Mayor Mark Funkhouser (Kansas City Mayor's Office)
Kansas City rejects annexation near airport
On February 3, the Kansas City Planning and Zoning Committee approved the proposal, which would have allowed developers to construct a new housing development over the next twenty years. The bill, which was sponsored by City Councilman Ed Ford, made it through committee even after the city's planning staff, police department, aviation department, fire department, and MAST either expressed concerns or opposed the measure altogether.
Ford was joined by Mayor Mark Funkhouser and three other colleagues, who argued that the city needed the "responsible" growth plan because it would cost the city nothing, and because it required no tax breaks.
Opponents of the plan, however, saw the holes in the proposal. City Councilwoman Jan Marcason advocated that "we must be more strategic with our limited resources," referring to the fact that Kansas City already struggles to repair roads and provide basic services to such a large landmass.
This was a victory for opponents of urban sprawl, something some might call Kansas City's greatest problem.
Sprawl is a process wherein cities and their suburbs spread outward, encroaching on rural and agricultural lands.