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Unified Government meetingGeorge Brajkovic, director of economic development for the Unified Government, described the Argentine development project that received final approval at the Aug. 29 meeting. The $9.5 million development includes a new Walmart Neighborhood Market. (Staff photo)
Unified Government meeting
Where was everybody?
Two absences from the Unified Government Commission meeting tonight, and a third absence in the middle of the meeting, meant that the UG Commission couldn’t make any changes to Planning Commission recommendations because there weren’t enough commissioners present.
Two commissioners were absent at the start of the meeting, Mike Kane and Jim Walters. Commissioner Brian McKiernan was participating by telephone.
A television news crew came up apparently to ask Commissioner Tarence Maddox some questions about his alleged assault incident Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Legoland in Kansas City, Mo., and about some other misdemeanor tickets they found in his record. Commissioner Maddox later left the meeting.
As UG officials explained, they had to have six votes to approve most of the Planning Commission’s recommendations, but they needed eight votes to make any changes. The 10-member board is already short one commissioner because of the vacancy in the 1st District, at large, that is still open.
Commissioner Ann Murguia’s Argentine Walmart development project received final approval, with Murguia and Hal Walker not voting. Murguia is the executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association and Walker is on the ANDA board.
But after that vote, some projects were affected by the lack of commissioners present.
Dr. Sharon Lee’s satellite medical clinic and food pantry at the Faith Lutheran Church and a nearby house at 5th and Greeley was up for a change of zoning, but received some comments from neighbors who wanted it to be a temporary change of zoning. The neighbors included Commissioner Gayle Townsend, who spoke about the project and was in agreement with the neighborhood association.
Townsend said the medical clinic had been a good neighbor, but she would like to see more dialogue and possibly a special use permit instead of a permanent change of zoning. Townsend did not vote on it. Because there were not enough votes to make any changes, the proposal was sent back to the Planning Commission.
A spokesman for the medical clinic project said they might not want to go forward with the project if they received only temporary zoning. “It probably is an all-or-nothing thing right now,” he said during the meeting.
A resident who wanted the UG Commission to approve a special permit for four dogs for two years asked the commission to send it back to the Planning Commission because of the lack of enough commissioners present to override the Planning Commission’s earlier decision. Earlier, the Planning Commission had approved only six months for the family to have four dogs, giving the family a little time to find new homes for two dogs.
The family has helped rescue some dogs in their area. “Please let us keep the dogs,” pleaded one of the family members.
Although these projects were delayed, several other projects were passed tonight, including the proposal by Schlitterbahn to use some houses on the property as vacation rentals.