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CITY OF SHAWNEE
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MINUTES
October 26, 2015
7:30 P.M.

Michelle Distler - Mayor

Councilmembers Present Staff Present
Councilmember PflummCity Manager Gonzales
Councilmember NeighborAssistant City Manager Killen
Councilmember JenkinsCity Clerk Powell
Councilmember KemmlingFinance Director Rogers
Councilmember MeyerDevelopment Services Dir. Wesselschmidt
Councilmember SandiferPlanning Director Chaffee
Councilmember Kenig Information Technology Director Bunting
Parks and Recreation Director Holman
Councilmembers AbsentFire Chief Mattox
Councilmember VaughtDeputy Police Chief Orbin
Deputy Public Works Director Sherfy
Assistant Public Works Director Gard
Communications Manager Ferguson
Management Analyst Schmitz
Community Service Officer Hunter
(Council Committee Meeting Called to Order at 7:30 p.m.)

A. ROLL CALL

MAYOR DISTLER: Good evening. Welcome to tonight’s meeting of the Shawnee City Council. I would ask that you please silence your electronic devices at this time. I am Mayor Michelle Distler and I will be chairing this meeting. I will do a roll call vote at this time. Councilmember Neighbor?

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Pflumm?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Jenkins?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Kemmling?

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Vaught is absent. Councilmember Meyer?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Sandifer?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Councilmember Kenig?

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Present.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you.

B. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE

MAYOR DISTLER: Would the Girl Scouts please join us in front to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of silence?

(Girl Scout Troop 97 from Overland Park led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence.)

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Before we begin our agenda, I'd like to explain our procedures for public input. During the meeting I will offer the opportunity for public input. If you would like to speak to the Council at any of those times, please come forward to the microphone. I will ask you to state your name and address for the record, then you may offer your comments. So that members of the audience can hear your comments, I would ask that you speak directly into the microphone. By policy, comments are limited to five minutes and no person may speak more than twice to any one agenda item. After you are finished, please sign the form to the right of the podium to ensure we have an accurate record of your name and address.

During the meeting, I will call for motions after I ask for public comments on each item. I would also like to remind the Council to please turn on your microphone when you would like to speak, and to be sure to speak directly into the microphone, so we can get a clear and accurate record for the minutes.

In addition, while we won’t do a roll call vote on every vote, I will state Councilmembers’ names who vote in minority so that our listening audience will have a clear and accurate record of the vote.

C. CONSENT AGENDA

1. APPROVE MINUTES FROM THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING OF OCTOBER 12, 2015.
2. APPROVE MINUTES FROM THE COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING OF OCTOBER 6, 2015.
3. REVIEW MINUTES FROM THE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF OCTOBER 5, 2015.
4. CONSIDER FUNDING AGREEMENT WITH KDOT FOR THE NIEMAN ROAD REALLOCATION OF RIGHT OF WAY PRELIMINARY DESIGN PROJECT, P.N. 3411.

MAYOR DISTLER: The next item on the Agenda is the Consent Agenda. Does the Council have any items they would like to remove? Seeing none, I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Move for approval.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed Nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

D. MAYOR’S ITEMS

1. GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD PRESENTATION

MAYOR DISTLER: The next item is D. Mayor’s Items. I first wanted to let the Council know that we are allowed to designate one voting delegate for the National League of Cities Legislative program, and Councilmember Meyer has agreed to serve in that role. Thank you.

And then next, I would like to make a special presentation, so I’m going to come down in front. If Lindsey McDonald would like to join me at the front, please. So we kind of tricked Lindsey a little bit. She thinks she’s here for a different reason then what’s she’s really here, so I’m so excited right now. Tonight, it’s my pleasure to welcome some of our residents from the Grey Oaks Neighborhood to our meeting. One of my goals when I became Mayor was to make sure that we take the time to highlight some of the wonderful people we have here in Shawnee and the things they do to make our community the great place that it is. And nowhere is this more evident than in our neighborhoods.

And so to give you a little background of how this came to be, I was at the Great Grillers Competition here about a month ago and I see a friend of mine since kindergarten [inaudible] was competing in the competition and I had gone over to his tent and was talking to him. And while I was there he started talking about Lindsey McDonald. And then from there another neighbor would come over and say, are you talking about Lindsey? And then another neighbor and then another neighbor and there were dozens of people telling me how wonderful this person is and this went on for a few days, both days of the competition. And I think and we’ve got to do something to recognize this because you have made such a difference to these people in your neighborhood and your community, and I know personally growing up, instead of being the neighbor that would complain about the neighbor, you know, what my dad would do if someone -- if the next door neighbor had a problem with his deck, he would go over and say how can we help you with the deck versus calling codes to try to fix it. So, you’re the type of neighbor I aspire to be and I think that others hopefully would aspire to be.

But anyway, so tonight, I am excited to give our first ever, because you have inspired me to create this program so that hopefully we can inspire others to be more like you. So tonight I’m excited to give our first Good Neighbor Award to Lindsey McDonald for her efforts to make the Grey Oaks community, as well as our city, a better place to live. And rather than my own comments, I want to share the words of one of her fellow Grey Oaks residents. This is from Nicky. “Her leadership and drive to pull this together,” speaking of the Great Grillers, I’m sorry, the Great Grillers competition that you do, I mean, the Grey Oaks Grillers that you do. I’m sorry. “Her leadership and drive to pull this together is another reason Lindsey is a pillar of our community and deserves this recognition. She loves to host gatherings of friends and has never met a stranger. The Grey Oaks community is a better place because of Lindsey McDonald.” And I couldn’t have said it better myself and I can’t think of a better person to kick off this Good Neighbor award program, so we came up with this nominate your neighbor for the Good Neighbor award. And this has all started because of you and the impact you had. And Michael [inaudible] told me no less than probably a dozen times that your hugs are like grandma’s apple pie. So, because of that, I want to present you with this award. Thank you.

(Applause)

So I have a proclamation to read for you from the Office of the Mayor.

Whereas, the Grey Oaks Grillers BBQ was created three years ago by members of the Grey Oaks subdivision as a way to bring friends and neighbors together for a fun and family-friendly event; and Whereas, this event has continued to expand with the addition of events including the volleyball tournaments, [inaudible] barbeque competitions, sidewalk chalk competitions for kids in the neighborhood; and Whereas, Lindsey McDonald is a resident of Grey Oaks and has been a driving force behind the creation and continued success of the Grey Oaks Grillers Bar-B-Que, including securing corporate sponsors and helping organize a fun run at this year’s event, which raised $6,000 for a local family in need of help with medical and travel expenses; and Whereas, Lindsey has been a pillar of our local community for a variety of efforts including as the event coordinator for the Kansas City Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, working on additional events to bring people in her neighborhood together and being a welcoming face to everyone she comes into contact with. In addition to working fulltime while being a wife and mother of two; and Whereas, Lindsey is a shining example of the kind, caring, and friendly citizens that live in Shawnee. Now, therefore, I, Michelle Distler, Mayor of the City of Shawnee, Kansas, do hereby proclaim Lindsey McDonald as the first recipient of an inspiration for the Shawnee Good Neighbor Award and thank her for helping make Shawnee a great place to live.

(Applause)

And Lindsey, we want to recognize some of your volunteers because, of course, as soon as I wanted to recognize you, you’re like, oh, it’s not about me, I have so much help because that’s what humble people do.

MS. MCDONALD: Well thank you so much. Thank you for nominating me for this award. As you know, something like this doesn’t happen because of just one person. It happens because of a community who comes together. It’s difficult for me to accept this on my own behalf, but I will absolutely accept it on behalf of the Grey Oaks community and all of the amazing people who live there and many of them who are sitting right back there. So thank you very much, I appreciate it.

(Applause)

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. We want to give more of these Good Neighbor Awards out, so I encourage our residents to send their suggestions of people in their neighborhoods that make a difference and who deserve to be recognized.

2. SOLAR DESIGNATION PRESENTATION

MAYOR DISTLER: Next is a presentation on the City’s recent solar designation. This year, the Mid-America Regional Council launched a Solar Ready Community Recognition Program. This program recognizes the city and county governments that have implemented Solar Best Management Practices. Laura Machala from MARC is here tonight to present an award to the City and additional information about the recognition. Laura.

MS. MACHALA: Thank you so much for having me. Yes. So, I just want to start off by telling you all a little bit about the solar program that we have at MARC. We have a program called Solar Ready II. It’s a MARC lead initiative that began in 2011 as Solar Ready KC and it was just sort of a pilot with five local governments participating. And we got another award from DOE and DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge Program. And in 2013 we opened it up and we started recruiting more jurisdictions including Shawnee. And now we have 26 local governments that are participating. The aim of the program is to sort of reduce the cost of installing solar and to make it more accessible to people. And in order to recognize the efforts amongst our local governments in implementing Solar Best Management practices, we created a Solar Ready Community Recognition program. And basically in order to get recognized at either the bronze, silver, or gold level, a city or county has to implement a certain number of best management practices or do other things that promote solar. And Shawnee submitted an application for our round of applications this past October, October 1st, and received silver level recognition. So in order to receive silver level recognition, the City adopted new zoning code language to provide clear guidance to people who would like to install solar, posted solar ready construction guidelines to their website, posted a solar permit checklist to sort of clarify the steps it takes to install solar in the city, and created a solar landing page on its page with a host of information including the resources I just mentioned. The website also included a link to MARC’s solar mapping website which can be found at kcsolarmap.org in case you’re interested in checking it out. So with that, I am very pleased to present the City with this award. Staff has provided a lot of work and hard effort to implement the best management practices and I’d love to present you with this silver level recognition.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Go down there. You’ve got to get a picture.

