A new single-family subdivision is making its way to Leawood as the rezoning and preliminary plan for Macallister Place won approval from a divided Leawood City Council Monday night.
With lot sizes ranging from 9,700 to 24,000 square feet, the plan is to build 63 custom-designed homes on roughly 25 acres of land at the bustling southeast corner of 135th Street and Roe Avenue.
Additional amenities set to be incorporated into the development are pickleball courts and a dog park on the north side of the development closest to 135th.
Yard work and other maintenance support would also be provided for homeowners within the subdivision.
Developer John Peterson with McAllister Land Development said the focus for Macallister Place is to build smaller homes that would appeal to “empty nesters” and the 65-plus community.
“It’s going to be designed for people with gray hair that have lived in Leawood for a long time and want to downsize,” Peterson said. “Or those that want to move to Leawood… and be in a fully maintenance-provided community that is walkable to some commercial in the area.”
Affordability concerns raised
Initially, when Macallister Place was brought before the Leawood Planning Commission in late January, the commission’s greatest concern was how the project deviated from the 135th Street Community Plan, which called for mostly mixed-use commercial spaces to be built in the area.
Other concerns came to the fore at the city council Monday, including worries over how affordable the homes would be.
Developers cited a projected price range for Macallister Place homes of between $850,000 and $1.2 million.
That bothered Councilmember Debra Filla.
“I’m not supportive of the fact that even though we don’t have mixed-use, we don’t have mixed price points,” Filla said. “It still kind of confounds me that [$850,000 to $1.2 million homes] is what you say people will retire to.”
Filla said since Leawood was lacking in affordable housing, she was hoping new developments, like Macallister Place, could incorporate cheaper price points into their plans.
Yet, Peterson argued incorporating more affordable housing into the development would require decreasing the lot sizes.
“We’re limited by the current street layout,” Peterson said. “We’d have to tear everything up and start over and that’s just not feasible with our timeline on when we need to hit market to make this profitable.”
Ultimately, after a few hours of debate on Monday, the city council approved Macallister Place in a 5-3 vote.
Councilmembers Jim Rawlings, Julie Cain, James Azeltine, Andrew Osman and Mary Larson voted in favor of the development saying it kept density low in the area, while still meeting the current needs of residents.
“I’m thrilled to see this personally,” Cain said. “I know it doesn’t even come close to meeting the 135th Community Plan, but after all we heard from residents saying give me less density, I’m thrilled to see it’s 100% ownership and nothing over two stories,” Cain said.
However, Councilmembers Chuck Sipple, Lisa Harrison and Filla opposed the subdivision due to their concerns over affordability and having some houses built close to busy 135th Street.
Sipple said he understood it was no longer a priority to develop the area entirely into a mixed-use development, but he still would have liked to see some type of commercial element along 135th to create a buffer between the subdivision and street.
Now that the preliminary plan for Macallister Place has gained council’s approval, the project’s final plan will be reviewed by the city’s planning commission Tuesday night.