City Attorney Bill Geary has confirmed that the Kansas City Council won’t put a measure challenging a new downtown convention hotel on an upcoming election ballot.
Geary sent a letter to Jonathan Sternberg, attorney for a group of petitioners who oppose the planned convention hotel and want the public to vote on it. That group had filed a formal demand that the petition initiative be put on an election ballot.
“The city will not place the petition submitted by the committee of petitioners attempting to halt the continued development of the downtown convention headquarters hotel on a ballot,” Geary wrote.
The City Council in July approved agreements for an 800-room, $311 million Hyatt Hotel, to be built just east of the Bartle Hall ballroom, on a block bordered by Wyandotte Street, Baltimore Avenue, 16th Street and Truman Road. City officials hope the hotel can open in 2018.
Geary has argued in the past, and the City Council agreed, that the proposed ballot language violates state law and would cause the city to be in breach of contract with the hotel developers.
Dan Coffey, spokesman for Citizens for Responsible Government, which collected the petition signatures, said Monday his group is now raising money to file a lawsuit.
If it can raise sufficient funds in the next few weeks, Coffey said, the group will ask a judge for a court order compelling the city to put its hotel challenge on an election ballot next year.