June 22, 2019

Mallory Herrmann

A preliminary development plan (PDP) for the Woodland Glen residential development has been approved by the city council.

The initial PDP was approved in 2000 and had plans for single-family and multi-family homes, including attached villas (duplexes and triplexes) and 16-unit apartment buildings. But after almost 20 years, only 69 of the 194 planned dwelling units have been built – all single-family homes.

The development is located near SW Ward and SW Scherer Roads.

The new proposal shows 17 single-family lots and 23 two-unit villa lots on approximately 24 acres at the western edge of the development. Apartments are no longer part of the development plan.

Some of the councilmembers were taken aback by the presentation from John Duggan, the developer, who made it immediately clear that he wasn’t seeking a negotiation on the design standards for the project. Duggan was not the original developer for the project in 2000; the property has since been sold.

Duggan said he understood that some current residents are opposed to the new plan but that he felt that new plan was a better fit for the city – and went so far as to say that if the new plan was rejected by the city council, he would go ahead and move forward with the existing PDP.

“I’m happy to build what’s already been approved by the city,” Duggan said.

City staff confirmed that the existing PDP is still a valid and active plan since the development was in progress. PDPs do expire if no development occurs within a certain timeframe of approval.

Several on the dais during the June 18 meeting suggested that perhaps Duggan was unfamiliar with working in Lee’s Summit or that he hadn’t done his homework before making the presentation to the city council

“This council is not pushed around by a small number of people,” Mayor Bill Baird said, noting that the council always strives to hear all points of view and make a fair decision.

“It wasn’t a good look for you, I’m sorry,” said Councilmember Diane Forte, adding that perhaps it had just been her impression but that he sounded unwilling to work with the city on this project.

While the city received eight protest petitions, it wasn’t enough to trigger the requirement for a supermajority vote from the council for approval. Many of the residents’ concerns regarded traffic safety and proposed lot sizes relative to existing lots. Some had also voiced concern about the PMIX (mixed use) zoning and the possibility for commercial or non-residential uses.

Hector Soto, Jr., planning division manager, confirmed that while other uses are acceptable in PMIX zones according to the unified development ordinance (UDO), those uses would require specific approval through the preliminary development planning process. This application is for strictly residential uses.

The PDP and rezoning applications approved with only Councilmember Rob Binney voting against. All councilmembers were present at the meeting.