MAYOR DISTLER: Oh, you need me to go down there? Okay.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Do you need a map?

MAYOR DISTLER: Yes.

MS. MACHALA: Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you so much. Thank you, Laura. We appreciate you being here and for recognizing our efforts related to encouraging good energy practices. And I’d also like to thank Katie Killen, the Assistant City Manager, and Steve Thompson, Codes Administrator for their efforts on not just getting this award, but for making Shawnee a more energy conscious community.

E. BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR

MAYOR DISTLER: The next item is E, Business from the Floors. Is there anyone who has comments on an issue that is not on tonight’s agenda? Come forward please. If you could state your name and address for the record please.

MS. EAGLE: My name is Jessica Eagle and I live at (Address Omitted). I’m bringing to the table the issue regarding the train horns sounding at our location at 59th and Woodland Road. And I’m going to put -- so to give everybody kind of an idea of where our homes are located or where exactly I guess I live at. I live directly here. The issue that we’re having is recently the City applied for some state funding to, I guess implement a quite zone in the City of Shawnee. And at this particular location here on this road at 59th Street, the crossing has been changed from private to public. And so we would like to have this be put on the agenda for the next Council meeting and to figure out some type of resolve as to what the City Council plans on doing to address this issue. We’ve heard from many residents. There’s been issues brought up with property values. Our neighborhood is getting blacklisted as to being an undesirable place to live. We’ve got small children that can’t sleep at night. I mean we’ve got 89 trains literally, if you look driving through the back of our home, every single evening. And it’s not only in our neighborhood at Lake Point, we’ve been hearing from people in Grey Oaks. We’ve been hearing from people all over western Shawnee. And I think particularly because of this location is centralized right in where a lot of homes are built. This particular location is flood plain. There’s nothing there. There’s no homes. Nobody lives there and we kind of want to figure out what the plan is to get this issue resolved.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, we’ve been working on it for nine years, maybe more. I mean at least the nine years that I’ve been on the Council and we’re closer now to a resolution now than we’ve ever been. But I will let the City Manager address as far as the next agenda.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Yeah. At this point we don’t really have anything to put on an agenda, but I am hopeful that very soon we will. If not on the 9th, definitely before the end of the year something. We’ve got several plans we’re working on, trying to juggle a lot of different pieces. I believe you had a conversation with Caitlin today and there’s just a lot of different agencies involved and a lot of different sets of rules that we’re trying to juggle.

MS. EAGLE: Well, the thing is as residents, we’re not going to wait nine years, I mean --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: It’s not going to be nine more years. Yeah.

MAYOR DISTLER: I was just saying that it’s not a new -- that we have been working on it for nine years.

MS. EAGLE: And I understand that, but as the residents, like, you’ve got a lot of angry upset people. We’ve got children that are being pulled from activities because they’re tired and they can’t sleep at night. I was up at three o’clock this morning sitting there awake because I can’t sleep, and it’s a quality of life issue. And I think what upsets me the most is that whoever’s idea it was to file for state funding, when the state is broke, there’s no money. And they’re not going to give us money to put towards a crossing on a flood plain.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Well, actually we didn’t actually apply for funding, but the gist of what you said is accurate. I actually have a letter from KDOT that they have offered to help pay for some of the closings if it is a public closing. And that’s the key. This actually was a public crossing, but being as I’ve had it classified wrong, yes, we got it to their attention. I will take full responsibility for that because we were trying to find a solution. But I do have a letter from KDOT that they will work with us and do have some funding available to help us move forward. And as I told the folks at the last meeting, you were here also, it is, if not our highest, one of our absolute highest priorities. Every day we are spending hours of time on it, so I promise you we are moving it along as quickly as we can and it will not be nine more years. In fact, I hope it’s -- I hope nine more weeks we’ll have less than nine more weeks, we’ll at least have something to report that we have developed a solution and here’s the timing for it.

MAYOR DISTLER: But the very reason that we’re really looking into these things to create the quiet zones is because like the residents of Brittany Ridge and like I said, so their children for nine years, we’ve been hearing these same stories for nine years. We’ve been working on it, so that’s why we’re doing all of these investigations, figuring out what can we do to solve this problem, solve it quickly. And that’s when BNSF realized they had one of the crossings classified wrong, but it’s because we are trying to fix the problem and for those who have had the problem for a very, very, very long time.

MS. EAGLE: And I did bring it up to the City Attorney regarding abandoning this particular road or figuring out some type of resolve in the cheapest manner by maybe contacting the resident to the south, you know, to give access to these individuals or abandoning the road to make it private again. But I think that there’s got to be some type of resolve. We’ve got several options that are available. I think just, you know, getting a move on it as quick as possible.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And those are absolutely the options we are working on now. Absolutely.

MAYOR DISTLER: Ms. Meyer.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I just want to say, I absolutely understand your concerns. I live at 48th and Woodland, so I probably heard the same 3 a.m. train. It’s a nightmare. And I wonder if there’s a way, it seems to me that we are working on something but that message is not being perhaps disseminated to all of the folks who live out west with us. Is there something that we can do on the City end to bring these people into the loop to let them know we are, in fact, in the process of doing these things, because I’m getting all the calls, too?

MS. EAGLE: There was a letter sent out, but it was very vague.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Right.

MS. EAGLE: And I don’t think to the point to what residents are expecting to hear from, you know, the City. And so I think people, you know, they want answers, they want to know, you know, what’s going to happen, what are we going to do, you know, to get the issue solved.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I agree with you too. And I think -- I’m glad we did the letter. I think it was just so early in the process. Probably the idea behind the letter is just to say, hey, we’re aware of this problem, we’re working towards it , but now that we have some more tangibles maybe.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: We don’t really have any more answers than we are working on those options.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Okay.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: But we did update our webpage today. Put some additional information out there. And I know that social media is blowing up out there, so then more people can spread that word and pass that link on. There is a little bit of additional information out on the webpage. And like I said, I do hope and plan to have something to report in the next few weeks.

MS. EAGLE: Okay. Thank you for your time.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there anyone else that has any items not on tonight’s agenda? Okay. Come forward, please. Your name and address for the record please.

MS. SMAJDA: Teresa Smajda, (Address Omitted). And not to repeat everything Jessica said, but I live next door to her and I’ve lived in the house that I live in for about almost three years and the train noise kind of bugged me originally, but I got used to it and then it was like overnight a light switch went off and all of the sudden I can’t go more than five or ten minutes without hearing a train horn. And I love to sleep with my windows open. I can’t sleep with my windows open. I have 18-month-old twins, I have a nine-year-old daughter. I know you guys all know the issues, but I’m here to just tell you again how negatively this is impacting my life. I’ve actually spent the last week looking for a new place to live. So, if this isn’t resolved in the next year or nine months, I’m sorry that I’d probably leaving the City of Shawnee for this reason. And I know a large group of other people that would be probably willing to list their home as well. And I think it’s really sad that we can’t -- it’s been ten years and we can’t get to a resolution when there’s all these new homes being built in our neighborhoods and they’re, you know, they cost -- I’ve been to look at them all this week and they’re over $400,000. To have a train horn going off every five to ten minutes it’s just unfathomable to me to spend that much money on a home that’s in such an uncomfortable place to live. So, I’m afraid that if we don’t resolve this people aren’t going to want to stay in our neighborhood. And I think that’s sad because it’s a beautiful area and that’s why I chose to live there. So, I just wanted to support Jessica and also just as another voice for you guys to hear that it’s really impacting our lives. And I hope that truly in eight to nine weeks that we will find a resolution because every time I bring it up to someone they say well we’ve been working on this for ten years. And if you keep saying that to me and to everyone else that complains, I don’t think it will be heard that anything’s going to change. I don’t know if you have anything you want to add to what I have to say but --

MAYOR DISTLER: Well it’s just part of the struggle. Like I said, I just wanted to -- I didn’t want it to look like that we haven’t been doing anything, but part of the struggle over the past several years with the recession and everything else and you’re looking at a half a million to a million dollars per closing. And we have had some of these areas that have been impacted much longer. And, you know, I mean as far as they’re concerned, they’re thinking, well, we’ve had the problem longer. You know, so we have been actively -- we are closer now than we have ever been to a solution. Like Ms. Gonzales said, hopefully within the next few weeks we are going to have it resolved and have it done finally once and for all. So, I didn’t want to just throw that out there like I was trying to put you off. I just wanted to -- there has just been many different -- like she said, everybody has different rules, everybody has different, I mean, it’s not just us. We can’t just go in and just do it. We have to work with BNSF. We have to work with property owners. We had, you know, nine years of recession. There are several factors that were playing into this, but we want to fix this more than anything and hopefully, like I said, we are so close now. We’re closer than we’ve ever been. So don’t think I was putting you off.

MS. SMAJDA: I think the most frustrating thing for me as a resident with no control over this situation is that it was just overnight. No one asked us what we want, or, you know no one -- no notification. Like if someone could have, I mean, said, hey, this is going to happen next week, or this is going to happen in a couple weeks, but we’re working on it. You know, I was like, am I going crazy, did something change. And I started asking people and it was -- and so I started emailing all of you probably and thank you for responding to those that did. And I just feel like we should have been notified in some way, even if it was just an email or something on your website. I even went looking.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And I’ll apologize for that. We kind of didn’t -- we were caught a little off guard too. But so I’ll apologize for that.

