With little fanfare — and no public comment — Prairie Village Planning Commission gives Mission Chateau project green light

Architect Rick Jones walked the Planning Commissioners through the new Mission Chateau project.
Architect Rick Jones walked the Planning Commissioners through the new Mission Chateau project.

The last time the Mission Chateau senior living community project came before the Prairie Village Planning Commission, the city was forced to move the meeting to the SM East gym to accommodate the huge crowd of neighborhood homeowners vehemently opposed to the project.

What a difference community buy in makes.

At a special meeting to consider a substantially scaled-down version of the project that was the result of months of negotiation between Tutera Senior Living and the Mission Valley Neighbors Association, the Planning Commission voted 4-1 to recommend approval of a Special Use Permit for the project to the City Council, which will take it up at its August 17 meeting.

What’s more, not a single member of the public took advantage of the opportunity to comment on the project during the public hearing.

“Really? No one wants to speak?” said surprised Commission Chair Nancy Wallerstein after no one in the audience responded to her invitation for comment. “This is your last chance.”

Instead, the approximately a dozen neighbors who attended the meeting sat quietly in the back rows.

Commissioner Jim Breneman was the only member of the group to pose any serious objections to the project, saying he believed the security fencing around the senior living community and gate at the main entrance was unnecessary and that it would pose traffic issues along Mission Road.

Tutera Senior Living President Randy Bloom said that residents at other communities indicate that they feel those features add to a sense of safety, and so the company was committed to including them in the project.

“We think it’s an important thing. Our residents think it’s an important thing,” he said. “So we’ll work with you all to make it happen.”

Bloom told the commission the company planned to keep the security gate open during daylight hours.

Breneman was the lone commissioner to vote against the Special Use Permit application. The commission voted unanimously to approve the site plan for the project, however.