Following July 20 request denial, Prairie Village to consider rezoning request for two more lots along Reinhardt Street

The rezoning requests on Reinhardt Street, including 7641 Reinhardt, would allow developers to split the lot into two smaller lots with different building guidelines.

The Prairie Village City Council on Monday will consider rezoning requests for 7632 and 7641 Reinhardt Street after denying a rezone request for 7631 Reinhardt at the July 20 city council meeting.

The pending requests intend to rezone both properties from R-1A single family residential to R-1B single family residential, which would allow the two lots to be split into four smaller lots. Although construction documents have yet to be submitted to the city, Deputy City Administrator Jamie Robichaud said what can be built on a R-1A lot is already bigger than what can be built on a R-1B lot.

“Hypothetically speaking, if what [developers] would build on [the pending lots] is new, it’s going to be larger than the existing home on the lot,” Robichaud said. “Though, you can’t build as large of a home on an R-1B lot as you could on an R-1A lot.”

Resident Betty Clark said aside from concerns about what a teardown and rebuild might mean for the neighborhood, 7632 Reinhardt Street sits right behind her house on Pawnee Street. She’s concerned about potential damage to her property during demolition.

Prairie Village residents Betty and Bob Clark have relayed their concerns via letters to the planning commission and the city council. In a letter Betty intends to submit for the Aug. 3 meeting, she summarized numerous concerns including the following:

  • Teardowns and rebuilds will change the character of a neighborhood filled with “mostly one-story homes that blend into the nature of large treed lots.”
  • Questioning the conformity to the comprehensive plan, which Betty asks for clarification on it speaking to include “affordable homes for young families and seniors.”
  • The potential damage to Betty’s own stone foundation and fencing during the demolition phase, as well as future drainage and noise disruption during the building phase.
  • The “detrimental” effect the house splits will have on neighboring property taxes.

“Aside from not blending in, [the teardown and rebuilds] will increase the property taxes for these longtime homeowners — some of whom are now or are close to retiring,” Betty said in the letter. “Those taxes have spiked high enough without adding more. It should not be a hardship to remain in your longtime home.”

No residents spoke at either of the two planning commission public hearings — neither in favor nor in opposition of the rezoning — with the sole resident input being the first letter the Clark’s sent for the July 7 public hearing.

While the planning commission recommended the rezoning request approval for 7631 Reinhardt at its June 2 meeting following a public hearing, and the city council sent it back to the planning commission for a closer look. After nearly an hour-long conversation, the planning commission unanimously approved at its July 7 meeting to resubmit its original recommendation. But the city council has final say and ultimately voted against the rezoning approval.

Robichaud said while she can’t speak for the city council, it’s her observation that the city council ultimately denied the 7631 Reinhardt Street rezoning request because it did not meet a number of “golden factors.” Below are the golden factors, as outlined by city documents, that both the planning commission and the city council evaluate rezoning requests on:

  • The neighborhood’s character
  • Nearby property’s zoning and uses
  • “The suitability of the property for the uses to which it has been restricted under its existing zoning”
  • The extent that a change will detrimentally impact neighboring property
  • How long the property has been vacant for at any time
  • “The relative gain to public health, safety and welfare by destruction of value of the applicant’s property as compared to the hardship on other individual land owners
  • City staff recommendations
  • Conformity to the comprehensive plan

Since the planning commission unanimously approved the rezoning requests and lot splits for 7632 and 7641 Reinhardt, both will be up for the city council to consider at its Aug. 3 meeting. Robichaud said written comments can be submitted to the city clerk at until 3 p.m. on Monday. No verbal comments will be taken since a public hearing was already held at the planning commission’s July 7 meeting, she said.