MS. SMAJDA: [Inaudible] consider the ramifications of it, and I get that, but you know before you make a huge change like that, it would be nice to be notified.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: And understand we aren’t in charge of when the train horns blow. You know, BNSF does.

MS. SMAJDA: Yeah. But you have the classification change, and it was overnight. It was like overnight it changed and I guarantee --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Well, it took much longer to actually make the change. We weren’t sure exactly when BNSF was going to make it official, and then all of a sudden the train horns started blowing. So, but I understand and I do apologize that it seemed sudden to you all and it seemed sudden to us too. But we’re trying to do a better job of communicating what we can right now.

MS. SMAJDA: I think that was my biggest frustration with the City is not communicating.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: You know, I’ve been involved with this since day one of trying to get these things quieted down. And I’ve heard everything from, you know, the tracks were there long before the houses to, you know, the railroad --

MS. SMAJDA: And don’t get me wrong. I love the railroad --

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Right.

MS. SMAJDA: -- and everything they do for our community.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Right. But getting them to do anything is like getting a needle out of a haystack in some cases too because they’re very independent, you know. And they’d be the first ones to tell you that the only ones they answer to are the federal government. You know, they kind of dictate what they want to do. They don’t -- they’re not told what to do. So, to get them to do what they’ve done in the last nine years, you know, we quieted one rail off one of the streets off. We cannot land lock somebody’s piece of property like that would be on the other side. If the only access to that piece of property is that road, it is against the law for us to close the road. Burlington Northern bought a piece of property and gave it to the Parks Department because it had enjoined that piece of property, and it benefited by closing off that one drive and eliminated the whistles for that one particular drive. You know, but after, you know, if they come in with a decision in say, nine weeks, that says, okay, now we’ve got a resolution, that doesn’t mean it may not take another year or so to get it all dissolved. You know that doesn’t mean boom, okay, we’re fixed. That’s a start. I know that by what the plan has taken to get to this period of time. I’m with you on the noise. I went out, I’ve got a grandson playing, or a granddaughter playing baseball out at the girls’ softball fields. And as soon as that horn starts blowing you can’t even hear the crowd yelling in that area.

MS. SMAJDA: Imagine trying to sleep.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yeah, I know. But the point is, it needs to be addressed, it needs to be fixed. But to say, you know, in nine weeks we’ve got a resolution on it, that doesn’t mean now, that’s a start. Now, we’ve got to get the monies together, we’ve got to get everything working because the railroad has to be the one to come in and put this in. And until they’re all put in they’re going to be driving by blowing the whistles. You know, so it may not be as fast a process as what a lot of people might want to see. But I want to get it resolved just as must as anybody else does. But just don’t expect something overnight except for the horns blowing.

MS. SMAJDA: Well, they started blowing them overnight.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, I know. We’re talking about the railroad here, this is difficult.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Well, I just want to throw out one thing. I mean, they have to do that. They have to blow those horns –

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: By law.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: -- for by law for safety reasons.

MS. SMAJDA: I’ve read all of the laws around that, but this particular crossing, and I don’t have the picture anymore, is a dirt road. You’d have to have a four wheeler on it.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Right.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We do know where it is.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: And I’ll say –

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I’ve been traveling that road ever since I was like this big.

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, wait. We’re kind of losing control of the meeting here. Are you done speaking?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I’m done. They have to do it for safety. Thank you.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: One more thing that I had was when I was talking with representatives at the railroad, if we get these quiet crossings done and finished, and a train is going through this crossing without blowing a horn and he sees a resident or somebody walking on the street that’s close to one of these tracks, by law he still has to blow the horn, you know, if he can see them in vision. So once these are all in and everybody hears horns blowing again, there’s probably another reason for it from what I was told. That’s all I got

MAYOR DISTLER: Ms. Meyer.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I’m like I guess a broken record on this, but I agree with you. I think it is the City’s fault that it has increased the train horn sound where we are and we should be doing something about it as quickly as we can. And I think this business that it could be years is a copout and I know that they have to sound the horns, but there is no way in hell that they are only sounding them four or seven times or whatever it is. It is a constant horn the entire time there in West Shawnee. So, yeah, I get it. It’s frustrating.

MS. SMAJDA: And I totally get that, you know, if you see someone you have to honk your horn and if it’s a regular crossing you know you have to honk your horn that’s totally appropriate. But my complaint isn’t the noise in general like if you – the next crossing up where there are vehicles that cross that’s appropriate. I’m just complaining about a road that’s not even a road.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Thank you for your comments.

F. PUBLIC ITEMS

1. CONDUCT A PUBLIC HEARING AND CONSIDER AN ORDINANCE FOR THE VACATION OF PUBLIC STREET RIGHT-OF-WAY AT 6110 ALDEN STREET (SAV-15-2015).

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. The next item is F, Public Items. Item Number One is to Conduct a Public Hearing and Consider an Ordinance for the Public Street Right-of-Way at 6110 Alden Street. Jo and Marlene Clevenger have submitted a petition requesting the vacation of a 10-foot wide portion of right-of-way at 6110 Alden Street. A public hearing and passage of an Ordinance is required.

a) Conduct a public hearing.
The first action is conduct a public hearing. I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So moved.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

We are now in a public hearing. This is a formal public hearing required by law. The public hearing will begin with a presentation by Development Services Director Doug Wesselschmidt. After Mr. Wesselschmidt’s presentation, I will ask Councilmembers if they have questions specifically related to the presentation. I will then ask if there are any comments from the public. If anyone from the audience would like to speak during the public hearing, please raise your hand and I will recognize you to come forward. Following public comments, I will ask for a motion to close the public hearing. Once the public hearing is closed, we will have Council discussion, followed by a motion. Mr. Wesselschmidt, please go ahead.

MR. WESSELSCHMIDT: Thank you again. Doug Wesselschmidt, Director of Development Services, City Engineer. We’ve received a petition from Joe and Marlene Clevenger who live at 6110 Alden Street requesting that it’s been determined to be some excess right-of-way be vacated along the west side of Alden Road. This is a section of Alden just south of Johnson Drive, north of 63rd Street. Thirty-five feet of right-of-way was dedicated to the City when the original owner created the parcel now owned by the Clevenger’s and the parcel immediately to the south. This was possibly done to match the right-of-way platted with the Greenwood Manor third plat in Alden Place on the east side of Alden Road. However, the rights-of-way for those subdivisions were likely wider than the standard 30 feet required for a collector street because the center line of the actual roadway was constructed east of the center line, which is the boundary of those subdivisions. Therefore, the west half of the right-of-way is ten feet wider than the Clevenger’s lot and the lot south of that.

Staff has scheduled a public hearing for the petition to be heard tonight and accordingly, a Notice of Public Hearing was published in the City’s official newspaper on Wednesday, September 30th in compliance with the state statutes. As of this date staff has not received any inquires or written objections. Also written notices sent to all of the utility companies that would serve this area, most have been heard from. The only utility that indicated that they would need to retain some type of an easement would be the Johnson County Wastewater District. They have a sanitary sewer line just to the east of the requested vacation. So they’re requesting that if the Council vacates this right-of-way that the east 2 feet be retained as a sanitary sewer easement. That would end my information for the presentation. The staff recommendation is that the Council conduct this public hearing and after hearing any comments approve the vacation request by the Clevengers.

MAYOR DISTLER: Does anyone on the Council have any questions? Anyone in the audience who would like to speak to this item?

b) Conclude the public hearing.

MAYOR DISTLER: The next action is to close the public hearing. I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Move to close the public hearing.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

c) Consider passing an Ordinance ordering the requested vacation of the right-of-way, subject to the reservation of a public sanitary sewer easement over the vacated right-of-way.

MAYOR DISTLER: The final recommended action is to consider passing the ordinance. I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: So moved.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

G. ITEMS FROM THE COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING OF OCTOBER 6, 2015 CHAIRED BY COUNCILMEMBER MEYER 1. CONSIDER AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 6 OF THE SHAWNEE MUNICIPAL CODE RELATED TO THE KEEPING OF BACKYARD CHICKENS.

MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number One is to Consider an Ordinance Amending Title 6 of the Shawnee Municipal Code Related to the Keeping of Backyard Chickens. The Council Committee directed staff 8-0 to draft an Ordinance for the reconsideration –

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Those are items from the Council Committee meeting.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I mean I’ll let you do it if you’d like.

MAYOR DISTLER: No, it doesn’t say that. So I was just reading along. Please go ahead.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: All right.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Just like a reporter.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: As Mayor Distler started, Item One is to Consider an Ordinance Amending Title 6 of the Shawnee Municipal Code Related to the Keeping of Backyard Chickens. The Council Committee directed staff 8-0 to draft an Ordinance for consideration by the Governing Body amending Title 6 to relax the distance requirements and create other requirements for keeping chickens. I believe you have a presentation.

MR. POWELL: A brief one. I just thought we would go through a quick outline of -- let me switch it over, sorry. There we go. A brief outline of our proposed ordinance and answer any questions you might have. And I know there are several folks in the audience who probably will want to speak as well.

So in a nutshell, what we did is we added several definitions to Title 6, including a definition for chicken, chicken run, chicken tractor and a coop, and then we removed the phrase chicken from the definition of fowl. So, some minor changes. We also included some distance requirements for coops, runs, and tractors. So, after the Committee meeting we had talked a little bit about whether or not to make it 35 feet from the property line or 10 feet from a property line and another number of feet from a structure. So, when we looked around at some of our other cities, Roeland Park had a pretty good model that kind of encapsulated both. So, we went with 10 feet from the property line and then 40 feet from a neighboring house, church, school, business. We had our GIS folks do a map just too kind of show you what that might look like. This map, the green would show where folks could have chickens, and this neighborhood is down off of 69th and Flint, so it’s an older part of the city with kind of smaller lots. And you can see that there’s ample room for coops that would comply with those distance requirements.

