The Prairie Village City Council appears to be backing away from the idea of putting a moratorium on zoning petitions for the Mission Valley property after having a continued open dialogue with RED Development, which has a contract in place to purchase the property.RED Development Managing Partner Dan Lowe addressed the council Monday and told the members that the firm had every intention of making its planning process for the site very public, and that it had no intention of submitting a zoning request prior to the completion of the city’s planning work on the site.
Lowe added that, given the controversial nature of the closing of the school, he worried that a moratorium could send the signal to residents that something was amiss with the project before it had even really started.
“I think more harm from a public perception standpoint could be done than good,” Lowe said.
City Administrator Quinn Bennion told the council staff had floated the idea to ensure that the planning process would be very public, and that the city was able to finish its comprehensive plan for the area before any zoning requests were filed.
But the council seemed mostly convinced that a re-zoning moratorium would not be necessary.
“We can always put one in place if the need arises,” said Councilman Steve Noll.
Lowe said RED was hoping to hold six to eight focus groups on potential uses for the Mission Valley site. From those focus groups, he anticipated the firm would develop three to five proposals, which they would then present to the larger public at town hall-style meetings.
Lowe said that while everything is on the table at this point, he anticipates that the land will be developed for mixed use.
“But we don’t have any preconceived notions about what’s in that mix,” he said.
RED hopes to start holding the focus groups in the next two to three weeks.