The lawyer representing owners of the Mission Valley site aired a host of grievances before the Prairie Village City Council Monday — and in the process, provided the first look at the group’s plans for the space.
Polsinelli Shughart PC attorney John Petersen spoke at length during the public forum portion of the meeting to protest the council’s rapid passage of a moratorium on Special Use Permits at its Nov. 5 meeting – a move that prevented the Mission Valley owners from submitting their plans for the site to the city’s Planning Commission.
Expressing severe indignation that his client had no notice the council would pass an ordinance that impacted the owners’ property, Petersen seemed to hint at possible legal action against the city.
“In our opinion, the ordinance is improper,” Petersen told the council. “It was not legally enacted based on statutory authority on which the city of Prairie Village operates.”
At issue, Petersen said, was language in city code stipulating that such a moratorium can be put in place only when it is designed to address a city-wide matter. Petersen suggested the moratorium was intended only to prevent his clients from being able to file their plans.
But Brian Doerr, a Mission Valley neighborhood homeowner who spoke on behalf of the Mission Valley Neighbors Association, commended the council for quickly passing the moratorium, saying it gave the city a chance to evaluate the merits of a new protest petition law that would give Prairie Village residents a channel for challenging Special Use Permit applications that impact their area.
“This is not a Mission Valley issue. This is a Prairie Village issue,” Doerr said. “This is a due process issue — this is giving citizens a voice in the process.”
Many of the Mission Valley-area homeowners in the audience voiced concern that the ownership group hadn’t effectively communicated its plans for the site to them.
The council was ultimately unfazed by Petersen’s efforts to persuade the group to lift the moratorium, instead moving to put discussion of the protest petition ordinance on the agenda of the next council and planning commission meetings.
But in an effort to illustrate the good faith in which the property owners had been working to develop a suitable project for the site, Petersen displayed two renderings showing initial plans for an extensive senior living community.
They show an 84,700 square foot independent living facility, 62,500 square feet of skilled nursing care space, 44,600 square feet of assisted living space and a large wing for memory care.