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Johnson County judge clarifies ruling in Prairie Village zoning lawsuit

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Posted at 11:41 AM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-18 12:41:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Johnson County District Court judge late Friday offered clarification on a ruling in a case involving the ongoing zoning disputes in Prairie Village.

Earlier this month, Judge Rhonda Mason made seemingly contradictory decisions in an oral ruling compared to a written court ruling.

In the Sept. 6 oral ruling, Mason ruled that petitions filed by Prairie Village residents over zoning regulations and the city’s form of government were invalid.

The written ruling issued later that day contradicted Mason’s oral ruling, leaving parties in the lawsuit waiting for the final outcome.

That final outcome came Friday, when Mason wrote that her opinion from the oral ruling stands.

With the final outcome now better defined, the abandonment petition will be allowed to go before voters, while questions about the rezoning petition and adoption petition are not eligible to be submitted for a vote.

“After consideration of all arguments, the Court reinstates its initial oral decision,” Mason wrote in Friday’s ruling.

LINK | Read the ruling

Voters won’t however be asked about the abandonment petition - which would ask voters to change the city’s form of government - this year.

Johnson County Election Commissioner Fred Sherman said on Sept. 8 that the deadline had passed to put the petition on the Nov. 8 ballot.

“We are one week past our stated ballot deadline, and, due to logistics required to prepare ballots and the need to meet legally mandated deadlines, the Election Office is now past the point at which it can accept additional items for the November ballot," Sherman said in the Sept. 8 statement.