Defendants in She’s A Pistol murder also charged in Raytown robberies FROM THE KANSAS CITY STAR
Two of the four men charged in Johnson County with the Jan. 9 shooting death of a Shawnee gun store owner are also charged in connection with two Raytown robberies and an assault.Londro Patterson III, 20, was charged this week in Jackson County in a January robbery of the Whiskey Barrel liquor store on Raytown Road. One employee was shot in that robbery. READ MORE
|BY GREG WALTERS|
at Political Meetings
Discussions turned into arguments at two political meetings this past week. In both instances, the disagreements were over the proposed Charter voters will consider on Tuesday, April 7th.
WILDWOOD HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
The Wildwood Homeowners Association has held candidate forums on a regular basis for many years. So it was not a surprise when more than 30 people showed up to hear candidates for Mayor, Board of Aldermen and the Raytown School Board. Also in attendance to speak were Raytown Charter Commissioners Ted Bowman, Sandy Hartwell and Lisa Emerson.
The fuse for the fireworks was lit when the Secretary of the Homeowners Association, Witty Wittman, informed members from the Charter Commission they would not be allowed to speak because they were not on the agenda.
Upon hearing of Mrs. Wittman’s decision, one of the candidates for Aldermen, Chris Rathbone, offered to give his speaking time to the Charter Commissioners.
After some informal discussions between officers of the Homeowners Association, the President of the Association, Gabriel Rant, decided all guests would be allowed to speak.
Both Mayoral candidates then gave their speeches. As with all of the public events between Pat Ertz and Michael McDonough, the discussion was cordial and upbeat.
The same cannot be said about the confrontation between Ward 2 incumbent Jim Aziere and one of his challengers, Chris Rathbone.
Aziere touched on comments about his college education and the fact that he did not "go to Vietnam” instead of going to school to get a degree in teaching. His comments referred to a letter to the editor published in the Raytown Times in which Aziere stated he feared the Board of Aldermen could easily become dominated by politicians without college degrees.
Rathbone replied in a letter to the Times and the Raytown Report that “he does not have a college degree because he was fighting in Iraq.” Rathbone is an Iraqi war veteran.
Aziere also complained of his yard signs being sandwiched between opposing candidate yard signs, saying such conduct was unsportsmanlike and underhanded.
Amy Tittle and Thomas Estlund, both candidates for the Raytown School Board spoke on their vision for the Raytown School District.
Ted Bowman then spoke on behalf of the Raytown Charter Commission. He spoke of the merits of the Charter stressing that the document gave a stronger voice to the people. He told listeners that once enacted, the Charter can only be amended by a direct vote of Raytown citizens.
Finally, Mayor David Bower was asked by Witty Wittman to say a few words. Bower went into a lengthy 10 minutes speech in which he repeatedly voiced his opposition to the Charter. He told the audience that if the Charter passed Raytown City Government would be “turned on its head”.
RAYTOWN DEMOCRATIC ASSOCIATION
The Raytown Democratic Association (RDA) regularly holds candidate forums at its meetings. Candidates are allowed at the beginning of the monthly meetings to speak briefly about their campaigns. They are also invited to mix with club members before and after the meeting.
At last Thursday’s meeting two members of the Charter Commission, Jason Greene and Sandy Hartwell presented information to the audience of about 35 people on the merits of the Charter.
At the end of the presentation, one member of the Raytown Democratic Association (RDA), Paul Ertyl, made a motion to endorse the proposed Charter.
Another member of the RDA, Michael Downing, objected to the motion because he had “doubts” about the Charter. This brought a rejoinder from former Raytown Alderman Jerry Briggs (who served on the 2005 Charter Commission) who questioned Downing’s motives.
President of the RDA, Richard Tush stepped in to rule that a vote was not scheduled on the agenda, he did, however, allow discussion to continue.
The next public discussion of the proposed Raytown Charter is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th at Raytown City Hall. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The public will be able to direct its questions to Raytown Charter Commissioners in an open discussion.
The Raytown Report would like to thank the following candidates for sharing information with the public about their campaigns and plans for Raytown.
Pat Ertz, Tommy Estlund, Mike McDonough, Chris Rathbone, Ryan Myers, Mary Jane VanBuskirk, Eric Teeman and Greg Walters.
You have done the public a service by running for election in Raytown and for taking the time to expand on your ideas before them on the Raytown Report. Good luck to all of you!
Public Forums Highlight
Final Week of Campaigns
Two public forums highlight the final week of campaigning for candidates and the Raytown Charter issue this coming week. Both meetings will be held at Raytown City Hall.
RAYTOWN CHARTER COMMISSION FORUM
Tuesday, March 24th, 7:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 24th, the Raytown Charter Commission will host its last public forum before the April 7th Municipal Election. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. The format used by Commissioners at its last public forum in which a free flowing debate between Commissioners and the public was allowed will be in play at the meeting. The Charter Commission attorney will also be on hand to answer any specific questions about the proposed document as well.
