Prairie Village city council tamps down on hours allowed for private construction

Prairie Village residents can expect to see, or rather hear, a difference in when private property construction is taking place in their neighborhoods. Above, a file photo of a new build home near the Prairie Village Shops.

As the trend of older homes throughout Prairie Village being torn down and replaced with newly-built construction continues, the city council Tuesday worked to address noise concerns stemming from the activity of private construction.

The Prairie Village City Council on Tuesday night voted 10 to 1 to decrease the hours private property construction is allowed, with restrictions differing for summer months to accommodate work during cooler periods of the day. The restrictions pertain to work done by homeowners themselves and by construction contractors. The vote followed an Aug. 17 discussion on private property construction noise and the council took up the issue two years ago amid a wave of new build projects throughout Prairie Village.

The new private property construction hours are as follows:

  • From Sept. 16 through May 14, private property construction is allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, including federal holidays.
  • From May 15 through Sept. 15, private property construction is now allowed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on federal holidays.

This is an adjustment from the previous allowances for disturbing the peace:

  • 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday
  • 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday
  • 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Ward 5 Councilmember Courtney McFadden cast the lone dissenting vote. Ward 5 Councilmember Dan Runion was absent.

‘first step’ in ‘construction code of conduct’

Ward 2 Councilmember Inga Selders made a motion to prohibit private property construction on federal holidays so residents “can enjoy these holidays without the incessant sounds of construction.” The motion failed by an 8 to 3 vote.

Selders said the amendments should constitute “the first step in an overall construction code of conduct,” and noted she had heard resident complaints about poor upkeep of teardown-rebuild projects and construction workers blocking sidewalks and responding rudely to residents who confronted them.

“Our residents should never have to be put in these positions,” Selders said.

Ward 2 Councilmember Ron Nelson said he normally heard loud noises from mowing and other sources coming from country clubs during his daily walks around 6 a.m., “much louder than any of the construction noise that I’ve heard from Prairie Village or Mission Hills.” He praised the amended restrictions for allowing an earlier starting time for construction during the summer to help protect workers from extreme heat and said the changes struck “a good balance between competing issues and competing interests.”

Ward 1 Councilmember Jori Nelson said the amended restrictions were “slightly better than what we’ve got now” but added that she was “extremely disappointed” that construction was not prohibited one day a week or on holidays.