We also put some size requirements for those types of facilities. We’ve stipulated that it would have to provide at least two square feet per chicken, not to exceed 85 square feet total. And this would kind of show you in that same neighborhood what 85 square feet might look like in a back yard.

Some other coop requirements that we put in the proposed ordinance were that the coops had to be constructed with durable materials. You cannot use scrap wood, waste board, sheet metal, things like that. We want them to look nice. They also need to be enclosed on all sides with a door and a roof that lock and any windows or vents need to have predator and bird proof wire to provide some protection for the chickens.

Just some other requirements that we added is you can’t slaughter them in public. Hopefully no one would. No roosters. That was one thing we talked about at the Committee meeting. And then the person who applies for the permit has to occupy the property. So we didn’t want someone who maybe owned a residential lot that didn’t live there to apply to be able to keep chickens, that they need to live with -- on that lot so that they can provide the proper care and maintenance and that sort of thing.

So, we also talked a little bit last time about our current permit process and we intend to keep that intact with the chickens. So, essentially the permittee would apply. We would notify neighbors within 200 feet just like we do now for these types of permits. The community service officer would perform an inspection of the property and the animals and whatever type of housing facility that the folks were going to have. They would also canvass the neighborhood, so if anyone who was notified within that 200 feet had complaints or issues or concerns, all that gets funneled back to community service officers and they can go out and investigate and talk to those folks and kind of get a sense for what some of the concerns were. And then after that whole process wraps up, we have a point process in place so I would work with the community service officer, we would calculate points and then based on the point total approve or deny a permit.

Many of the permitting requirements again are the same as they’ve always been. The code currently allows folks to keep up to ten chickens, but it’s that distance requirement that makes it restrictive currently. The nuisance requirements would stay the same, so that includes odor, noise, running at large. And Officer Hunter is here in case you guys had questions about how the ordinance is enforced, but that would all remain the same as well as any revocation or appeal process that we have in the code.

We did put in just an optional paragraph in the ordinance that talks about a consent process because that was mentioned during the Committee meeting. And the process that we would outline is that when I send out those letters to the folks who live within 200 feet, I would send a letter to anyone who is adjoining that property a consent form. And they would either, they would have to check yes or no and send it back. If they don’t send it back, we don’t count that against them at all, it’s just whoever sends it back needs to consent. And then again all the other permitting processes would remain intact.

We did a mock brochure just too kind of provide a little bit of information to the public if this is to pass. This is one tool we use to get information out to the public, we have a lot of brochures in the Clerk’s office, so this just goes over the rules that are currently in the draft ordinance. Certainly if any of that were to change tonight or what-not, and get approved, we would update all of this material as well. We also use our website for a lot of that information as well. And with that, I’ll try to answer any of your questions.

MAYOR DISTLER: Ms. Meyer and then Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you Stephen. I had a question. You referenced the kind of point criteria that you go through. So say that you’re notifying neighbors and one of the neighbors has a huge problem with their neighbor doing that, is that factored into your point system at all?

MR. POWELL: Well, we created a pretty lengthy policy on how we calculate those points. They are only based on valid complaints, so that would mean that there’s been a written warning issued, or a citation issued, or a neighbor has complained and this community service officer has been able to verify that complaint. So, it wouldn’t be that someone says, well, I just don’t like chickens, or I don’t like my neighbor. You know, they have to be pretty solid complaints that we can verify before we we’ll count it as a point.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Thank you.

MR. POWELL: You’re welcome.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I like what you put together other than the optional consent I don’t agree with. I don’t think we should put the optional consent out there because you always have one person that can say no and it can mess up the whole system for everybody else. But other than that, I think if we leave the optional consent out of it, I’m willing to go along with all of it.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Pflumm and then Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I had the exact same comment as Mr. Sandifer. You know if the guy right next door, you said it was a hundred percent, you know at least that’s I thought what you put up there. You know, I don’t know if that’s, you know, I don’t think it’s a good thing to do there. So anyway, if we could do without that part. And then if there’s any violations, that’s a different deal, right? You know, then, you know, our guy will check it out and it’s just not a neighbor that’s mad or something.

MR. POWELL: And one thing I will mention is that all of our special animal permits get renewed every year, and we recalculate the points every year. So, if there are violations or things going on, we keep pretty close tabs on that, especially during our renewal season. And if there are some that are kind of iffy we certainly work with our community service officers to go out and meet with those neighbors and you know try to figure out what’s going on.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: It doesn’t sound like anybody else has had the experiences I’ve had with this. I’ve had several people push back on this particular ordinance and I’ve received e-mails, phone calls, et cetera concerning -- their concern was living next door to chickens. And some of them painted some pretty ugly scenarios about the unpleasantness of living next to chickens because of the smells and the sounds et cetera. And what we’ve done by relaxing these requirements that we have already, is that we’ve allowed really these chickens to get pretty darn close to their neighbors. That to me, if we are with our old requirements of a hundred feet, I mean, okay, I think that’s a pretty good standoff. If you want to put that in real terms, that’s three first downs, you know it’s really not a long distance really. Now, we’re moving a lot closer, I really think the optional change may be more worthwhile from the standpoint of, hey, if you’re going got get this close to me, maybe I’ll have something to say about that. If you’re a hundred feet out there, a hundred, two hundred fifty feet or whatever, okay, you know, you’ve got a pretty good standoff at that point in providing some sort of protection against the nuisance part of it. And there is a nuisance part to this. I think to say there’s no nuisance to having chickens running around next door would be blindfolding yourself. There is some impact there. It’s just not completely all peaches and cream. So, I have some concerns about the fact that we are reducing the distances that much without any kind of say so from the neighbors that live next door to that. I think that’s not really very appropriate. I think it’s -- I’m not really against chickens. They’re fine. I still don’t like ten. I would rather have six instead of ten because I don’t know who is going to eat all those eggs from ten chickens. That’s a lot of eggs. I’d like to have somebody tell me how many eggs that is per year because I think it’s quite a few. And my only experience I had with chickens when I was a kid, they laid about an egg a day most of those hens. So, let’s see ten chickens times 30 days, that’s ten eggs a day times -- that’s a lot of eggs. Who’s going to eat all that? I mean you know, it seems like it’s pretty excessive if you’re just getting them for eggs and six chickens would give you an educational experience just as well as a hundred chickens or whatever would do. So I don’t know, I’m kind of having trouble with some of these things from that perspective. And I do have to agree that some of my neighbors, or not my neighbors, some of my constituents may have had some valid points when they brought up about the distance between them and the chickens and the potential for the waste. And I was looking at the ordinance too. Even our proposed ordinance has some issues because it talks about manure and other odor producing substances shall not be stored within 200 of the property lines, and we’re allowing up to three cubic feet of chicken poop within you know a few feet of property lines. So right there is kind of a disconnect in itself. So, I don’t know, I’m just not really sure we’ve got this thing completely hammered to where it should be yet. And I’m not saying I don’t favor chickens, I don’t have a problem with chickens. I want to be honest and clear about that, but I do want to respect those opinions of people who will be impacted by these.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kenig and then Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yes. Thank you for the presentation, Stephen, it was very thorough. I did have a comment. I guess the issue I have with requiring consent, especially the unanimous consent, is that you’re basically allowing another resident to say that it’s a nuisance before it’s known if it’s going to be a nuisance. I think it’s too soon to know until it actually becomes one. It’s, you know, it’s making a speculation at that point that it could be a nuisance. So that’s the issue I have with that. I have no issue with notification and would support notification. And then I think that there should be a process in place to allow, to go through complaints after a chicken coop has been established from adjoining neighbors if they’re legitimate complaints about noise, about odor and those types of issues and then resolve those. But I think it’s difficult to allow a request to be denied based on a possibility that it could be a nuisance somewhere down the line because that’s speculation at that point. The second question I had was in the definition you had here of chicken coop, chicken runs, the total allowable area was 85 square feet. Is that for the entire or all units, whether it be a coop that is attached to a larger structure that’s open to allow the chickens to run, or is that for individual units? Can you clarify?

CITY CLERK POWELL: The thought was that it would be the total for all of it. So, if you had a coop with a run attached to it that total square footage would be 85. And I spoke with Rick Miller, who is from the Johnson County Extension Office, and he felt comfortable with that square footage. Again, that’s certainly something that is, you know, that’s debatable, changeable.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yeah. I was just -- I was curious about that. And actually upon invitation I visited Brian Bolen’s chicken coop. And thank you for that invite, and you may have more on this, but I mean he kind of explained to me kind of the structure he has and how that might exceed that requirement just because of the structure that he allows the chickens to run in that’s attached to the coop as well. And I just want to be cognizant that we don’t keep those size requirements too small that, you know, because the flip side of that is that it can lead to health issues and other issues, especially with odor in a small space, too, so just putting that out there.

