Prairie Village ready to get public feedback on new house design guidelines that would regulate aesthetics

More than half of the residents who participated in Prairie Village’s recent citizen satisfaction survey made clear that they were concerned about the wave of teardown-rebuild projects in the city.

And on Monday, the city council advanced an initiative that could put additional restrictions on the design and aesthetics of new homes.

The council unanimously approved a motion to allow staff to begin organizing public input sessions on a new set of detailed house design guidelines that would limit the size of garages, require more frontage green space and mandate at least one street tree per lot.

Chris Brewster, the city’s planning consultant, has been working with a committee of stakeholders — including residents and home builder — for the past several months on the plans. The group met seven times between November and March to come up with the first draft of the new proposed guidelines, which were presented to the council in April. The group’s goal, Brewster said Monday, was to preserve the character of Prairie Village’s decades-old neighborhoods.

“As the survey said, neighborhood character is the thing that everyone is after,” Brewster said in reference to the recent citizen survey results. “It’s the common goal everyone has.”

The city has not determined the date of public input sessions on the new guidelines yet, nor how many sessions there will be. But City Administrator Wes Jordan told the council that staff would likely use a different format that they employed ahead of the approval of a first set of design guidelines back in 2016. This time, Jordan said, the city would likely use a “workstation” meeting format that would be more conducive to eliciting feedback from a wider range of people.

Assistant City Administrator Jamie Robichaud said the goal for the process was to have finalized guidelines ready to run through the planning commission and city council for final approval by the end of the summer.

Brewster’s full presentation summarizing the proposed guidelines is below.

[gview file=””]