Hearing to stop Prairie Village council vote on Mission Chateau postponed until after vote is scheduled

John Duggan used a visual of the 350,000 square foot IKEA being build in Merriam as a size comparison for Mission Chateau.
Attorney John Duggan has represented neighbors opposing the Mission Chateau senior housing development.

In the topsy-turvy world that is the Mission Chateau land use case, a hearing on a temporary injunction to stop the Prairie Village city council from voting on the latest proposal passed by the planning commission was canceled by request of the plaintiffs.

The hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 24, but that is long after the council’s expected Jan. 6 vote on Mission Chateau. The suit seeking to block the council vote was filed on behalf of the owners of five houses along the southern edge of the Mission Chateau property. Among other arguments, they contend that they were denied the right to participate in a protest petition that could force a supermajority vote by the council. All of those neighbors have signed the protest petition anyway.

In its response, filed Friday, the city argued that the homeowners are premature to ask the court to intervene because the council has not voted. If the council turns down the Mission Chateau plan, then the suit is moot, the city’s filing contends. If the council approves the new senior living community proposed by Tutera Group, then the neighbors have 30 days to contest that decision in court, so they are not in need of an injunction, the city says.

“Indeed, the complete absurdity of this entire lawsuit, like Plaintiffs’ motion, lies in the fact that if the Governing Body, for whatever reason, declines or fails to pass the Second SUP Application, then Plaintiffs’ entire action is rendered completely moot,” the filing says.

The attorney who has represented the neighbors before the planning commission and council did not return requests for comment about why today’s hearing was canceled. After the planning commission approved Tutera’s first plan, the neighbors successfully filed a protest petition and the plan did not get the super-majority it needed to pass.

Tutera then filed a new plan which moved the boundary for the special use permit. Again, the planning commission approved and it is that plan that is on the agenda for Jan. 6. Among the latest issues swirling around the months-long controversy are the city’s mounting legal bills and the filing of affidavits by some homeowners negating their signatures on the protest petition.

The validity of the petition is important since seven members of the council voted for it. That would be enough to let it pass if not for the successful protest petition that required 10 members to vote in favor for passage.