CITY CLERK POWELL: And I would throw out there that if we do want to increase that, it just needs to be consistent. That was the one thing that Mr. Miller said that no matter what size you land on, it just needs to be applied consistently.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Right. Or maybe just clarify, you know, if there’s multiple structures that are joined. Is there a maximum area requirement for the entirety of the structures, or do we add exception or language if there’s multiple structures attached together. So, thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And when it, you know, comes to the chickens in the back yard, I had a neighbor three doors up that had chickens for five years, four or five years, I never knew it. They had eight or ten chickens out there. Didn’t know it until they were gone because the bobcats were trying to eat them.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, how did you notice when they were gone when you didn’t notice them when they were there?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, because the kids would come over and say, well, the chickens were gone. Well, I didn’t know we had chickens. You know, they had been there between four and five years and the kids -- their kids have grown and so they just got rid of them. And after they had gotten rid of them is when I found out they had them. You know, it wasn’t a big nuisance around us.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I hear what you’re saying. I have some constituents that --

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: You know, and I grew up -- my grandparents had a farm. You know, our family is from farms, so I understand where you’re coming from.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kemmling.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: I had somewhat of a similar experience to Mr. Jenkins. I had a couple of constituents e-mail me with their horror stories. And I think one of the problems we’ve run into is, at least in one of the cases for sure, if not both the cases, our existing ordinance was not enforced. And so they had a chicken coop five feet from the property line. And I think no matter what we do we really have to have a focus on enforcing whatever the ordinance is if we don’t change it. If we change it, we’ve got to make sure that people aren’t stuck for four months or longer with a chicken coop that violates these. So, one way or another we need to make sure that we’re enforcing. The waste that Mr. Jenkins brought up I am a little bit concerned about. Three cubic feet, ten feet from my property line. We know that chickens have the potential to carry salmonella, so that would be a little bit of a concern of mine. I hadn’t thought about it too much until he brought it up, but something we need to think of. I like the fact, you know, we were batting around the idea I think of 35 feet from all property lines last time we discussed it. I kind of like the compromise we came up with, the Roeland Park idea of 45 and 10 because that way, you know, it’s a little bit farther from a structure. Since then I’ve kind of been questioning if 10 is enough or not. It’s a question I’ll ask all the rest of us up here, do we think that’s enough or not. So, that’s the little bit of hesitancy I have with that is the idea that it could be, like you said, 3 yards from my fence. That’s a short run in football, so it’s not an incredibly long distance. But those are some of my concerns potentially. I think I do tend to agree with Brandon on the consent issue. You know, you’re withholding consent based on a potential. And if there’s a complaint after the fact, then by all means make it then and we need to do a good job of enforcing it if it is in violation. I think beforehand infringes a little bit on the property owner rights and what you can do. My two neighbors have barking dogs and they didn’t get permission from me for it. That’s their right to have barking dogs. And that was one of the things I understood when I moved into a smaller subdivision is that people with animals will be closer to me. So, I tend to agree with Mickey and Dan and Brandon on that issue.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there any further discussion from the Council? Mr. Pflumm?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I was just going to throw out one thing in reference. I think with the inspection process and getting permits every year, those problems that we had in the past would probably hopefully be alleviated, you know, if we have an officer go out there and monitor all these sites, so.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And I understand your point of the ten feet, but I think we need to be real careful when we start determining possibly more distance from the property line because we’re talking about also requiring them to move this around for the waste to be spread out and be washed in and not gather in one spot and be such an odor. And if you change that distance from the fence line out more than ten feet you’re going to limit that area and your odor is probably going to be more than what you think. So, you want to be careful about getting too far away from a fence line. I mean, if that makes sense to you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? Please come forward. State your name and address for the record, please.

Public Comments:

MS. BEEMAN: Hello. My name is Mary Jane Beeman. I live at 5921 Haskins. I’ve been there for over 29 years. I came to talk about the chickens. I’ve carefully reviewed both the existing ordinance and the proposed changes and I’m here to support the majority of the proposed changes to the ordinance. They appear to accommodate those who want to have backyard chickens while addressing most concerns that neighbors would have. I want to go point by point.

Roosters. They just have no place in a residential subdivision. And there seems to be an overwhelming consensus on this point. Barking dogs. You’ll find Sasquatch before you solve that problem. A neighbor once told me that her German Shepherd has a right to bark, so any discussion on barking dogs should probably include Dr. Phil.

Distance. The proposed minimum 40-foot distance of the coop’s run and tractors collectively from an adjoining dwelling is acceptable. Not ideal, but acceptable. I think a lot of the lengths has to do with the orientation on the lot and the proximity to how it lies in proportion to the house. Roeland Park seems to have successfully worked with this distance with lots, which are on average much smaller than those in Shawnee. I don’t think it should be any less than 40 feet. You’re trying to find a compromise amongst all parties. Not everybody can have everything. I would like to see a distance of more than ten feet from any property line from a drainage standpoint. It runs downhill. It blows downwind.

Coops and enclosures. The proposed changes regarding size and construction appear to be well drafted, but there should be a limit on the size of the collective area for the coop pen and enclosure. It can’t be a chicken compound. It can’t be a chicken estate.

On the permitting and notification process, continue with the neighbor notification. You’ll have to decide as to the extent of that. But in the spirit of transparency and communication I would suggest two things. Include a copy of the draft brochure. I think it’s very nicely done. It’s comprehensive. It explains so many pertinent things regarding the ordinance. If people have an idea, if neighbors have an idea of what to expect, a lot of questions will be answered. Secondly, and I think this is covered, I would strongly advocate for the CSO to proactively address any neighborhood objections or neighbor objections prior to the issuance of a permit. HOA concerns had a little hurdle, I’ll talk about that. So, I would like to suggest the following. In the brochure add language to the permit section advising applicants that backyard chickens must be permitted by the HOA to apply for a permit. Secondly, add language to the animal permit application so that the applicant attests that the HOA allows chickens along with the name of the HOA.

I do have three questions. I’ll pose them and sit down and listen to the answers. Is the chicken coop enclosure considered to be an accessory structure? Second, at what point in the process does the CSO inspect the coop and enclosure? Thirdly, what would be the process if a permit holder wanted to run electrical to the coop for lights or a heat source? Thank you for listening to my comments.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you so much.

CITY CLERK POWELL: I can probably answer some of those. The coop would not be an accessory use. The second question, will you remind me what your second one was?

MS. BEEMAN: Sure. Sure. [Inaudible] kept me from going off the off-ramp.

CITY CLERK POWELL: Thank you. I’ll let Officer Hunter talk about his inspection process because he has been. And then if the permit holder wanted to run electrical to the coop, I will I guess go off the cuff here, but think that they would have to follow any other permitting requirements for providing electrical service to an outbuilding or a treehouse or something like that. So, there would probably be some permitting.

MS. BEEMAN: Thank you.

OFFICER HUNTER: Community Service Officer Scott Hunter with the Shawnee Police Department. As far as the permitting process goes, we generally make contact with individuals that have chickens, you know, I won’t say illegally, but they have chickens in their back yard, or if they inquire upon it. You know, we get a call in because we can’t look in everybody’s back yard. I mean, it’s just -- I mean, very rarely do we run up to a residence because we have a noise complaint or something like, oh, it’s chickens. But once we do make contact with an individual that does want chickens or that we find them to have chickens, they’re given a couple weeks to apply for the permit. They come up to City Hall. We follow up with them to make sure that the permit has been applied for. And at that point I come out and I either talk to them and see what they have going on out there, if they already have the chickens, to make sure that they aren’t in violation of any our nuisance laws at that point. And then we wait for the permit process to be applied for. I get it back to our desk. We set up an appointment with them to make an inspection. We go out, and that’s after all the notifications have been returned to us. Any issues the neighbors may have with it or any complaints they have on the chickens of why they don’t want them there, we can address them at that point. Whether it’s improper keeping, noise, accumulation of an odor, stuff like that we can look at when we go out there. And we don’t issue a permit if we, you know, we’re above our points. We’ve received, you know, three or four complaints from different individuals on different issues, you know, the permit would be denied at that point. If we go out there and we see violations ourselves and we see an accumulation of manure, you know, a lot of times I won’t -- I will not, you know, sign off on a permit if I see issues. At that time I will give them a couple few days to fix it, come back and we’ll see. And, you know, if we have to apply a point, we have to apply a point at that time.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. So, any -- Ms. Meyer?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: I think she makes a good point. Thank you. Made some good points particularly regarding HOA language on both the brochure and the permit application. I think that’s a great idea, and including the brochure in what goes out to the neighbors as well. All that being said, I’ll jump in on the folks who are a bit concerned about the ten-foot boundary for the waste product. I’m wondering if there’s some sort of change we can make to that, but agree with what has been said otherwise in terms of neighbor approval and all that.

CITY CLERK POWELL: I will real quickly jump in if I may. If you look on page 41 of your packet.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Page what?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Forty-one.

CITY CLERK POWELL: Forty-one in the packet. We did include some language about chicken waste, so --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. That’s what I was referencing and I was also referencing how it connected with the part on page 39.

CITY CLERK POWELL: Yeah. So, we talked --

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Jenkins. Well, I just want to make sure that since you didn’t -- you weren’t recognized, people at home can hear that it’s you that’s asking the question.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I haven’t asked a question, I was just wondering where it was.

MAYOR DISTLER: Oh, okay.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Those don’t really work well together, the statements. Can we clean up that language so it’s better? The one you say you can’t have any waste, any significant amount of waste. And if you picture three cubic feet sitting up here on here on the desk, that’s quite a bit. So, what’s quite a bit? You know, we need to get those two so they’re compatible at least, those two paragraphs I think. That would be helpful.

CITY CLERK POWELL: And you’re referring to the one on page 41 at the bottom?

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yeah. There’s 39 and then the 41 that -- so, that’s (B)(9) and (A)(2). 6.08.020(A)(2) and (B)(9). They’re a little bit out of sync with each other I guess.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Does (A)(2) actually apply to chickens, or are they excepted from that section?

