The Meadowbrook park and development plan took an important step toward becoming a reality Thursday as the Prairie Village Planning Commission recommended approval for Van Trust Real Estate’s preliminary development plan for the project as well as a request to have the southern portion of the property rezoned from single family residential to mixed use.
The votes for approval recommendation didn’t come quickly, however. In a marathon session that ran more than five hours at the shuttered Meadowbrook Country Club clubhouse, the Planning Commission closely vetted Van Trust’s plans for a project that will include 53 detached single family homes, 70 attached homes, a luxury apartment complex with 280 residences, a senior living facility with 330 units, and a 50-room inn with attached 5,000 square foot restaurant.
From maximum roof heights to the routes of trash collectors, the commissioners combed through the plans, adding a total of 27 required revisions to its recommendation for approval, which will go before the Prairie Village City Council for final consideration in mid-December.
Of particular concern to a number of the commissioners was a change to the schematics initially presented to the city that called for a public access point to the park in the northeast corner of the property near the intersection of 91st Street and Roe Avenue. Pushback from homeowners in the adjacent Kenilworth neighborhood over the increased traffic that access point would bring prompted Van Trust to replace the public road with a small circular parking lot that would provide pedestrian access to a park trailhead, but not to through vehicular traffic.
Here’s a look at the parking lot as proposed in the plans considered Thursday:
While replacing the public access road along Roe placated the neighbors, it also forced the company to rejigger traffic plans for the park. The plans approved by the commission Thursday call for vehicular access points to the developed property along Nall at 92nd Terrace and on the south edge of the property along Rosewood Street, which feeds into 95th Street.
A number of commissioners and the owner of a Rosewood commercial building said they were worried that without the Roe Avenue access point, the Rosewood entrance would become congested. But the project’s traffic engineer attested to the appropriateness of the proposed road configuration.
“Is it the most convenient for everybody?” said Tom Swenson of TransSytems. “No, but it will work.”
A handful of homeowners on the western edge of the property also told the commission that they weren’t satisfied with the proposed traffic plans along Nall, saying that the city and developer needed to work on a traffic signal and lane plan that will allow for smooth flow in and out of the park area. They also requested the city work to ensure that there is safe pedestrian access to the park from the west side of Nall.