After months of negotiations with members of the Mission Valley Neighbors Association, the Tutera Group on Monday unveiled a significantly reworked project plan for the contentious Mission Chateau senior living development that has been tied up by legal challenges since the Prairie Village City Council approved it in January 2014.
Saying that company had tried to address the two biggest complaints area homeowners had about the approved plan — its overall size and its cohesiveness with the surrounding neighborhood — Tutera Senior Living President and CEO Randy Bloom told the council that the parties had “agreed in principle” on the new concept, but that a few details still needed to be worked out.
The most marked change from the previous plan is the removal of the skilled nursing facility, a 97,550 square foot structure that would have cared for people who needed medical attention beyond what could be offered by staff in an assisted living community. Neighbors had long protested the presence of the skilled nursing facility, saying that a stream of ambulances and other traffic to the building would disrupt the quiet nature of the area.
In the new plan, the skilled nursing facility is replaced by expanded residential development, which now borders Mission Road to provide a deeper setback for the reconfigured assisted and independent living facility. The main ALF/ILF building is now planned to be 214,800 square feet as opposed the 228,340 square feet in the previous plan. That structure will now be set back 300 feet from Mission Road.
Overall, the project would be reduced in size by 88,254 square feet.
Rick Jones, the architect from NSPJ Architects who is now working on the project, said the characteristics of the buildings would closely match elements from the nearby Corinth Downs housing development, which that firm worked on three decades ago.
Speaking on behalf of the Mission Valley Neighbors Association, Brian Doerr, whose law firm, Duggan, Shadwick, Doerr & Kurlbaum, LLC, represented the group in its appeals of the city’s approval of the project, said that the group still had some concerns with the project, but that it represented a major improvement from the previous design.
“We feel like we’ve been responsive. We feel like they’ve been responsive. I think we’re happy certainly with the architect…” he said. “If we were just starting from scratch, I’m not sure that this is what we would be wanting to agree to, but in the context of where we are, and with the settlement of the lawsuit and knowing where we’ve been the past three and a half years, we are prepared, and we have orally agreed to this design.”
Bloom and Doerr told the city council that the parties hoped to be able to work through outstanding issues in the next four to six weeks. Should they be able to come to terms, Doerr said, the hope is that the 47 plaintiffs in the case challenging the city’s approval of the previous plan would agree to drop the suit and agree not to pursue legal action or file a protest petition against the new plan.
Slides from the presentation Bloom and Jones gave the city council Monday are embedded below. The first sign shows the previous plan and the second slide shows the new plan.: