Blog Logo

Blog Categories

New Neighborhood Design Standards in Prairie Village Beginning in February 2019

October 3, 2018 in Guest Columns

Beginning on Feb. 1, 2019, all new home construction
projects and many remodeling projects within the city of Prairie Village will
be subject to newly-adopted Neighborhood
Design Standards
. City officials recently adopted the new standards to
address an increase in the number of older homes that have been torn down in
recent years and replaced with larger homes.

The proponents of the new standards argue that too many new,
larger homes are being built that are out of proportion to lot sizes, which eliminates
too many mid-century ranch and Cape Cod houses that have traditionally defined
Prairie Village. The opponents argue that the new standards will have a
chilling effect on new construction within the city and will dissuade existing
property owners from making future investments into their properties.

click here
to access a presentation
summarizing the new standards prepared by the City of Prairie Village. You can
also click
to access some more information on
the standards, including the presentation, actual text of the standards and
some detailed frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Among other requirements, the standards will:

  • Prohibit buildings, sidewalks, driveways and
    other impervious surfaces from covering more than 40 percent of a rebuilt or
    expanded home’s lot and require that at least 60 percent of the lot’s front
    yard be planted with vegetation;
  • Require all lots to have one tree planted near
    the street if there are none now, with large lots having at least one tree
    planted every 50 feet;
  • Require designers to use windows to break up
    large building walls, also called “massing;”
  • Set minimums for the amount of space taken up by
    windows and doors on the front, sides and rear of homes; and
  • Create limits on the locations and sizes of
    garages as well as the size of garage doors.

The standards will apply when any new structures are built,
when 200 square feet or more is added to an existing building’s footprint or
when construction activity occurs that alters the form or massing of the front
elevation or roof of a residential structure. There is an exception process
built into the standards that would allow a project to deviate from the design
standards if certain criteria are met, but exceptions will need to be requested
and approved by the City of Prairie Village Planning Commission.

Any existing homes that do not comply with the new standards
will be considered a legal, non-conforming use and will be “grandfathered” from
the new standards. However, if the owner of a home that is non-conforming wants
to do an addition that is larger than 200 square feet in the future, the
portion of the home that is being improved or added would need to meet the new

Join the Conversation

We'll never share your email address with anyone else.

We'd a follow.