Action on a developer’s request to extend a special use permit for the proposed $50 million Mission Chateau retirement community at 8500 Mission Road has been continued until Jan. 20 while the developer works with neighbors.
The Prairie Village City Council voted 6-5 on Monday night to continue the action until the next council meeting to allow time for developers to meet with neighbors. The Tutera Partnership MVS LLC has presented neighbors with a revised conceptual plan for the development.
“MVS is hopeful that this revised plan can serve as the basis for a resolution of the disputes surrounding the special use permit,” Timothy J. Sear of the Polsinelli Law Firm wrote to the city on Friday.
City Administrator Quinn Bennion said that while he hasn’t seen the revised plan, his understanding is that it reduces the size and scope of the project. The project’s size has been the basis for citizens’ objections to the project.
Polsinelli is representing MVS in a legal battle regarding the project. Last year Johnson County District Judge Thomas Sutherland ruled in favor of the city’s decision to issue a special use permit for the project. Forty-eight plaintiffs, many of whom are members of the Mission Valley Neighbors Association, have appealed the ruling.
Developers have asked the city to either extend the special use permit or stay the expiration of the permit due to the extended legal battle. Currently, the permit requires start of construction by January 2016. Councilwoman Laura Wassmer has asked that the city define the start of construction to clarify what that means for developers.
Tutera plans to build a 350,000-square-foot retirement community featuring independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Included will be 136 units for independent living and 54 units for assisted living in a 228,340-square-foot building on the site. A second 97,500-square-foot building to the west would contain 36 units for memory care and 84 skilled-nursing-care units.
In other action, the council set Jan. 14 as the date for a farewell reception for Mayor Ron Shaffer. The event will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Meadowbrook Country Club with a presentation at 6 p.m.
Shaffer is stepping down after 26 years serving the city as councilman and four terms as mayor. He was elected in fall 2014 to serve as the Johnson County commissioner in District 1.
Shaffer missed what was scheduled to be his final meeting on Monday because he is in the hospital recovering from a medical procedure.
At the Committee of the Whole meeting, the council reviewed the protocol for filling Shaffer’s vacancy. Ashley Weaver, Ward 1, current council president, will serve as interim mayor after Shaffer is sworn in as county commissioner this month. A permanent replacement can then be elected by the council to serve until April when voters are slated to select a new mayor for a four-year term.
If the council elects one of its members to fill the remainder of Shaffer’s term that council person will be required to relinquish his or her council seat. If, however, the council decides not to elect a permanent replacement, Weaver would continue to serve as interim mayor until April city elections.
The filing deadline is Jan. 27. If a council member is running unopposed it’s possible the council could elect that person to serve as mayor in the interim.
The council has not decided how it will handle the vacancy.
The council also adopted new RV parking guidelines that will go into effect in July. RVs will be required to park on a hard surface and be fully screened up to six feet. Additionally, RVs may not be permanently parked in front of the front building line or in front of the front building line of properties directly adjacent. Temporary parking guidelines are also outlined.
The council also approved a special use permit allowing the expansion of Highlawn Montessori School at 3531 Somerset Drive and approved a special use permit for the operation of Homestead Country Club at 6510 Mission Road. The club plans to sell 5.6 acres of land for development of single family homes and is demolishing the existing clubhouse and pool concession building.
Additionally, at the request of Prairie Village resident Finn Bullers, the council agreed to support updating the disabled access icon in its joint city/county legislative platform. Bullers said the new symbol is more active and better reflects today’s disabled community.