Fight could be brewing over convention hotel petitions

Rendering courtesy of Hyatt Hotels
A rendering of the proposed convention hotel, viewed here behind the Kauffman Center. | Rendering courtesy of Hyatt Hotels


A grass-roots petition initiative challenging Kansas City’s plan for a new convention hotel has sufficient signatures to seek a public vote, City Clerk Marilyn Sanders has confirmed.

But that may put the City Council in a difficult spot — deciding whether to schedule an election on a petition that the city attorney says is legally flawed.

The matter is likely to come up in a closed-door legal discussion when the council meets Thursday.

Sanders said the group Citizens for Responsible Government gathered about 2,000 valid signatures, more than the 1,700 signatures required to put a petition initiative on the Kansas City ballot. The group this week sent a letter to council members urging them to put the hotel project to a public vote.

At issue is a plan for an 800-room, $311 million Hyatt hotel just east of the Bartle Hall ballroom, with an opening slated in 2018. About $164 million of the money would come from public funding sources, including cash, land and redirection of public taxes into the project.

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