In memo, Prairie Village staff suggest route to keep Mission Valley site zoned for residential development

As homeowners surrounding Mission Valley Middle School continue to organize protest against a proposed mixed-use development on the site, the city of Prairie Village appears to be prepared to back away from a move to conduct a comprehensive planning process for the site.

The comprehensive planning process originally recommended by city staff would have cost $80,000 to $90,000, and produced a formal legal document stipulated what kinds of development could go up on the Mission Valley property and the surrounding area. But a group of highly organized neighbors mounted a fight against the comprehensive planning proposal, claiming that it could pave the way for the city to ultimately green light a mixed use development.

The city council will consider the comprehensive planning proposal at its meeting tonight. In the packet that all council members received prior to the meeting, Assistant City Administrator Dennis Enslinger wrote a memo laying out options for the council. Enslinger notes that two of the options are recommended by city staff. One is to proceed as initially discussed, signing contracts with the two firms the city has selected for the comprehensive planning process.

The other is to “Determine that the land uses allowed under the current zoning classifications R1-a are appropriate for the former Mission Valley School site and direct staff to complete a comprehensive plan amendment for review based on this determination” — essentially letting the council say that the site could be used for residential development, a school or an assisted living community.

Prairie Village has moved tonight’s City Council meeting to the SM East cafeteria to accommodate what is expected to be a very large crowd. The proceedings begin at 6 p.m.