Opponents of a controversial Country Club Plaza office development proposal turned in more than enough valid signatures to force a referendum this fall, an election official said today.
The Save Our Plaza group turned in petitions last week with 10,500 valid signatures, said Shelly McThomas, Democratic director for the Kansas City election board. The group needed 7,144 valid signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.
McThomas said the Kansas City Clerk's office would be notified later today of the petition drive's success.
Dan Cofran, spokesman for Save Our Plaza, said his organization is asking the mayor and Kansas City Council to repeal the rezoning voluntarily to avoid a citywide vote.
“We are very pleased that the petitions were certified and we’ll ask the City Council to go ahead and repeal this rezoning outright as opposed to submitting to the voters in November,” Cofran said.
Highwoods Properties, the owner of the Plaza, received Council approval in early for the rezoning required to redevelop the site now occupied by the Neptune Apartments at 333 W. 46th Terrace for a proposed office building.
The project originally was envisioned to be the headquarters of the Polsinelli Shughart law firm. The firm has since dropped out of that plan because of the delays in its approval, and is now considering other sites.
Highwoods spent more than $50,000 to try to derail the petition drive.