Roeland Park City Council closing two meetings to public tonight regarding 47th and Mission, sign regulations

The empty lot at 47th and Mission Road is now used for overflow Taco Republic parking.
The empty lot at 47th and Mission Road is now used for overflow Taco Republic parking. It will be the topic of one of the two meetings closed to the public tonight.

The Roeland Park City Council is closing two meetings to the public tonight.

The first closed session deals with the corner of 47th Street and Mission Road where a Special Use Permit (SUP) has been filed by developer Tony Krsnich. Krsnich has asked to use the southwest corner of the intersection as overflow parking for Taco Republic while he attempts to land an operator to build a new restaurant on the site. Krsnich also proposes having food trucks on the site until construction on a new building begins.

The Roeland Park Planning Commission voted 4-2 to recommend the SUP to the council at its June 30 meeting. That three-hour session was open to the public and included multiple questions to the city attorney. It was the most recent of several meetings that have been held regarding the temporary parking proposal for the property where the buildings that once occupied the corner have been demolished at the request of the city.

The council’s committee of the whole agenda for tonight cites the exception to open meetings for “quasi-judicial deliberations.” That exception can be used to close meetings for rezoning or granting special use permits, but is rarely invoked. The Prairie Village discussions of the Mission Chateau development, for example, also would have qualified under the same Kansas open meetings exceptions. However, the Prairie Village City Council chose to conduct those meetings in public.

The SUP also is an agenda item at the city council meeting later this evening, beginning at 7 p.m., which will be open to the public.

The second meeting that the council is closing to the public tonight involves legal advice concerning sign ordinances. It cites attorney-client privilege – an exception allowed in the open meetings act for executive session – as the reason for closing the meeting.

The attorney-client privilege also is rarely invoked to close council meetings in northeast Johnson County, although it has been used in Roeland Park previously. The most notable use was during the anti-discrimination ordinance discussions. Other councils have discussed sign regulations in open session, most recently at the Mission City Council.