By Mary Pechar
On the agenda for the Lee’s Summit Planning Commission meeting held Tuesday evening, June 12th was public hearings on the Preliminary Development Plan for Hearthview at New Longview Apartments.
Developer Jim Thompson presented the Plan and emphasized that this is a Site Plan not a zoning meeting. He put careful emphasis the quality of the proposed development, high quality design, materials, an upscale lock and leave lifestyle.
This new apartment complex will be much less dense than the existing Longview apartment facilities. The number of units to be built includes units initially planned for later phases. Changes to the timing of the development phases are based on the changing market in which apartment living has never been stronger. Thomas said, “New Longview turns away dozens of people a week seeking apartments.”
Two representatives of NLV Cares, a group of single family home residents formed in response to development plan, presented the residents’ concerns which focus on “scope, location, pre-construction process and lack of collaboration surrounding the project.” The group has begun a petition, available at www.ipetitions.com, which currently contains over 126 signatures.
Resident opponents are very concerned with the perceived change in what has previously been very transparent communication between New Longview developer David Gale, of Gale Communities and themselves. They first heard of the project in a very vague manner in November 2011. No documentation has been shared until the notification mailed in May for the public hearings.
NLV Cares focused on Gale’s vision of the target market for the development stating that the 60+ resident already has a home at John Knox Village. Other issues and questions included:
1. What % of these new residents will actually work in the planned new office space?
2. How do we guarantee the rest of the community doesn’t become an apartment community?
3. When will Madison Park be completed?
4. What about the adjacent lots that will presumably now be undesirable?
5. What about the loss of privacy for adjacent residents
6. What about increased school enrollment?
7. What about increases in crime rates?
Thompson and Gale responded to questions and then addressed concerns from the planning committee.
After extensive discussion the Commission voted on a continuance with direction to obtain significant neighborhood input and come back with clarity to June 26 for additional public hearing.
For complete coverage view the Planning Commission meeting at http://www.cityofls.net/City-of-Lees-Summit/Boards-and-Commissions/Meeting-Documents.aspx