CANDIDATE MEET AND GREET
Tuesday, March 31st, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 31st, the League of Women Voters will hold a candidate Meet and Greet for Mayoral and City Council candidates. The Mayoral candidate portion of the meeting will start at 6:30 and end at 7:15. Council candidates will be given five minutes each to address the public. After which the audience will be invited to meet with candidates individually.
|BY PAUL LIVIUS|
The Paul Livius Report
Raytown Board of Aldermen Meeting – March 17, 2015
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Steve Ricard to the Human Relations Commission.
The Board passed a resolution approving the appointment of Anthony Moore to the Human Relations Commission.
The Board passed a resolution the appointment of Rex Block to the Human Relations Commission.
The Board approved a resolution for the advertising in the City’s newsletter. Brenda Gustafson told the Board the City is considering sending out the newsletter four times a year. She told the Board she polled the cities of Gladstone, Raymore, Lee’s Summit, and Prairie Village for their guidelines for their own newsletters. She found most of the cities have similar guidelines to what we are proposing. The newsletter costs around $11,000.00 (68 cents per piece) for design, print, postage and mail services. By selling advertising, we have the opportunity to partner with the business community to help offset these costs to the City’s budget.
She said the City would not receive the monies. All revenue would go to the Raytown Community Betterment Fund (RCBF), held through Truman Heartland Community Foundation.This fund would be responsible for receiving payments for advertisement and for paying the bills that are generated by the publication of the newsletter.
The City’s Newsletter shall accept only commercial advertisements. Noncommercial advertisements for the purpose of expressing political or religious messages, or messages otherwise related to public issues will not be accepted. Advertisements which propose a commercial transaction but which have a primarily non-commercial purpose shall not be accepted.
Alderman Van Buskirk asked why religious advertising would not be allowed. He pointed out there are close to 60 churches in Raytown. They all have fundraiser at different times of the year, and this would be a good vehicle for advertising.Ms. Gustafson said they did not want to restrict religious messages. The staff would probably allow advertising of fundraisers. Mr. Van Buskirk pointed out it is part of the resolution. Mahesh Sharma said it was procedural guidelines.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of parts and supplies for police vehicles from Ed Roehr Safety Products in an amount not to exceed $21,810.00. The Board was told the Police Department has purchased four new Ford Police Interceptors in FY15. Since they have adopted a new vehicle platform the department will require new up fit equipment (exterior lighting) designed to fit the new vehicle dimensions. Ed Roehr will provide the lights and sirens for the vehicles.
The Board passed a resolution approving the purchase of safety equipment from Garon Marketing in an amount not to exceed $18,163.00. The Police Department has purchased four new Ford Police Interceptors in FY15. Garon Marketing will provide gun racks, window bars, partitions, etc. for the police vehicles.
The Board passed a resolution supporting the work of the Raytown Communities for all Ages Task Force and adopting the concepts, strategies and programs of the task force. John Benson said in 2014, the City appointed a Task Force to discuss and develop aspects that can make a community more livable for residents of all ages. The work of this Task Force was a part of the ongoing efforts to promote neighborhood revitalization. Additionally, the Task Force was one of four pilot community task forces in the Kansas City region that were discussing these same issues that are designed to help the communities and the region prepare to take advantage of the opportunities and challenges presented by the growing number of older and younger adults. As a result of the work of the Task Force and those in Gladstone, Prairie Village, Kansas; and Mission, Kansas, categories were identified. Each category has suggested policies and action steps that can help guide communities so that they can become more livable for all residents. The categories identified include:
• Public outdoor spaces and buildings;
• Housing and commercial development;
• Transportation and mobility;
• Social inclusion, and communication and participation;
• Civic participation and employment; and
• Community and health services.
The work from each of these task forces has been used to create a checklist that other communities can now use to assess their respective communities to determine what, if anything, they may want to address the increasing number of younger and older adults and to make their community more livable for their residents. A copy of the checklist is attached. The categories identified, as well as the recommended policies and action steps, will form the basis for further community discussion as part of the Briefings and Brainstorming Sessions that will be held over the next few months.
The Board passed an ordinance granting a conditional use permit to operate a vehicle rental business at 9400 and 9600 E. 53rd Place. Last meeting, Neal Clevenger, on behalf of Emanuel Barger told the Board they are seeking approval of a Conditional Use Permit application to allow a U-Haul rental business to operate at 9400 and 9600 E. 53rd Place. Mr. Barger would be the owner of the U-Haul business and would lease the property from Mr. Clevenger. The property contains two buildings with parking for the U-Haul vehicles as well as for parking of customer and employee vehicles. The applicant has submitted a site plan indicating the location of the buildings and the parking spaces in which the U-Haul vehicles would be parked.
