A massive residential development in south Leawood previously dubbed Cameron’s Court that has garnered heated resident opposition over the past few years was back before the city council Monday night under a new name.
- The city council did not take a final vote Monday but sent the revised plans for what is now called the “East Village” project back to the city planning commission for further review.
Driving the news: At Monday’s meeting, the Leawood City Council reviewed design and architecture plans for the East Village development, planned for the corner of 133rd Street and Pawnee Lane.
- This included an overview of the proposed exterior designs for the buildings, as well as what the first two phases of construction would look like.
- The council also discussed a funding agreement that would require developers to fund traffic calming measures near the site.
How it got here: This comes after nearly two years of council debate about the mixed-use development, which has become one of the most highly-contested proposals to come before the council in recent years.
- At the beginning of this year, the council ultimately approved rezoning and preliminary plans for the development following hours of council discussion and resident input over the course of three meetings.
- The overall development plan by Oddo Development Company includes residential, retail, office and green space across roughly 100 acres.
What’s new? Monday night’s presentation served as an opportunity for residents and councilmembers to mostly review the exterior visual components of the development, which had not been finalized in January.
- The residential part of the East Village project will feature a mix of materials such as brick, quartz, limestone and bronze.
- Since January’s approval, developers also altered the plan to opt for flat roofs instead of traditional pitched roofs on the “mansion style” apartments.
- Other revisions include reducing the total number of homes by 12 for a new total of 404 units in the initial phases of development and increasing green space to roughly 45% of the development with nine public parks planned.
What’s in the first two phases? The first phase of the development would include 26 single-family homes and 12 twin villas, as well as construction of a vehicle entrance off Pawnee Lane and High Drive.
- The second phase would then include 26 multi-family apartment buildings with 12 to 14 units in each building.
- It would also include two brownstone apartments with nine to 12 dwelling units each, as well as construction of a public plaza and amenity areas.
- The second phase would also include construction of a clubhouse and a maintenance building.
Key quote: “Our goal from the very beginning of the design process in the project has been to create a cohesive and compatible development with East Village that evokes a sense of place,” Patrick Reuter said, a studio director with design firm Klover Architects. “Not only to its future residents but also to all its visitors.”
What they’re saying: Residents and councilmembers alike brought up a number of concerns during the discussion, including preferences for the previously planned pitched roofs they expected for the apartments back in January over the newly-proposed flat roofs.
- Some residents and councilmembers also expressed concerns that the current agreement does not adequately address concerns over a potential increase in traffic around the development.
- The proposed agreement would require Oddo to fund up to $30,000 in traffic calming measures near the site.
What they said: “It’s irresponsible to double the population of the area when we have traffic issues which are extremely difficult to solve,” said Leawood resident Kathleen Kelly.
Next steps the East Village development
No final vote was taken Monday, as the project’s final plans for the first and second phases of building were put on the city council agenda solely for presentation and discussion purposes, according to the city.
- The Leawood Planning Commission will now review and potentially approve the plans at its Dec. 13 meeting — at which time the commission will consider the resident and council comments made Monday.
- After that, the plans should return to the city council for a final vote in January.
- After the council voted against the funding agreement regarding traffic calming measures, the traffic calming component of the proposal was also remanded to the city’s Public Works Committee, who is expected to hold public input sessions over what measures should be put in place.
- If and when final approval comes, the project’s developers estimate the first two phases of development at East Village would take approximately two years.
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