Legacy making changes to Bellmont Promenade project that will require new planning commission approval

One of Legacy Development’s early renderings of the proposed Bellmont Promenade center.

Legacy Development is going to need approval from the Shawnee planning commission once again for the Bellmont Promenade project plan — mostly for the residential component.

“LEGACY is making modifications to our project plan to accommodate Planning Commission and neighborhood feedback we heard at the July 2 meeting with City Planning,” said Dave Claflin with Legacy Development. “These changes will necessitate another appearance in front of the Planning Commission to seek approval of the revised plan.”

The Bellmont Promenade project will allow for commercial, residential and office space on the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road. Claflin said Legacy is still discussing exactly what modifications to that project it will make. Legacy developers are evaluating the feedback they got and “trying to decide which of those comments they can incorporate, how they can accommodate them, make as many people happy and yet still make the project successful.”

The firm is not scheduled to reappear in front of the planning commission at this time. Legacy is scheduled for public hearings on public incentives for the Bellmont Promenade project at the Shawnee council meeting Aug. 27.

Planning commissioner Les Smith said in the July 2 planning commission meeting that neighbors are mostly concerned with the elevation of the proposed apartment complex, which would be five stories high and set on a hill overlooking their backyards.

“That’s an awful tall building for those folks,” Smith said. “The top of it is going to be about a hundred feet in the air. There’s no amount of landscaping in between it that can avoid that.”

Dusty Keaton, who lives near the proposed development, said he’s also concerned with the height of the apartment complex. And Don Lysaught, who spoke on behalf of neighbors at the July 2 meeting, said they want “everyone to take a step back, buy some time, seek a resolution” for the plan.

“Our concern primarily is height, density to some extent and, certainly, proximity,” Lysaught said. “Relocation of apartments so they don’t look down onto the backyards of neighboring homes is the primary request.”

Alan Godsy, a Shawnee resident who also spoke on behalf of other neighbors, said they request height limitations on the development, especially because the mixed use property is proposed to be high density — about 34 units per acre — compared with the current residents lower density neighborhood of one or fewer per acre. Godsy also raised concerns about flooding and stormwater issues.

The planning commission recommended in a 6-4 vote rezoning the property from commercial highway to mixed use, providing the developer adjust the development plan to allow a 40-foot setback on the southwest corner of the building and one less story on the western portion of the building, where the apartments are located. Commissioners Bruce Bienhoff, Randy Braley, John Montgomery and Alan Willoughby voted against the rezoning request.

Final site layout and building elevations for the development require approval by the planning commission. Any other major deviations from the approved preliminary plan also require another public hearing and a rezoning request to consider the new plan.

Greg Musil with Rouse Frets, Legacy’s attorney for the project, said Legacy is committed to addressing the neighbors’ issues, especially when the company acquires an apartment developer.

“The developer is not going to make you promises tonight that we don’t think we can meet other than we’re going to make a good faith effort to make it work,” Musil said at the July 2 meeting.