With no public comment and little discussion, the Prairie Village City Council voted to create a tax-increment financing district for the proposed redevelopment of the Meadowbrook Country Club.
Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved creating the 172-acre district, which is bordered by 91st and 95th streets and Nall and Roe avenues.
VanTrust Real Estate plans to develop part of the property for a senior living complex, luxury apartments, single-family homes, two neighborhoods of town homes and a boutique inn. The city would buy around 90 acres from VanTrust and donate it for a public park.
A tax-increment financing, or TIF, district allows a local government to divert future gains in property tax within the district to help pay for certain costs of redeveloping a property. In this case, the city plans to use up to $18 million in revenue from the district to repay bonds sold to buy the park land, as well as pay the cost of developing it for a park and upgrading public streets within the district.
There is a separate 22-acre commercial project area within the district made up of the shops currently at the corner of 95th Street and Nall Avenue. There are no plans to redevelop this area, but city officials sought to include it in the TIF district so they could capture future gains in property taxes if any of the buildings are redeveloped.
No residents spoke during the public hearing on the TIF district.
While the council approved the district, the city is not yet obligated to approve the Meadowbrook project or buy the park land. Those votes are scheduled to come in November following additional negotiations, said City Administrator Quinn Bennion.
Under state statutes for TIF districts, the council had to designate the property as a conservation area, meaning that it is in danger of becoming blighted if not redeveloped. This designation was based on most of the buildings in the district being more than 35 years old, a lack of adequate sewer and storm water drainage on most of the undeveloped property and many of the structures lacking room for expansion or additional parking lot space.
In other business, the city council instructed city staff to begin regulating Prairie Village residents who rent out part or all of their homes through Airbnb Inc., a home-sharing website that lets users make their homes available to travelers for days or weeks, as regular rental businesses.
Assistant City Administrator Wes Jordan said the city has received concerns from rental property owners who object to Airbnb users not having to follow the same rental requirements they do, such as paying an annual $80 rental licensing fee and undergoing regular inspections.
“If we’re going to be charging some people for renting their house to one family or one person for a year, and we’re not going to charge people who could possibly be renting their house every single day to different people, that’s not necessarily fair,” said Mayor Laura Wassmer.
Also, Consolidated Fire District No. 2 outlined its proposal to build a fire station on the city government campus at 7700 Mission Road that would replace the 1950s-era station at 9011 Roe Ave.
The district would need to buy a little less than an acre on the southern edge of the campus, which already includes City Hall, the police department and the swimming pool complex. An appraisal estimates the land would cost $275,000.
Fire District Chief Tony Lopez said the Mission Road location would put the station closer to areas of the city that generate the most calls for service. The district had earlier purchased property for a new station at 95th Street and Rosewood Drive, but Lopez said that site was no longer as useful after the city of Overland Park canceled a contract for services from the district. Lopez said the district would sell that property.
Council members gave their initial blessing on continued negotiations, adding that they wanted to have final approval of the proposed station’s design and also wanted to consider other uses around the site, such as expected renovation to the Harmon Skate Park.
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