After three years, a fight over religious student housing on Troost Avenue continued today as a divided city council sent it back to committee.
The council voted 10-2 to send the $14 million project back to the Planning and Zoning Committee.
But that committee is not the same group that approved it last year under the old city council.
Councilman Scott Taylor, who now chairs the committee and was on the previous one, argued for a final vote Thursday on whether to approve the amended project at a five-acre site at Troost and 53rd Street.
Councilwoman Jolie Justus of the 4th district, where the project is located, noted that a changed plan that Taylor wanted to approve had not been vetted by the City Plan Commission or even heard by the council planning committee.
It is dangerous to change a plan on the floor and vote for it without vetting it, she said.
“I’m not asking that this be referred to this committee to kill it,” she said. “I’m asking my colleagues to give the process a chance.”
The new plan follows many months of mediation but was still opposed by many. It reduces the number of apartment units from 85 to 82, increases parking and moves the building from the southeast to southwest corner, Taylor said.
Troost needs the development, he said, and the matter finally needs to be resolved.
But parishioners of the St. Francis Xavier church adjacent to the site and neighbors have opposed the project for years.
It would raze the former St. Francis Xavier school, which people had hoped to renovate for neighborhood use.
They object to the housing project’s density, design, parking and more.
The City Plan Commission repeatedly recommended against the project, citing vast opposition.
Lawyers for the property owner, the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, have threatened to sue the city unless the project is approved.