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KCMO councilman wants to block vape, liquor store construction on portion of Barry Road

KCMO councilman Nathan Willett
Posted at 10:13 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 23:13:47-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri Councilman Nathan Willett says North Kansas City is growing quickly.

He’s focused on a small area of undeveloped land along Barry Road, about 10 minutes south of KCI, between NW Waukomis Drive and North Platte Purchase Drive.

“We want to ask ourselves, what’s the best use?" Willett said.

He wants to establish some ground rules, and is proposing a moratorium to any “permits, plan review, project plans, and zoning changes, where the subject matter of the project is a proposed liquor store or vape shop.”

“I don’t think a ton of vape or liquor stores is what we want to see," Willett said.

KSHB 41's Megan Abundis counted about three stores that sell liquor, but no vape shops along this area of Barry Road.

Willett said this is all about planning what goes into the community.

“I think this is the role of local government — the role of bringing neighborhood leaders together,” he said.

Willett wants to prevent and get ahead of quick development, and when he was campaigning for his position, this is what his constituents said they wanted.

“Well, that’s what we pay him to do; it’s nice for him to look out for us," said Steve Ehmko, who lives near Barry Road. “You can already buy liquor at every grocery store. I don’t want any more oil change places; enough banks.”

Instead, others like Ehmko said they'd like to see more restaurants, a Trader Joe’s, and places for kids.

“We want to make sure the stuff that going in there complements our libraries that we invested heavily in, complements schools, complements neighborhoods,” Willett said.

The councilman’s proposal is up for more discussion next month in the planning commission.

If passed, it would take effect on Oct. 11, 2024.