MVNA group claims Mission Chateau will cost Prairie Village $450,000 per year — but calcuations are shaky at best

A recent rendering of the entrance to Mission Chateau from Mission Road.
A recent rendering of the entrance to Mission Chateau from Mission Road.

With just days before the proposal to allow construction of a 352,000 square foot senior living community on the site of Mission Valley Middle School goes before the Prairie Village City Council, proponents and opponents of the project are making final pushes to build support for their side.

Last night, the Tutera Group hosted a meeting for Mission Chateau supporters at Homestead Country Club. And earlier this week, the Mission Valley Neighbors Association circulated a new email urging members to contact members of the council and ask them to vote against the proposal. That email included a line suggesting that Mission Chateau might end up costing the city more than four times as much as the roughly $100,000 in city property taxes it is expected to generate — but the calculation used to produce that figure is likely a poor gauge of the true costs, and almost any residential development would pose the risk of costing more than it generates in revenue.

Here’s the line from the email:

Recently the city staff confirmed that the city master plan – the Village Vision – has a guideline for estimating taxpayers cost for a high density residential redevelopment plan. This was provided by Economic Research Associates. The estimated cost of Mission Chateau to Prairie Village taxpayers using the 2013 budget is over $450,000 per year…This means we will be paying for the developer to make profits if the city council approves this project!

MVNA representatives say they calculated the $450,000 figure based on a formula used by a city planning consultant working with data from 2005 to estimate the cost of providing city services to each household and business. Using that formula, the consultants from Economics Research Associates estimated in 2007 that it cost $994 per household and $1,128 per 1,000 square feet of commercial space to provide city services, which include:

  • City governance
  • Public works
  • Public safety
  • Municipal justice
  • Administration
  • Waste removal
  • Community programs, parks and recreation

Prairie Village city staff, however, are emphatic in noting that they have “not reviewed or endorsed” the figures being floated by the MVNA group. Moreover, they say, the formula used by ERA, and now MVNA, does not account for the type of household. Single family homes — which require the construction and maintenance of city streets — would be much more expensive to the city than multi-family units that use existing road infrastructure, for example.

Still, staff say it is possible that Mission Chateau would end up costing the city more in services than it would bring in thorough property taxes. But – as the ERA review from several years ago noted – any residential, non-retail development would pose a similar possibility because residential developments don’t produce sales tax.

The Tutera Group declined to comment on the specifics of the estimate, but pointed out that many of the public service costs used in the formula – waste removal, or public works activities like plowing snow – wouldn’t factor in to the city’s costs for Mission Chateau since they will be handled by private companies and paid for by Tutera.