The Board approved an ordinance granting an amendment to the architectural design standards specified in the Crescent Creek Design Manual. The Planning & Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of the following amendments. Driveways in the front yard are permitted only for lots that do not have alley access and shall be a maximum of twenty (20) feet wide. Garage Doors shall not face a street if alley access is available. Where a garage door faces a street the following standards shall apply:
1. Not more than twenty-two (22) feet of the garage, inclusive of the garage door, shall extend beyond the sidewall of the primary structure on the lot.
2. The front of the garage shall not extend in front of the front plane of the house.
The Crescent Creek subdivision was approved by the City of Raytown in 2004 as a Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) development. As a TND development, certain design standards were proposed by the developer and adopted by the City as part of the Planned Development Overlay Zoning District for the subdivision. The adopted standards include, but are not limited to such design aspects as:
• Emphasis on human scale architecture through such design aspects as porches or covered stoops in front each front door entry on every home and garages not be located in front of homes;
• The subdivision emphasizing pedestrian amenities and walkability through design aspects such as sidewalks along all streets; smaller lot sizes relative to the size of lots in conventional residential subdivisions; and homes being constructed closer to the front property line than conventional residential subdivisions; and
• A variety of residential housing types that includes single-family homes, paired houses (e.g. duplexes) and townhomes.
After beginning construction on single-family homes as well as one townhome building, the housing market softened and ultimately crashed. This caused the Crescent Creek subdivision to go into foreclosure. In late 2013 the bank sold Crescent Creek who in turned sold it to a new developer. Kirk Miles on behalf of the new developer, Crescent Creek Revitalization, LLC, is seeking approval of an amendment to the Architectural Design Standards in the Crescent Creek Design Manual that was approved as part of their rezoning application for this development. The amendment being sought relates to the width of driveways between the front of the house and the street and to the garage door restrictions on page 53 of the Design Manual. The regulations currently specify the following:
• “Driveways in the front yard are permitted only for lots that do not have alley access and shall be a maximum of ten (10) feet wide.”
• “Garage doors shall not face a street if alley access is available. Where a garage door faces a street, no more than nine (9) feet of a garage door shall extend no further than nine (9) feet beyond the plane of the sidewall of the primary structure on the lot.”
According to the applicant, this requirement presents several problems with regard to the entire development.
1. The current design results in severe parking problems. The parking problem has negatively affected property values and causes ill will between homeowners.
2. The current restrictions on driveways and garages have rendered the development unmarketable because the costs of concrete and other related materials for rear entry garages are excessive. Current real estate market conditions will not support the home values that were previously sold when the project first stated over 10 years ago.
3. Unless changes are made to the garage requirements, the total costs of constructing new houses will be outside the market and further delay for years the development of Crescent Creek.
4. The increase to twenty-two (22) feet allows for a two-car garage to be built, which will help alleviate the severe parking problem and improve ability to market homes in this development.
In addition to the problems the current driveway and garage door regulations create, staff has noted the following issues that relate to these design requirements.
5. Several corner lots do not have alley access for the garage and these corner lots are not of a size that will allow the garage to be tucked behind the house in any manner. Existing homes located on the corner of Arlington Avenue and 57th Street and at Arlington and 57th Terrace are both prime examples of this and have driveways and garages constructed that would comply with the proposed amendment.
6. This restriction on perimeter lots that do not have alley access necessitate the garages to be front loaded. As such the current standards require garages to be tucked behind the house as more than 9-feet of garage door are currently not permitted to extend beyond the plane of the sidewall of the house. In order to obtain access to the garage door for a two-car garage, the garage has to sit far back from the house resulting in a large portion of the back yard being taken up by concrete for the driveways and the garage itself. In addition, some of the driveways could be as long as 80-feet in length. Based upon the problems described above, the applicant is requesting that the existing regulation be replaced with the following language:
• Driveways in the front yard are permitted only for lots that do not have alley access and shall be a maximum of twenty (20) feet wide.
• Garage Doors shall not face a street if alley access is available. Where a garage door faces a street the following standards shall apply:
• Not more than twenty-two (22) feet of the garage, inclusive of the garage door, shall extend beyond the sidewall of the primary structure on the lot.
• The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the above requested amendment subject to the following additional language being added to the Garage Door amendment.
• The front of the garage shall not extend in front of the front plane of the house.
Mayor Bower closed the meeting by thanking Anthony Scardi for attending. The mayor said Anthony was working on a Boy Scout badge and wished him good luck on his trail to Eagle.
Easter is quickly approaching! But instead of putting the processed sugary stuff in our Easter baskets, we prefer to whip up these healthy Easter dessert recipes instead. They’re just a few of our favorites from around the web — plus one of our own in-house faves! READ MORE
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