reimer, and Ian Graves have drawn challengers in the Nov. 7 election. The candidates running to protect the existing zoning framework in single-family neighborhoods are Edward Boersma (write-in candidate), Lori Sharp, Tyler Agniel, and Kelly Wyer. There is no incumbent against candidate Nicholas Reddell, who also is running to protect the existing zoning framework.
September 15, 2023: Court Again Changes Course, November Vote in Peril
After pressure from the city’s taxpayer-funded attorneys, the Johnson County District Court amended its Sept. 6 written opinion in the case filed by the city against its own citizens. As a result of the delays caused by the city’s lawsuit, it appears the people of Prairie Village will be denied the chance to vote on any of the citizen petitions in November, and PV United will now file an appeal as guaranteed by Kansas law.
On behalf of PV United, Prairie Village citizen Dan Schoepf said, “With a barrage of costly, taxpayer-funded lawsuits and legal maneuvers, the Prairie Village City Council appears to be succeeding in delaying a vote of the people on the citizen petition issues that mean so much to thousands in our community.
“While it’s often said you can’t fight city hall, at least they can’t deny our right to weigh in on City Council members’ actions in the November election. We remain deeply committed to preserving what makes our community unique and desirable, despite the city’s aggressive attempts to run out the clock and silence us.”
A City Council candidate forum will be held Thursday, October 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse.
September 8, 2023: City Council Doubles Down on Effort to Block Vote of the People
On September 7, Johnson County District Court Judge Rhonda Mason delivered a decision verbally from the bench in the city’s lawsuit to stop your citizen petitions. Later that day, the court released the judge’s written decision allowing a public vote on the petition to modernize the size of the City Council, while preventing a vote on the other two citizen petitions.
The city and the outside law firm it has hired to handle this case strenuously objected to the judge’s written ruling to grant a public vote on one of the petitions. So they worked late into the night to file several legal motions and memorandums to block your vote on technicalities.
In response, the judge convened another hearing with both sides and is now evaluating the arguments made in court and in court filings.
We remain PV United. All we’re asking for is for the city to allow the people of Prairie Village to vote!
August 16, 2023: City Council Denies the Will of the People
At a special City Council meeting, your elected council members refused to accept the will of thousands of Prairie Village residents. Instead, they chose to sue PV United and our attorney to stifle our voices and prevent the county-certified petitions from going to a vote.
Kansas statutes were followed, and citizens have the right to vote. The council’s unanimous vote to approve legal funds to “defend the city’s position” is a way to postpone an opportunity for the residents to vote in November. Justice delayed is justice denied!
“Unanimous” means that not one council member was willing to acknowledge the overwhelming citizen support in favor of taking these issues to a vote. They were elected to represent you, not their own political agendas. For over 15 months they have simply refused to listen.
One thing is certain, you will be able to vote for new council members on November 7. Get out to vote!!
In this display of unchecked authority, the Prairie Village City Council is using taxpayer funds to sue constituents who disagree with their actions and who used their legal right to collect signatures on petitions to stop the mayor and City Council from going forward. The mayor and the council are trying to prevent a democratic vote and remain in power. This is nothing short of the council stealing your due process rights, funded by you!
The council’s unanimous decision is not reasonable or right. We will continue to defend your right to have a free and fair election to determine the direction you, the citizens want!
August 17, 2023: PV United Speaks Out Against City Wasting Taxpayer Dollars on Lawsuit
“In attempting to deprive our vibrant community of a vote on these important issues, the City Council is diminishing the engagement of thousands of citizens who came together this summer to weigh in on our city’s future. Rather than simply let the people vote, the council has chosen to waste limited government funds on legal fees.
“The petitions substantially comply with the law, a case we will now make in court due to the city’s wasteful and unnecessary action.”
August 15, 2023: Important Petition Update
What an amazing turnout at the last council meeting! Thank you for your continued persistence.
On August 14, JOCO Election Commissioner Fred Sherman notified PV officials that signatures on all three petitions submitted by citizens this summer exceed the minimum number required for inclusion on the November ballot.
PV United spokesperson Dan Schoepf said, “The election office’s review confirmed there is a groundswell of support to preserve our community’s unique quality of life and maintain much-needed citizen input on rezoning decisions that impact our families’ neighborhoods. We sincerely hope the City Council will now respect the thousands of PV residents who have made this request to put these questions on the November 7 ballot for a citywide vote.”
The City Council has called a special council meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, 8/16 at 6 p.m. Please attend and plan to pack the house again!
August 1, 2023: Initiative Signing Numbers! Drum Roll, Please!
We have more than the required number of signatures on each of the three initiatives! 3,707 signed the Stop Rezoning petition. It would have been more, but we stopped taking signatures on July 30. We have 2,176 signatures on the Abandon the Strong Mayor / Adopt a Reduced Size Council petitions. It would have been more, but we stopped June 30. (They require different numbers of signatures.)
Timeline of Events
City Council Votes Unanimously
The City Council voted 11-0 in support of the Ad Hoc Committee’s housing recommendations that included drastic and unnecessary changes to the existing zoning framework. The Ad Hoc Committee, appointed by Mayor Eric Mikkelson, proposed changes that would increase population density by 1) allowing multiple units per lot, accessory dwelling units, and courtyard patterns on lots designated for single families and 2) eliminating the property and due process rights of existing homeowners.
Citizens began organizing to maintain homeowner property rights and the existing zoning framework by regularly attending City Council and Planning Commission meetings and providing extensive public input to City Council members.
Citizens Circulate Petitions
Citizens began circulating petitions to get several important issues on the November 2023 ballot for a vote of the people. These issues impact all city residents, and thousands came out to community events in the summer heat to sign on to the petitions!
County Validates Petition Signatures
The Johnson County election commissioner notified Prairie Village officials that signatures on all three petitions submitted by citizens exceed the minimum number required for inclusion on the November ballot.
City Council Holds Special Meeting
The City Council convened a special meeting to meet in executive session and authorize legal action against its citizens.
City Sues Citizens to Block Vote
The city announced it filed a lawsuit against its citizens to keep the petitions off the November ballot rather than allow a vote of the people.
Let the People Vote
PV United announced it will defend the three citizen petitions in court and stand strong for the people’s right to vote.
What’s at Stake
The Citizen Petitions the City Council Is Trying to Block from a Public Vote
Proposes a city ordinance to limit rezoning that would allow more than one family to reside on a lot in a single-family residential zoning district. Prairie Village is a landlocked, fully developed city that already has the highest population density of any city in Kansas with more than 10,000 residents.
Proposes a move away from the outdated mayor-council form of government, which is only used by one other city of the first class (10,000 or more) in Kansas and gives the mayor far-reaching, unilateral power.
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Prairie Village, KS. 66208
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