Council rejects proposed senior living center in Prairie Village - KCTV5 News


Council rejects proposed senior living center in Prairie Village

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After several hours of heated debate, a former Prairie Village school will not be turned into a senior housing development.

The City Council heard arguments on both sides of the debate before making the decision about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

In order to pass, the developers needed 10 votes, but they only received seven from council members.

Those opposed to the development have been vocal.

They mailed flyers that said, "The proposed mission valley redevelopment is a ridiculous fantasy. The real story will hurt Prairie Village."

The council was deciding whether or not the site of the old Mission Valley Middle School located at West 85th Street and Mission Road would become a senior housing development.

Tutera Senior Living and Healthcare submitted plans for the Mission Chateau Senior Housing Development, which called for a 327-unit senior living facility that spanned 18 acres.

Residents in the area put up signs all over town in protest, saying the plan is too big and just is not a good fit for their community.

They secured a protest petition forcing the council to secure a super majority- 10 votes to approve the plan.

Whitney Kerr is among those opposing the project. She says it's too large for the neighborhood.

"It's way out of character with the neighborhood," she said. "This project is nearly four times the size of the school that's there now. It's too large, it's out of character and the other concern is it's all rental property. We don't think it's appropriate to have rental property next to some of the nicest single family-owner occupied homes in the area. Owner-occupied homes is what made Prairie Village an attractive place to live."

The public comment session lasted several hours and prompted scolding from the city attorney.

"You know, audience, calm down. We are working hard up here. And your snide comments are obnoxious, and I hope the mayor will call them out of order. It is just unbelievable that you could be so rude to people who are up here working really hard," city attorney Katie Logan said.

City Councilman Dale Warman said he voted yes.

"I believe that the planning commission did their due diligence. They listened to the people and the developer and negotiated to make sure this met the requirements for Prairie Village zoning and regulations as well as the goal," Warman said

However, City Councilwoman Laura Wassmer had a different opinion.

"I vote no. I think the intensity, the two-and-half to three years of construction, the lights, the noise, the traffic, the parking ... that is a lot to ask neighbors to put up with," Wassmer said.

KCTV5 asked the developer and his attorney for comment after the meeting, but they declined.

Their only remaining option would be to appeal, and that would send it to Johnson County court. They haven't yet decided whether they will appeal.

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