It was the same governing body, virtually the same proposal, and exactly the same result.
The Prairie Village Planning Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to recommend approval of the Tutera Group’s second Mission Chateau proposal, sending the issue to the City Council for consideration in January.
The vote will almost definitely trigger a replay of neighbors’ efforts to to hamper the proposal through the filing of a protest petition — but whether opponents of the bill will be able to get enough signatures to make the petition valid is a question complicated by Tutera’s move to include a 200-foot buffer zone between the senior living development at the homes to the south.
Because the city’s protest petition ordinance only allows homeowners within 200 feet of a property to participate, eight homeowners who supported the first protest petition won’t be eligible to sign on to a second.
That 200-foot buffer was the subject of considerable debate in the lead up to the vote, with John Duggan, the attorney representing the Mission Valley neighbors group, characterizing its inclusion as a transparent maneuver to prevent the homeowners to the south of the property from participating in the protest petition.
John Petersen, Tutera’s attorney, insisted the inclusion of the buffer zone and plans to build single family housing there were a direct response to the neighbors’ complaints that the “villas” in the initial plan were essentially duplexes, and not a desirable development to have bordering their properties.
Duggan repeatedly accused Tutera of using the buffer zone to hinder the homeowners’ due process rights by cutting them out of the protest petition process. But his arguments weren’t enough to sway any members of the commission to defect from their votes on the original plan.
Of the 200-foot buffer zone, Venard said, “It appears, and probably is, slightly devious. But residents did ask for the inclusion of single family housing. It’s kind of a question of be careful what you wish for.”
Commissioner Gregory Wolf was again the only member of the body to vote against the proposal, expressing concerns that the buffer zone was a means of “disenfranchising Prairie Village residents.” Commissioners Bob Lindeblad, Nancy Wallerstein, Ken Vaughn and Nancy Vernard voted in favor of it. (Two seats on the commission are presently vacant).