In win for Mission Valley area homeowners, Prairie Village passes protest ordinance

A recent rendering of the Mission Chateau project the Tutera Group is proposing for the Mission Valley site.

Prairie Villagers: You now have the right to protest.

With a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Prairie Village City Council approved a new ordinance that gives people who live near the site of proposed developments requiring Special Use Permits the right to formally file protest petitions. Under the new law, if property owners representing 20 percent of the total area surrounding a proposed development sign a protest petition, a Special Use Permit for the project cannot be granted unless 3/4 of the City Council vote in favor of it.

The move is a victory for the Mission Valley Neighbors Association, a group of homeowners in the Mission Valley area who have organized against massive redevelopment of the school site since the Shawnee Mission district sold it in the summer of 2011.

In anticipation of Mission Valley’s owners’ plans to file a Special Use Permit application with the city for an extensive senior living community on the site, the MVNA members lobbied the Prairie Village City Council to adopt the protest petition ordinance. Prior to last night, Prairie Village was in the distinct minority in Johnson County in not having such an ordinance on the books.

The City Council on Monday also lifted a moratorium on filing Special Use Permit applications that it passed in November after the MVNA began asking for the council to consider the protest petition ordinance. There is some speculation that the Mission Valley property owner may be preparing legal action against the city in the wake of the moratorium, claiming that it unfairly singled out the Mission Valley owners and prevented them from moving forward with their plans.

The Tutera Group has been presenting its plans to area homes associations for a senior living community it’s calling Mission Chateau to be built on the on the site, and will be holding another meeting open to the public at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the SM East cafeteria.