CITY CLERK POWELL: So, when we were drafting this we did want to include a specific chapter on chickens because so many of the provisions apply to folks who may have a donkey or a pig or some other type of large animal. So, when we were writing it we were sort of coming from an angle about manure was large animal like a horse or a donkey or something big.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Right. But it does say manure or other odor or dust-producing substances. So, it’s pretty wide open there. That’s why I’m saying just get those into sync. That’s no big deal to do that.

CITY CLERK POWELL: Sure. We can certainly change that. And then we added the section for chicken waste to specifically cover how chicken droppings would be handled. But we can certainly add some clarifying language if this were to move forward. Not a problem.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I still believe we need to be careful about cutting short the ability for moving the coop and the run around the yard. And changing that ten-foot setback is going to limit a lot of yards of what they can and where they can have it or move it and move the ones in the coops. So, we want to really be careful with that part.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Jenkins.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Just some more points of clarification for my own understanding. Now, this is going to require a reissued permit every single year, is that correct? A renewed permit?

CITY CLERK POWELL: Yes, sir.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay. So, that’s going to give you pretty leverage as far as managing this if you are getting complaints and so on. If there are complaints during the year, do we have to wait till end of the year when it comes time for a permit again, or is there some kind of remedial measures that can be accomplished at that point?

CITY CLERK POWELL: Currently the way that we work that is if we do get complaints throughout the year, which we don’t very often to be honest with you, I would preface that most of our permits are for dogs and cats. But we do have a few other types of animals out there. But if complaints come in throughout the year, then absolutely the Community Service Officer goes out and inspects, touches base with whoever was submitting the complaint. And he can probably -- Mr. Hunter can probably talk a little bit more about that. If someone got five complaints, you know, right off the bat and we were able to verify them and they’re legitimate and then I can revoke that permit.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: My concern being is that most people are going to be good people and they’re going to do a good job of this and it’s not going to be an issue at all. But we spend so much time debating and going over the guy that doesn’t want to do what he’s supposed to. You know, I don’t know how many laws are written for the guy who doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do. That’s kind of a driving force in every time we have a discussion like this. If a person is out there and they’re doing a good job with their chickens, it should be no big deal and I think the neighbors are going to be pretty happy with what’s going on. Everything is going to be copacetic. If we’ve got a guy or a gal out there that’s just totally ignoring all the rules and their chickens are -- stuff is piling up everywhere and it’s becoming a real nuisance and so on, then, you know, we’re going to have an issue. But I think I’m feeling pretty comfortable with idea of every -- an annual permit requirement renewing that because I think it puts a pretty good control on things I think. That helps a lot.

MAYOR DISTLER: Anyone else from the audience that would like to speak to this item? Please come forward.

MR. MILLER: Bruce Miller, (Address Omitted) in Shawnee. I appreciate the comments Mr. Jenkins had, and I also like the -- if they could amend the brochure or even go further about the HOA requirements to ask them is this in violation of your HOA. We had our annual meeting of our HOA Woodsonia last night. And when I brought up that this was on the agenda tonight there was some concerns about what might happen. The only question I have is on, and I’m sorry I didn’t get -- I didn’t see the packet until just this evening. But the minimum standards for the coop or the enclosure or whatever, is that -- it seems like that should be reviewed at the application process like any other construction permit that is reviewed before the permit is granted rather than after it’s constructed and then say that’s not right, you have to tear it down, you have to change it, you have to put a different roof on it, that’s not allowable. Why not have the intended structure be approved with the application and then the inspection would see that it was built accordingly. And I don’t suppose it has to be as rigorous as applications for a new building, but at least a general idea if they know at the application time they can say, no, you can’t put a tin roof on it and you can’t use old parts. It has to be this and that. And just so that Officer Hunter will know ahead of time, or whoever reviews the application rather, will know what their intent is to build and that could be followed through at the inspection process. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Is there anyone else that would like to speak to this item?

MR. BOLEN: Brian Bolen, (Address Omitted). Man, I’m excited about getting some chickens. So excited I got -- I get kind of bored during the day and so we got started on building a chicken coop with the kids. We don’t have chickens yet. We won’t have until January, so we got time to figure these things out. I want to show you -- and this might answer some of the folks’ questions in the audience as well about what a chicken coop is versus a chicken run and what those might look like in a back yard. This is just a quick YouTube video. It’s pretty shaky. Is the sound on? Oh, wait a minute. That’s my neighbor’s dog. So, this is a run. This is a run. This is 24 feet by 12 feet. It’s ten feet from my property line. My fence is not on my property line. This is my chicken coop which I still need to put a roof on. Like I say, we’re working on it. The chicken coop is about 8 feet by 4 feet, and including some -- and a nest box in the back. These are my nest boxes. Those would be enclosed. That’s where the chickens will sleep at night. There’s a door for them to go out in the morning and come in at night. That’s what chickens naturally do. So, my chicken coop is fully enclosed with chicken wire. My run is not. I can fully enclose it. It’s just more expensive to do it and I don’t want to do it if I don’t have to. But if Officer Hunter says I need to I’ll do it. These are my neighbor’s dogs. I didn’t get notified when my neighbors got those dogs and you heard how loud they are. Anytime I’m in my back yard they’re that loud. Okay. So, I just want to show you something real quick. So, this is a GIS outline of my property, my neighbor’s property. Mine’s in the middle. In the red is where I cannot house the chickens according to the ordinance as it proposed, which is great. The green is where I could. The yellow indicates where my chicken run is. And that black dot near the top is where my chicken coop is. So, I keep pretty much everything towards the middle of my property. However, my neighbor’s dogs get to defecate, bark right next -- if you look here, this is my bedroom, they get to come clear over there and bark. So, I know people have reservations about chickens being noisy, those dogs are a lot noisier than any chicken is going to be, except for a rooster. So, that’s that. How am I doing on time? Anybody keeping track?

MAYOR DISTLER: You’ve got two more minutes.

MR. BOLEN: So, I would propose that the chicken run not necessarily have such a small maximum. I’m estimating that it’s probably 81 to 90 square feet to screen. So, if you imagine a chicken, you know, about this size, do you want ten chickens cooped in that small of an area all day? It’s better -- it would be better if we allowed a larger run to spread out that feces and allow it to be raked up and better managed rather than to have -- if you have those two dogs in that small of a space it gets stinky quick. You know, so I think that’s all unless anybody has any questions.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Sandifer.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: From my indication was that the run and the coop had to be movable, is that correct?

CITY CLERK POWELL: They don’t have to be movable. I think a --

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I thought that we were --

CITY CLERK POWELL: A tractor can be moved.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Okay.

CITY CLERK POWELL: But they don’t have to be moveable.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Okay. I thought we were suggesting that they move them around to keep the area cleaner?

CITY CLERK POWELL: We’re not suggesting that, but it’s certainly something that if they had a chicken tractor that they could move around. And that’s certainly an option for the folks.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Okay.

MR. BOLEN: Yeah, if I could, could I answer? This is a chicken tractor. Generally they’re used temporarily or during the day. You need to move it every day or two. They’re not going to house ten chickens. I mean, that would be way too big to move by yourself if that answers your question. This is a, you know, a chicken coop is on the left. The run is where they spend the majority of their day if that helps.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you very much. Is there anyone else from the audience that would like to comment? Please come forward.

MS. SMALLEY: Hi guys. How are you? I just got a little something I typed up and then I had a few comments. My name is Bailey Smalley. I live at (Address Omitted), and I’ve been here a lot. So, as to Eric Jenkins’ question about how much birds are laying. A bird or hen that’s laying will lay about every other day. So, you can’t -- unless you have an excellent feed, which I’m hoping to have my chickens subsist partly on my kitchen scraps, which is okay for the birds, but unless you have excellent feed, the likelihood that they’re going to be laying every day is very slim, and in the winter they lay even less. So, I’m thinking if I had ten birds I could get maybe five eggs a day. I eat three eggs a day as part of what I want to do with my body, so I think that that’s okay. Ten birds is okay and it shouldn’t cause too much of an odor issue. For the waste, what I was understanding about compost is that has to be like stinky substances in Shawnee have to buried or contained so they’re not stinky. And so any chicken owner who is trying to follow the law will make sure that they have a waste management plan in place and then there are point systems for people who don’t. The ten-foot setback allows for tractoring. More tractoring means less smell. But there’s also a method called the deep litter method, which includes putting carbonaceous substances with the nitrogenous substances, which would be the poop, with like sawdust or something so that it doesn’t smell and it turns into compost quickly. You can look it up. Joel Salatin has a lot of stuff on the deep littering method. As to the size requirement, Roeland Park requires 12 feet per bird. So, I would recommend that we -- if we want to impose a maximum that it would be 120 feet because that would be 12 feet per bird. You could say the minimum is two feet and the maximum is 120 if you want to do that. I recommend not doing a maximum because as you could see with Brian’s yard he had a large space and you can move paddock around, so to speak, so that achieves the same effect as the chicken tractor. They sleep in the coop at night and they have a different paddock on different days. Okay. Any questions about that? I also made some comments, a little inspirational speech because I like you guys so much. I’m happy to see you again and I want to reaffirm you as you adopt less restrictive measure for keeping backyard poultry. First, in approving small scale poultry ownership you are granting the community optional access to their homegrown protein rich foods. Second, in approving these chickens, you are promoting environmental sustainability in the City as these animals naturally fertilize lawns and gardens and they can even remove pests without the use of harsh pesticides or fertilizers. Third, and perhaps the most important, in approving backyard poultry you are taking a stand for personal freedom. Freedom to be passionately different from the majority while educating yourself about a topic and seeing it through to responsible completion. While the passionate few who pursue keeping chickens in the suburbs may currently be fewer than 1 in 100, according to the USDA there’s actually a trend for young adults to become interested in and involved in the local food movement. If anything, young families may see relaxed chicken ordinances as a perk of moving to Shawnee. If you can recognize the work interested parties are willing to do for a permit, please realize that we will research and educate ourselves as extensively as other pet owners. In considering poultry as pets, I must also urge that we eliminate unnecessary double standards towards these birds that do not also apply to other types of pets especially as it pertains to space restrictions. Dogs must be restrained by leashes or fences, but they are not required to be in a kennel, cage or relatively tight enclosure at all times. Trust me, if I want to take my chicken for a walk I will put it on a leash. Roaming cats, as another more destructive example, are killing 500 million wild birds per year and are the reason some environmentalists say 1 in 3 bird species are in decline. Yet we have no requirement whatsoever for their continual enclosure or even restraint. Perpetual confinement in a small space certainly may ensure many species’ survival and relative well-being, but should not be listed as a restriction guiding poultry or dog or cat ownership. To impose small space confinement when it is unnecessary for an animal’s well-being may be excessively regulatory. For those who might think chicken owners have no place in the suburbs I have this contend. A person practicing stewardship of the earth is needed as much in the city and city-centered and suburbs as in rural areas. A suburban and urban cities need a citizenry that is ecologically conscious, creative and diverse and willing to tackle unusual problems all while being the types of decent neighbors that make a community feel like home.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Are there any more comments? Mr. Kemmling?

