Petitions seek vote on KC convention hotel, but legal hurdles await

Rendering courtesy of Hyatt Hotels
Kansas City’s planned convention hotel may be put to a public vote following petition signatures, but the city’s attorney said binding agreements already entered into by the city may render the signatures moot. | Rendering courtesy of Hyatt Hotels

A group appears to have collected enough petition signatures to put Kansas City’s planned $311 million convention hotel project to a public vote, but the city’s attorney said binding agreements already entered into by the city may render the petition initiative moot.

Kansas City election authorities on Wednesday received petitions with more than 800 signatures calling for a public vote on the planned 800 room Hyatt hotel. Combined with 1,300 valid signatures already gathered by Citizens for Responsible Government, the signature drive appears to be well above the 1,700 required for initiative petitions.

The petitioners say voters deserve a voice in the downtown convention hotel proposal because it involves substantial public subsidies.

But City Attorney Bill Geary said Wednesday that citizen petitions must be lawful. Existing contracts for financing and agreements with the hotel’s developers may mean the ballot initiative is at odds with that requirement.

Read more from the Kansas City Star and the Kansas City Business Journal


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