The Lee’s Summit’s Planning Commission’s reaction to building 82 more houses in New Longview, in a tract to be called Kessler Ridge, left residents and the developer wondering what’s next.
At last week’s meeting, some commissioners objected to the lack of a new master plan for the New Longview subdivision and historic buildings of Longview Farm.
They wanted more assurance that if Kessler Ridge is approved, the developer would honor earlier promises to restore historic buildings on Longview Farm, a landmark featuring buildings with red-tile roofs and stucco exteriors. It’s a showplace constructed a century ago for Kansas City lumber tycoon Robert Alexander Long.
Longview LLC, a subsidiary of Mariner Real Estate, is seeking approval of a preliminary development plan for Kessler Ridge at the northeast corner of Longview Boulevard and Longview Road, an 82-lot project in two phases.
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Commissioners questioned whether land planning for Kessler Ridge, which didn’t extend to the historic buildings, has been adequate. Commissioner Kurt Pycior wondered if it was time to throw out the previous New Longview plan altogether.
Pycior said that since New Longview began in 2002, it was touted as a special neighborhood.
“Now it seems to me, it’s gone by the wayside,” he said.
His motion to approve the preliminary development plan for the new tract failed. In a voice vote, several commissioners said “no,” and there was one abstention. Four members didn’t vote at all during the meeting, which was attended by about 60 people.
So the project goes to the City Council for a public hearing March 5 without any recommendation for denial or approval.
The developer has met several times with residents and had created a plan in many ways acceptable to them for that particular tract, although they were asking for some specific safeguards to be included in writing.
Only the first phase of 55 houses could be built, because a tax-increment financing agreement for New Longview ties the number of housing units that can be built to the rehabilitation of historic buildings.
In the fall, the City Council granted a partial waiver to allow Mariner to go ahead with 55 houses as it worked on a plan for the rest of New Longview.
Over decades, the New Longview development by David Gale has changed slightly from the original plan, and Mariner Real Estate acquired most of the land from Gale in a foreclosure.
Corey Walker, asset manager for Mariner Real Estate Management, met several times with residents of New Longview and others, such as members of the R.A. Long Historical Society, as the developer worked on concepts for Kessler Ridge.
The plan was intended to be “transitional” between the look of the Bridlewood at Longview subdivision and the New Longview homes, which have neo-traditional design. The neo-traditional concept involved freestanding garages entered from an alley and other features of urban development.
The architecture of houses in Kessler Ridge would be Craftsman or Prairie styles, with a broad color palette, similar to houses existing in New Longview. However, Kessler Ridge would have driveways and garages in front of the houses instead of alleys.
The Longview Alliance asked for conditions to be added, including restrictions on fencing to make sure fences are similar to those already in New Longview, trees planted along streets and a written outline for landscaping in Kessler Ridge. They also wanted 25-foot setbacks instead of the 20-foot setbacks the developer proposed and a requirement that architectual features extend from the front to all four sides of a house.