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: A couple items that came up on these last two comments that I don’t know if we want to address as a Council or not. One was from Mr. Bolen there about do we want to make sure that the run is completely enclosed or just on the side. That’s something I hadn’t considered until reading his packet here just recently. So, that’s something --

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: It would be completely enclosed. [Inaudible] predators on top of it.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: How do we have it now?

CITY CLERK POWELL: Enclosed.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Completely enclosed?

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: The run does as well?

CITY CLERK POWELL: Uh-huh.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Just something to throw out there for discussion. I’m going to hit three things. Item two, does the run count as our maximum space or not? That was something Mr. Bolen brought up as well. And do we want to have a maximum space? Because I notice here in this packet he gave us that if we do have ten and we have 85 square feet, then we have 8 square foot per chicken. And according to this backyard chickens organization they want 10 feet minimum. So, I personally wouldn’t be opposed to the coop being larger to accommodate the -- to give the ten chickens the ten feet or maybe even the 12 feet that was suggested as well. But those are three things I heard come up that I hadn’t considered before.

MAYOR DISTLER: Then also as a Council if you want to discuss adding the HOA part. So, I will accept a motion on whatever you guys want to move forward with.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I’d like to make a motion to approve the ordinance changes for Title 6 related to chickens. I’d like to include labeling it, paperwork and the code for -- to make sure that it states the name of the HOAs having to have their own approval. Cities do not have any say over the HOAs on this, so --

MAYOR DISTLER: Well, what about the structure being approved before it’s built as part of the permit process? Was that something you guys were interested in?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I think that we have our regulations in place when they come and get their paperwork of what they have to build.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: And he’s got to inspect it.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We have to inspect it anyway. The regulations are there.

MAYOR DISTLER: Stephen.

CITY CLERK POWELL: If I could jump in real quick. Our inspection process is dictated through an internal policy. So, any of the inspection stuff we could just add to that policy just so it’s all in one place.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: With you guys.

CITY CLERK POWELL: That’s the document that we routinely give to folks who do apply for the permit so they know what all the steps are in the process and that’s something that we review almost every year now as part of our internal review process for policies and procedures.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. So, it would address what could be built before it was built and not afterwards, so no, you can’t use this material or that?

CITY CLERK POWELL: It could, absolutely. Certainly some of those coop requirements though you would want to make those part of the code that they are today so that we can enforce them, you know, with a citation or whatever if we needed to.

MAYOR DISTLER: Right.

CITY CLERK POWELL: But certainly just to remind the Governing Body that many times when folks come in and apply for any of our special animal permits, I would say at least 99 percent of the time it’s because someone complained and they’ve already got the animals, they’ve already got it out there. So, we can certainly add to our internal inspection process that we will make sure that they submit, you know, a drawing or something that Officer Hunter can approve beforehand. But just so you all know in all reality is that a lot of these permits come into us because someone has complained about them and they’ve already got the animals.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I think, and we already have the structure in the policy, so.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Does that include also those two sections I mentioned? We’ll get the language, just kind of clean it up on those that are compatible.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. We need to do that, too.

CITY CLERK POWELL: The manure.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes. I agree.

MAYOR DISTLER: Do I have second?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Oh, but did you -- the neighbor consent, are you going to exclude that?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: The neighbor consent, we didn’t put that in it.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Gotcha. I just wanted to make sure.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: No, we didn’t put that in it.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Gotcha. The second thing.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: We did not, right?

CITY CLERK POWELL: That was optional for you all, but I didn’t hear you say it.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yeah. I did not want that in there.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I’ll second it.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Did the motion have any changes on drawings or the size of the coop?

CITY CLERK POWELL: The sizes, yeah.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Yeah. Ten foot chickens, is that what you said, twelve?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Well, whatever -- we just talked about moving it to, what, ten foot? Isn’t that what you said that they --

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Well, that’s what this one packet recommends, but she also recommended 12, so.

CITY CLERK POWELL: Mr. Kemmling, you’re referring to the size of the coop, not the distance from the property.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Right. Right. Right.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: The 85 feet is what we currently have, right?

CITY CLERK POWELL: It currently states 85 feet. But again that number --

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: It could be increased.

CITY CLERK POWELL: -- is up to you all.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: And I don’t, yeah, I can agree with that. Put that in there.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Which one? Ten or twelve?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: The ten. The ten.

COUNCILMEMBER KEMMLING: Ten chickens?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes.

MAYOR DISTLER: So, they can actually have a smaller coop if they have less chickens?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Yes.

MAYOR DISTLER: Yeah. I think that was --

CITY CLERK POWELL: And just so I make sure I get the motion right. The maximum square footage would then be what? Is that what you’re --

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: A hundred I guess is what --

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Ten foot per --

CITY CLERK POWELL: So, a hundred square feet?

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: A hundred foot, yes. And have we got a second?

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. A motion has been made and seconded. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Congratulations. 2. CONSIDER AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 5 OF THE SHAWNEE MUNICIPAL CODE RELATED TO THE REGULATION OF MOBILE RESTAURANTS.

MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 2 is to Consider an Ordinance Amending Title 5 of the -- is this Stephanie’s too?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: You just, I mean, I’m okay.

MAYOR DISTLER: It doesn’t have -- it doesn’t have your name.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Do you want me to do it or would you like to do it?

MAYOR DISTLER: Please.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Item Number 2 is to Consider an Ordinance Amending Title 5 of the Shawnee Municipal Code Related to the Regulation of Mobile Restaurants. The Council Committee recommended 8-0 to forward to the Governing Body consideration of an ordinance regarding the operation of mobile restaurants in the city.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Is there any discussion from the Council? Is there anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: So moved.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: I thought we were going to discuss some options. There was like several options presented, three options.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, this --

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: That’s going to be separate?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Okay.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: This is just regarding operation not the parking.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Well, I was wanting to say something.


3. CONSIDER REVISIONS TO POLICY STATEMENT PS-7, CONDUCT OF PUBLIC MEETINGS.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So, the final item in the Committee section is to Consider Revisions to Policy Statement PS-7, Conduct of Public Meetings. The Council Committee recommended 5-3 to forward to the Governing Body for consideration revisions to Policy Statement PS-7, Conduct of Public Meetings to allow public comment during Miscellaneous Council Items. That’s it.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Is there any discussion from the Council? Mr. Sandifer and then Mr. Neighbor.

COUNCILMEMBER SANDIFER: I still believe that we have not -- that it’s not an issue that’s broken and I don’t think we need to waste staff’s time in changing things. I know others differ from that. I’m going to be voting no against it because I have not seen an instance to where it’s been an issue and I don’t believe there needs to be a change if it’s not broken.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Neighbor and then Ms. Meyer.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yeah. I would agree with Mr. Sandifer here. Number one, I think it is in the purview of the chair of the meeting how they choose to operate the meeting. They have the power to do this if they do or do not. I sort of feel like Miscellaneous Council Items are -- that is an opportunity for the Council members to make various comments. If someone has an issue with it, that’s fine they can talk to them afterwards, or if they really -- it’s a burning issue, then they can bring it back, you know, to the next meeting under Business from the Floor. But I feel that the way this amended it conflicts with under General Meeting Rules and Procedures, Discussion of Issues, it says that members of the Governing Body are discouraged from engaging in debate with a member of the public at Council or Council Committee meetings. The purpose of public comment for Councilmembers is to receive input or information from the public. I just see this as an opportunity for getting into some sort of a debate at the end of a meeting and I -- there are already ways to deal with that. Like Councilman Sandifer said, it ain’t broke, I don’t think it needs to be fixed, so I’ll be voting no.

