Prairie Village will consider ‘waiting period’ for resubmitting zoning applications

A rendering of the Mission Chateau Independent Living Facility that will be considered by the Prairie Village Planning Commission tonight.
A rendering of the Mission Chateau Independent Living Facility that will be considered by the Prairie Village Planning Commission tonight.

The Tutera Group tonight will come before the Prairie Village Planning Commission to present a revised plan for its proposed Mission Chateau Senior Living Community — a plan that critics say does little to address the concerns that scuttled the company’s first attempt just two month ago.

But if a proposal put before the city’s Planning Commission by the City Council Monday gains any traction, developers may have to wait considerably longer before they resubmit such Special Use Permit applications in the future.

By a vote of 6-4 Monday, the Prairie Village council approved a motion directing the Planning Commission to explore amending the city’s zoning ordinance to include a waiting period to refile a rezoning or Special Use Permit application.

Neighboring cities Leawood and Mission both have some form of waiting period for reapplications. In Leawood, a developer much wait 6 months to refile either a zoning or a Special Use Permit application. In Mission, the wait is 6 months for a zoning application. There is no waiting period for a Special Use Permit.

The idea has the support of Prairie Village City Administrator Quinn Bennion, who told the council Monday that such waiting periods “force the developer to put their best foot forward the first time.” Bennion noted that given the large amount of staff time required to administer controversial applications like Mission Chateau, it was also important to consider the benefits of ensuring staff have the time and space to catch up on other issues before a similar application makes its way through the process again.

Councilors Ruth Hopkins, Andrew Wang, Charles Clark and David Belz voted against the resolution that sent the issue to the Planning Commission for consideration. (Councilor Michael Kelly was absent). Hopkins was among the more vocal critics of the idea, saying it could lead to public perception that the council was singling out Tutera.

“I think the timing is terrible,” she said. “I think we set up the moratorium just to get in someone’s way. And we’re doing this in reaction. Boy, I think that’s a bad idea. I think we should do this sometime, but not now.”

But the majority of the council found merit in at least exploring the idea.

“Our staff’s time is important,” said Councilor Laura Wassmer. “We have a lot of other things we need to focus time and attention on. And I think it’s concerning that you could have someone submit such a similar application.”

City staff were quick to emphasize that, regardless of whether the city decides to institute a waiting period or not, the outcome of the process will have no impact on Tutera’s new submission, which was filed before discussions of the waiting period began.

Tonight’s Planning Commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Village Presbyterian Church.