The Kansas City Council on June 26, 2008, passed an ordinance that changed city zoning laws to exempt museums and art galleries from using property in areas zoned for R-1 use, or residential single-family. Such areas have historically allowed civic uses, including schools, libraries, police stations, universities, museums and art galleries.
The change means that The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art cannot use its property to the east of the Museum, the Laura Nelson Kirkwood Home, in spite of the fact that the Museum owns the property.
The Nelson-Atkins leaders were disappointed by the Council’s involvement in what is essentially a private property issue.
The Museum will continue to pursue the most effective avenues for working with neighborhood and city leaders to resolve the situation.
The Board of Trustees in September challenged the city ordinance with a lawsuit filed in federal court.