MAYOR DISTLER: Ms. Meyer and then Mr. Kenig.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Sure. I support this because I have seen instances where there have been Councilmembers who have kind of gone after people, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask that person to wait until a different forum to respond. I think it’s appropriate. I don’t think it’s engaging a debate any more than a Councilmember going after a member of the public. So, I think it would be helpful. And moreover, I’m going to support it because it is -- anytime we can increase public communication and transparency in the system I support, so I’m going to support it.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Kenig.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Yes. I just want to -- I guess I’m echoing Councilmember Meyer’s points at this juncture, but I think it’s always good to increase participation and solicit feedback in any stage of the process, whether that’s the beginning of the meeting, middle of the meeting, end of the meeting. And, you know, I know there’s cities that do this many different ways, but there is just as many cities that allow public comments during other items, other miscellaneous items as well. So, I think for me it comes down to just providing that additional option for input. And I think that in turns of how that’s governed it won’t be any different than it is where we allow it at other points of the meeting. The chair of the meeting will still retain discretion as it comes to time requirements and to ensuring that the comments don’t get off track or the meeting doesn’t get off track and it doesn’t get out of hand. But I don’t think that that by itself should be a rationale for rejecting expansion of public input, so I will be voting yes.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Pflumm.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Yes. I want to strongly encourage adoption of this revised policy statement. Anything that increases public participation and public input is very desirable.

MAYOR DISTLER: Mr. Pflumm.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: And I also agree with the last three Councilmembers.

MAYOR DISTLER: Okay. Is there anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? Please come forward.

Public Comments:

MR. ERLICHMAN: Ray Erlichman, (Address Omitted). A couple things I wanted to bring out. Number one, as a quick refresher on Kansas civics. Section 3 of the Bill of Rights of the state of Kansas, just a refresher for some who may have forgotten. The Bill of Rights for the state of Kansas comes before the bulk of the constitution, it’s right up front. Section 3, Right of Peaceable Assembly, Petition, et cetera, et cetera. To consult for the common good. To instruct their representatives. It’s been in there. It’s a lot different than even the U.S. Constitution as far as petitioning the government for redress of grievances. That’s number one. Number two, every month the [inaudible] kicks out a report as to what happened during the month. The first page of that report is this. And without going into a long drawn out spiel who’s on top? The citizens. Not the governing body or any specific member of that governing body. The citizens come first. Okay. Mr. Neighbor brought up two very important things, not to make light of them. Number one, the fact that the chair of the meeting, be it the Mayor of the Council or the President of the Council acting as chairman of the Council Committee to control it. The current provision says may ask for comments, does not say will. And in all the years, as I mentioned at the Committee meeting, that I’ve been attending these meetings, I’ve never heard any mayor or any Council chairman ask for comments at that particular point in time. We have had one incident recently where a member of the community did come up on his own during that particular point in time. As far as the no debate, I do not have a degree in English literature. I have not taken advanced courses in semantics. But the Governing Body and the citizens that come up to this podium are continuously engaging in debates. We may call them discussions. They’re still debates. People come up, they make comments. The Governing Body ask the questions. Back and forth. Sometimes they’ll ask him a question, they’ll say, well, I disagree with Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones, whatever. Those are debates. I remember when that particular clause was put into Policy Statement 7. Very candidly, it was because we had one particular member on the Council at that time that would engage in very, very hostile conversations with members of the public. But there are debates going on all the time. Tonight was kind of mild. I remember during the Committee meeting about the chicken coops, the Committee meeting during the -- where to park the mobile restaurants. There was a lot of back and forth. Those are debates. So, to me that clause in the PS-7 is irrelevant because you’re always having debates. A couple Council meetings ago former Councilmember Morris came up at two different times with two different items and there was a lot of give and take back and forth between members of the Council. That’s a debate. There is some Councilmembers have, as Ms. Meyer pointed out, used that particular section of the meeting to make statements that were unfettered and unchallenged to where they thought they could make whatever statements they wanted, that they would not be challenged. To say that it could be brought up by a member of the public at a later meeting from Business from the Floor does not get it into a public record, which is the minutes, in a contemporaneous fashion. I’m not saying that people are going to come up here all the time and constantly belittle, harass whatever members of the Council when they make comments at that particular point in time. But the public still has to be aware that if they feel that something is said that is not correct, that is not right, that they have a right to their opinion. I’ll be with you in one second. I’m almost finished. Under the five minutes.

MAYOR DISTLER: You’ve got nine seconds.

MR. ERLICHMAN: Is that what I’ve got?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Eight, seven --

MAYOR DISTLER: Six, five, four, three, two, one.

MR. ERLICHMAN: Would one of the members of the Council ask for a 45-second extension, please?

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: We’ll give you 40 seconds.

MR. ERLICHMAN: Okay. This came out of the Shawnee Dispatch. Vaught said that allowing public comment outside the allotted public comments at a time could create unwanted debates and conflicts, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I think we’re encouraging it to turn into a conversation which isn’t good because then we turn it into a conversation about something that’s not on the agenda. I just don’t want to take a moment and have somebody get up and turn it into a debate against me at the end of a meeting. No Councilmember has a right to think that they’re above the people of the City. And if somebody make a comment during that portion of the meeting, the public does have a right to voice their opinion. Hope I didn’t go over more than that extra 45 seconds. Thank you.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: So moved.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS PFLUMM, JENKINS, KEMMLING, KENIG, MEYER: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay.

COUNCILMEMBERS NEIGHBOR, SANDIFER: Nay.

MAYOR DISTLER: Motion passes. (Motion passes 5-2). And Mr. Sandifer and Mr. Neighbor voted in dissent.
H. STAFF ITEMS

1. CONSIDER AN ENGINEERING SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR THE NIEMAN ROAD REALLOCATION OF RIGHT-OF-WAY, SHAWNEE MISSION PARKWAY TO 55TH STREET, P.N. 3411.

MAYOR DISTLER: The next item is H, Staff Items. Item Number 1 is to Consider an Engineering Services Agreement for the Nieman Road Reallocation of Right-of-Way, Shawnee Mission Parkway to 55th Street, P.N. 3411. The Nieman Road Reallocation right-of-way project was awarded federal funding in 2014 and authorized by the Governing Body on January 26, 2015. Staff received four proposals from qualified firms and through a qualification based ranking system is recommending BHC Rhodes, Overland Park, Kansas for an amount not to exceed $199,975. The project is funded through Federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant and the Economic Development Fund. The recommended action is to consider approving and authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement. Is there any discussion from the Council? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: So moved.

COUNCILMEMBER KENIG: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

2. CONSIDER AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 12.06.440 OF THE SHAWNEE MUNICIPAL CODE TO CLARIFY REFERENCES TO THE ABATEMENT AND REMOVAL PROCEDURE WITHIN THE RIGHT-OF-WAY.

MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 2 is to Consider an Ordinance Amending Section 12.06.440 of the Shawnee Municipal Code to Clarify References to the Abatement and Removal Procedure within the Right-of-Way. Staff has prepared an Ordinance to amend Section 12.06.440 of the Shawnee Municipal Code to correct references for the abatement and assessment of nuisances and hazards in the right-of-way. The recommended action is to consider passing an ordinance.

Is there any discussion from the Council? Anyone from the audience that would like to speak to this item? I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So moved.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)

I. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS 1. RATIFY SEMI-MONTHLY CLAIM FOR OCTOBER 26, 2015 IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,286,147.76.

MAYOR DISTLER: The next item is I, Miscellaneous Items. Item Number 1 is to Ratify Semi-monthly Claim for October 26, 2015 in the Amount of $2,286,147.76. Is there any discussion from the Council? Anyone from the audience that would like to comment on this item? I will accept a motion.

COUNCILMEMBER JENKINS: Move for approval.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Second.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded on this item. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Opposed nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0)
2. MISCELLANEOUS COUNCIL ITEMS.

MAYOR DISTLER: Item Number 2 is Miscellaneous Council Items. Does anyone on the Council have any item they would like to discuss? Mr. Neighbor.

COUNCILMEMBER NEIGHBOR: Yes. I just would like to mention kudos to the Public Works Department, particularly Ms. Gard and Mr. Sherfy. They were awarded the accreditation this past week and Doug Wesselschmidt also. They were awarded the accreditation, I can’t remember the name of the group. But anyway, of all of the public works and developmental services departments throughout the United States, they’re one of only 105. So, this is a tremendous, tremendous effort and it is tremendous for the City of Shawnee and thank you very much to everybody and all your staffs that put this together.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Ms. Meyer.

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I just talked to Councilmember Vaught and in his absence said I would relay on -- he heard from a couple of constituents who are out on Monticello that there is a contractor who is out there digging up the back of their property and it apparently doing some significant damage do that. So, I just wanted to make sure that was on someone’s radar.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Do you have an address?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Yeah. I can give you -- yeah. I can give it to you.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: It’s Mike Kemmling’s back yard.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: It’s actually my Jeff Hudson’s back yard.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: Okay.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: Oh, so north Monticello. J. ADJOURNMENT

MAYOR DISTLER: If there are no other items I will accept a motion to adjourn.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: So moved.

MAYOR DISTLER: Yes.

CITY MANAGER GONZALES: I might just remind everyone the Committee meeting has been moved to Monday, November 2nd at 5:30 at the Justice Center.

MAYOR DISTLER: Thank you. Motion to adjourn? Anyone?

COUNCILMEMBER MEYER: Second. So moved, whatever.

COUNCILMEMBER PFLUMM: I moved it.

MAYOR DISTLER: A motion has been made and seconded to adjourn. All those in favor say aye.

COUNCILMEMBERS: Aye.

MAYOR DISTLER: Oppose nay. Motion passes. (Motion passes 7-0). We are adjourned.

(Shawnee City Council Meeting Adjourned at 9:16 p.m.)

CERTIFICATE

I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the electronic sound recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter.

/das November 4, 2015

Deborah A. Sweeney, Recording Secretary

APPROVED BY:

_______________________

Stephen Powell, City Clerk




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