The Leawood City Council on Monday narrowly gave the green light to the East Village project at West 133rd Street and Pawnee Lane.
After months of discussion over the proposed development’s latest version, the city council voted 5-3 to approve final plans for the project’s first two phases. Lenexa-based Oddo Development had initially proposed the project, then called Cameron’s Court, in 2020.
The council’s discussion and vote follows an attempt from Oddo Development and neighboring residents to find common ground on the plan.
The developer will start with the residential component
- The first phase of development includes construction of 26 single-family homes and 12 twin villas, or duplexes, as well as a traffic entrance off Pawnee Lane and High Drive.
- The second phase includes 26 apartment buildings with 12 to 14 units per building, two brownstone apartments with nine to 12 units per building, a public plaza and a clubhouse.
- Later phases of the project include a grocery store, drive-thru restaurants and office space.
Neighboring homeowners and developers found a compromise
- Throughout the plan’s three-year progression, residents voiced concerns about the project’s appearance as well as potential traffic congestion.
- Over the past month, the city facilitated an advisory group between neighboring homeowners and developers in an attempt to work through those concerns and find common ground.
- The group ultimately agreed upon a list of conditions, which include the developer paying $100,000 toward traffic calming measures.
- The new plan also includes gables — or slightly pitched roofs — on the apartments, twin villas and single-family homes.
Some councilmembers still have concerns about the plan
- Some councilmembers voiced remaining hesitations about aesthetic and traffic components on the plan — as well as a continued lack of retail, commercial and other public uses.
- “At this point in time, I see zero reasons for a non-resident of East Village to come into this space,” said Councilmember Lisa Harrison. “I’m concerned that this barely passed (by) the Planning Commission and the governing body on multiple occasions.”
- Because Leawood already rezoned this piece of property for mixed use, the city could open itself to get sued by the developer if city leaders rejected the proposal Monday night.
- “We represent the people, but because of the type of body this is, we have to be very mindful of the rights of the developer,” said Councilmember James Azeltine. “This thing has been going on for three years, and we’ve hashed and rehashed this thing quite a few times. And I feel it’s very important for us to move forward.”
The developer plans to start construction soon
- Oddo Development representatives told the Leawood Planning Commission in January that crews are prepared to begin construction a couple of months after final city approvals.
- The initial timeline for the East Village project — which is slated to take up to 10 years to finish – has construction crews breaking ground this spring.
- Final plans for phases three through five — which include retail, commercial and public spaces — still need city approvals before construction can move forward.
Go deeper: Concerns remain as East Village project resurfaces in Leawood
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the city council’s vote was 5-3 in support of the final plan.
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