Prairie Village moves toward 120-day zoning moratorium on Mission Valley site

The Mission Valley site is currently zoned for single family residential structures. Photo courtesy of Doug Hudson.

The Prairie Village City Council on Tuesday directed city staff to prepare a 120-day moratorium on rezoning proposals for the Mission Valley Middle School site, a move intended to give the city some breathing room as it begins work on a comprehensive plan for the former school.

Assistant City Administrator Dennis Enslinger, who suggested the moratorium to the council, said the move will ensure the city has adequate time to bring on a consultant to do the planning work before RED Development, which bought the property, could submit a zoning application. Should RED submit a zoning application before a comprehensive plan is complete, the Planning Commission and council would have little leverage to suggest changes to the application. The city will issue a request for proposal for comprehensive planning services on the site later this week.

Enslinger stressed that the move was not intended to send a negative message to the developers. Rather, he said, it would provide a timeline for the community and the developer to collaborate on the planning process for the site.

“For it to be successful, we need to incorporate RED Development in the comprehensive plan process,” Enslinger said. “One thing we’ve seen in the past that doesn’t work is when the community comes up with a plan that doesn’t mesh in any way with the developer’s vision. You want it to be a symbiotic relationship.”

Prairie Village city officials have begun to meet with RED regarding the site. Mayor Ron Shaffer was scheduled to meet with principals from the developer today, and Enslinger had a tentative meeting scheduled with them for later this week.