Development

Vote put off on new plan for diocese student housing on Troost Avenue

The Kansas City Council sent a proposal by the Diocese of Kansas City-St.Joseph, led by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., to use the old St. Francis Xavier School as student housing back to committee Thursday.
The Kansas City Council sent a proposal by the Diocese of Kansas City-St.Joseph, led by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., to use the old St. Francis Xavier School as student housing back to committee Thursday. tljungblad@kcstar.com

The Kansas City Council has once again deferred a final vote on a controversial plan for student housing on the former St. Francis Xavier School site.

The council on Thursday sent the plan back to the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee for further review.

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph wants to replace the old school near 53rd Street and Troost Avenue with a residential building intended primarily for Catholic students at nearby Rockhurst University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The plan has drawn significant neighborhood opposition since 2012. The diocese had changed the building configuration along Troost, reduced the number of units from 85 to 82 and proposed more parking options after meeting with opponents and a mediator last year.

But 4th District Councilwoman Jolie Justus, who represents the district where the site is located, said the plan still faces fierce resistance from many residents. She said she wasn’t asking that it be sent back to committee to “kill it” but to have city staff review it and see if there isn’t a more workable compromise.

Council members Scott Taylor and Jermaine Reed said this issue has dragged on long enough and the diocese deserved an up-or-down decision. But the council voted 10-2 to accommodate Justus’ request.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

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