After Bellmont Promenade developers change project per neighbors’ request, planning commission re-approves rezoning

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

After the Bellmont Promenade developers adjusted part of the mixed-use project in Shawnee to meet neighbors’ requests, the planning commission again recommended the city council approve rezoning the property.

Don Lysaught is a Bell Road resident who filed the protest petition alongside his neighbors.

The planning commission on Feb. 4 voted 9-0 to recommend approval for the altered rezoning. Commissioners John Montgomery and Rusty Mudgett were absent.

The planning commission in December had agreed on a 7-4 vote to recommend the council approve rezoning the property from commercial highway to planned mixed use.

Before the council could consider the rezoning item at its Jan. 14 meeting, the neighbors who live on Bell Road — adjacent to the project site at the southwest corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road — submitted a protest petition against the project. Their concerns in that petition indicated that the wing extension on the southwest corner of the proposed development was too close to one neighbor’s home.

The neighbors had repeatedly shared concerns about the project’s proximity to their homes — and height in relation to that proximity — as well as residential population density.

Here’s an image from the original footprint for the southern half of the mixed-use development:

Bellmont Promenade

Here is the revised footprint (note the southwest wing on the left side has been moved):

Bellmont Promenade

Community development director Doug Allmon said the neighbors, councilmembers, city staff and the developers — Legacy Development and Bach Homes LLC — worked together to come up with a solution. The alternative option ultimately increased the setback from a neighbor’s property line and house.

After the developer made changes to the project to meet the neighbors’ request, the council last month remanded the item back to the planning commission for review of the new footprint of the project.

Commissioner Randy Braley asked if the new footprint keeps the city in compliance with the number of required parking spaces for the project size.

“Actually, they were very efficient in making this work,” Allmon replied. “I think the report states, I think they lost about 20 on-site spaces but they still have enough shared parking to be in compliance.”

Allmon said the number of spaces is “excessive” because there are already two per residential unit, and most of the apartments are one-bedroom or studio.

Planning commissioners expressed relief that the neighbors are okay with the project after making changes.

“I think some of us bought into the notion that the only thing that was going to work for those people was nothing,” said commissioner Les Smith. “Perhaps we didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt…I’m glad that everyone involved was able to come up with something that could make it more palatable to the neighborhood.”

The planning commission will review the final plan of the mixed use development at a later date.