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News in Prairie Village

Sunday, July 8, 2018 12:00 PM

Neighborhood Design Public Open House - CITY HALL - July 9, July 11, July 17

The City of Prairie Village is in the process of considering updates to our zoning regulations, particularly as it relates to the design of single-family residential properties. A committee of local design professionals and city staff have been working together for several months to draft new regulations that would govern the design of single-family residential homes. This effort began at the direction of the City Council with the goal of protecting neighborhood character while balancing the changing demographics and needs of the Prairie Village community.

The proposed changes to the zoning regulations can be found at the link below. The changes include added requirements for greenspace, street trees, and the size of buildings and garages. These proposed changes are in addition to the changes that were adopted by the City Council in 2016, which decreased maximum building heights and increased side setback requirements.

The City will be holding open houses on July 9, July 11, July 17 to provide additional information and gather feedback from our residents. These open houses will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Prairie Village City Hall, located at 7700 Mission Road. Residents may come and go as needed.

Can’t make it to any of the open houses?

We still want your input! Please take a minute to complete our survey regarding the proposed changes at

The City values the opinions of our residents, and public input is certainly encouraged to help shape the future of our City. If you have any questions about the proposed guidelines or the public open houses, please contact Jamie Robichaud, Assistant City Administrator, at jrobichaud@pvkansas.comor (913) 385-4601.

View the proposed guidelines (PDF)
Take our survey

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:57 AM

Prairie Village advances UN-backed effort to combat bias against women, though some on council object - JAY SENTER - Shawnee Mission Post

Prairie Village’s city council will consider a series of steps to identify and eliminate potential discrimination against women after the governing body on Monday approved a measure directing city staff to draw up a resolution supporting the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 12:51 PM

Prairie Village council considers resolution aimed at combating gender bias, David Twiddy - Kansas City Star

Prairie Village is hoping to become the first city in Kansas — and the second city in the Kansas City metro area — to formally recognize an international treaty aimed at combating bias against women and girls.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 6-3 to ask city staff to draft a resolution supporting the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW. The council would vote to adopt the resolution at a future meeting.
“This resolution is to say it is time to equal power,” said Councilman Ron Nelson, who made the motion to draft the resolution. “It is time to do away with implicit bias; It is time to be aware of the bias and take our heads out of the holes and say we look for it, not just that we ignore it.”

The United Nations’ General Assembly adopted CEDAW in 1979, charging member countries with taking “appropriate steps” to end discrimination against women. The United States has yet to endorse the measure, but more than 40 U.S. cities and 20 state legislatures have passed resolutions supporting CEDAW. A handful of cities have also adopted ordinances that incorporate the treaty’s principles into municipal law.

Locally, only Kansas City has approved a resolution supporting CEDAW, passing the measure in December 2014. City officials have been developing a formal CEDAW ordinance over the last 3 1/2 years, Gail James, a retired University of Kansas professor and Midwest CEDAW advocate, told the council.
Under an ordinance, the city would need to complete a citywide analysis of gender discrimination, focusing on local governments’ hiring, pay, operations and budgeting. The city would be expected to fix any disparities found within the government and appoint a committee or task force to oversee that implementation.
“CEDAW starts that process of really looking at the kind of community you have, but you start with the government, the city operation that you control,” James said.
Some council members, while supporting the idea of CEDAW, said they were not yet ready to commit dollars to the initiative. James estimated the gender bias study alone would cost around $20,000.
Nelson stressed that his motion, and the resolution it created, would only support the principles of CEDAW but not include any specific actions or budget.
“My thought was that we would move forward on a step-by-step basis,” he said.
Councilwoman Serena Schermoly said she supported the measure and that gender bias is often subtle. For example, she said her daughter recently asked her about a “Men Working” sign on the street when the city clearly employs women on its public works crews.
“I think it’s important that it’s just those words that we’re saying to our daughters and our sisters that we are all equal, and I think we need to set that expectation,” Schermoly said.
Three council members voted against asking staff to develop the resolution: Andrew Wang, Dan Runion and Ted Odell.
Odell said he objected to dedicating staff time to an issue that was not on the council’s annual list of priorities, and Runion said he worried how the council would gather evidence of discrimination and attribute its cause.
Wang said there was no hard evidence that gender bias was a problem in Prairie Village and that “it’s the height of hypocrisy” for an affluent city like Prairie Village to focus on discrimination against women while not doing something similar to address potential discrimination based on race or disability.
“We would take one historically disadvantaged group and for no other reason than because it wouldn’t really hurt anyone say this is our priority,” Wang said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Councilman Terrence Gallagher, who was attending the meeting by phone, said he had trouble hearing the council’s debate and abstained from voting.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to issue up to $35 million in industrial revenue bonds for Dial Realty to help pay for the senior housing part of the Meadowbrook development off Nall Avenue.
The city is not obligated to pay back the bonds, which developers typically pursue through local governments to take advantage of sales tax benefits. In this case, Dial will use the sales tax savings created by the bonds to help pay for developing the Meadowbrook Park.
The council also voted 6-4 to hold a series of public forums to get input on a second phase of proposed neighborhood design standards. The meetings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 9, 11 and 17 at City Hall.
The council endorsed a preliminary set of guidelines earlier this month that would restrict how oversized a house could look and how much land it could consume, as well as add some rules for trees, driveways, garages and other elements of home construction.
The rules are designed to continue the city’s battle to better blend new large homes with existing mid-century neighborhoods.
Some council members voted against the schedule because they said it was too compact and may prevent some people from being able to attend. The city will also allow residents to provide input online. Officials said they hope to bring the results of the forums back to the council Aug. 6, put the revised rules before the Prairie Village Planning Commission in September and have the council vote on the changes in October.
David Twiddy:


Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:30 AM

KCUR - By STEVE KRASKE & LUKE X. MARTIN, Prairie Village Home Teardowns Rankle Residents.

Some residents say big, new homes on small, old lots are changing the nature of the Kansas suburb.

Home teardowns are not a new problem in Prairie Village, but the issue is receiving a lot of new attention. Today, we asked city leadership how they would strike a balance between property owners' ability to build what they want on their own land, and preserving the look and feel of what's long been known as a modest, affordable community.

Prairie Village Mayor Laura Wassmer
Councilwoman Serena Schermoly, District 2
Councilman Tucker Poling, District 3

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 10:17 AM

Prairie Village ready to get public feedback on new house design guidelines that would regulate aesthetics - SM Post - JAY SENTER

Monday, May 14, 2018 5:30 AM

In Prairie Village, teardowns bring 'monster homes' and calls for more restrictions - BY LYNN HORSLEY, Kansas City Star

Thursday, May 10, 2018 9:07 PM

Councilwoman Serena Schermoly filed to run for mayor of Prairie Village this morning, setting up a contested election to replace outgoing Mayor Laura

Councilwoman Serena Schermoly said she plans to file to run for mayor of Prairie Village this morning, setting up a contested election to replace outgoing Mayor Laura Wassmer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 9:05 AM

Reversing course, Prairie Village city council approves live-streaming of meetings

After months of debate, the Prairie Village city council on Monday approved a new initiative to live-stream and archive video of its meetings.

Resurrecting the practice of the city producing a broadcast of its meetings became a priority for Ward 2 councilwoman Serena Schermoly shortly after she joined the governing body last year. For the past several months, Schermoly has taken it upon herself to have friends and family stream the council’s proceedings via Facebook Live. The practice of producing a broadcast of the meetings had long precedent in the city. Between 1976 and 1997, Prairie Village produced a public access broadcast of its meetings.

Under the resolution approved by the council on Monday, the city will invest $3,500 in equipment and a one-year subscription to a live stream provider’s service to make city council committee of the whole, city council, and planning commission meetings available online.

The council had rejected a motion in May that would have allocated $8,000 to live-streaming.

On Monday, the council voted 8-2 in favor of the lower-cost option. Councilmembers Ted Odell and Brooke Morehead cast the dissenting votes. Morehead indicated she had heard from a number of residents “from the swimming pool, to stopping on the street” who had said they were thankful the city did not allow live-streaming of meetings. Morehead said her primary concern with the idea of broadcasting the recordings of meetings was that it might discourage residents from speaking to the council in open forum because they would be uncomfortable knowing their remarks would reach a large audience.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 9:19 AM

Prairie Village city councilmember personally takes on task of providing video of council meetings to the public

One Prairie Village councilmember has been live streaming city council meetings and making video available later for the public to watch.

Serena Schermoly said when she ran for office this year she made a promise to Ward 2 residents that she would keep them informed. Many of the residents were not familiar with the committee of the whole process, she said, where much of the discussion about an issue takes place.

For the first couple of meetings, Schermoly paid someone to to the video. Since then, she has bought a camera for nearly $500 and has been doing the recordings with family and friends pitching in to man it.

Schermoly would much prefer the city take over the responsibility for video, but she plans to keep doing it until that day comes. The technology is now inexpensive and it would allow city residents to watch government in action, she said. Mission provides video of its meeting, as does the Shawnee Mission School Board. Roeland Park provides audio the next day.

The livestream goes out on her Facebook page.

Paid for by Committee to Elect Serena Schermoly for Mayor, Treasurer Shelly Trewolla

5105 West 72nd Street
Prairie Village, KS  66208
(913) 777-9597
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