The “enhanced transition zone” in the Tutera Group’s most recent proposal for redevelopment of the Mission Valley site might have been intended to address neighbors’ complaints about the density of the property — but it seems to offer the company a strategic advantage in its push for approval from the Prairie Village City Council as well: It eliminates as many as eight neighboring homes from participating in a protest petition against the plan.
Without a valid protest petition filed, no supermajority would be required for passage of the plan — the 7-6 vote the first project proposal garnered in September would be enough to give Mission Chateau the green light to move forward.
That said, even with the elimination of the eight neighbors, if Tutera wants to avoid a successful protest petition, it will need to convince several more neighbors who signed on to the first petition to keep their names off a second.
In the version of the plans Tutera filed with the city’s Planning Commission earlier this month, the company removed the senior housing “villas” along the southern edge of the property that were a key feature of the plan that failed to win a supermajority of the council’s vote in September. The new plan replaces those villas with single family housing lots — lots that would require no Special Use Permit to develop under the area’s R1a zoning.
Because the single family housing lots don’t require a Special Use Permit, they aren’t included in Tutera’s current application. The way the city’s protest petition ordinance is written, only properties within 200 feet of the land explicitly subject to the Special Use Permit application are eligible to protest.
With the elimination of the villas and the inclusion of the new single family housing lots, the edge of the property subject to the Special Use Permit application has moved a couple hundred feet north.
This means that the eight homes on Delmar Lane and 86th Street along the southern edge of the property that filed protest petition signatures against the project will likely all be ineligible to protest (the city won’t do its official calculations of which properties are within 200 feet of the development area until the proposal has made its way through the Planning Commission).
All eight of those homeowners voted against the proposal in the first protest petition, which ended up getting signatures from property owners representing 56 percent of the area in the 200 foot buffer zone surrounding the property. To be successful, a petition requires signatures representing 20 percent of the buffer zone area.
Still, those eight homeowners represented 17 percent of the total land mass in the 200 foot buffer zone in the first proposal. To avoid a successful protest petition, Tutera would still need to convince a handful of the homeowners along Somerset Drive and across Mission Road who protested the first proposal not to sign on to a new protest petition.
The new Mission Chateau plans go before the Prairie Village Planning Commission next Tuesday.