KC Council votes to make Westport sidewalks private property to reduce violence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Council voted Thursday to make sidewalks in Westport private property in a move to reduce violence in the neighborhood.

In an 8-5 vote, the council passed the ordinance that privatizes sidewalks from Westport Road to 40th Street and Southwest Trafficway to Broadway.

This allows parts of the entertainment district to be closed off, and business owners will be able to screen for weapons.

In exchange, business owners must pay for maintenance of the sidewalks.

Council members who voted against the proposal, like Jolie Justice and Quinton Lucas, said they can't support giving away public property and think there are better ways to curb crime in Westport.

Another big concern with the ordinance was profiling. A second ordinance was also passed Thursday, addressing civil rights protections.

Down the road, if the city decides to take the sidewalks back, it must pay $132,000 to the Westport district.