The plat map shows the proposed location of the 11 home sites on the Homestead property.The Prairie Village Planning Commission on Tuesday approved the preliminary plans for the reworking of the Homestead Country Club site.The plans call for the creation of 11 single family home lots on the east end of the property that would face a single road leading back beyond the current circle drive outside the main clubhouse. That clubhouse would be razed to make room for two of the house lots, and the club’s north four tennis courts would be removed and turned into a parking lot.Though the commission passed both Special Use Permit request for the changes to the club and the preliminary plat for the house sites, a handful of area residents spoke at the meeting to express concerns with the proposed project. Tim Butt lives on Delmar Street with his property backing up to the club, and said he thought there was the potential for the new homes to have a potentially negative impact on the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Without an architectural review board in Prairie Village, there is little to compel the homebuilder, Evan-Talan Homes, to build in a style that fits the surroundings, he said.“I’m a little concerned about the lack of cohesiveness that these homes could be,” he said. “We could have a variety of architectural styles plopped down in our neighborhood.”Butt also said he worried that the reduction in parking for the club — from its current 176 spaces to approximately 100 spaces — meant club patrons might spill over onto side streets to park.Homestead General Manager Brian Collins said he anticipated such parking issues would be significantly mitigated by the fact that the removal of the clubhouse means the club will no longer host catered events like weddings and reunions. He also noted that the club had worked with Village Presbyterian Church on an arrangement that would allow them to use the church’s lots for overflow parking when there is a major event at Homestead.The homebuilder will be required to come before the Planning Commission again for final plat approval.The building that currently houses the Homestead snack bar and fitness center will be the site of a restaurant and dining area.
The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high in Los Alamos near 37 with sunny skies and tonight’s low around 23. Courtesy/NWS
It was no coincidence that the Ministry of Justice chose to release details of the highest-paid legal aid barristers and firms at the same time as it unveiled its latest plans for a tendering system for legal aid work. The unsubtle message is, ‘we’re tightening our grip on what we will shell out on legal aid, and if you want to know why, just look at how much some of these lawyers are trousering’. It is ironic, then, that the firms the MoJ has chosen to spotlight as high earners are following precisely the model that it favours – increasing in size, taking on high volumes of work and operating with maximum efficiency. Legal aid minister Lord Bach has made it clear that he wants to rid the market of small players to create just 500 firms. Small firms have been voicing concern for some time that the government has been seeking to do a deal with the bigger practices. And as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. The smaller players will face hard choices in respect of how to succeed under the new tender process, with many forced to merge. As for the process itself, there are some welcome signs of a more practical approach – with minimum bid levels, for example. Let us at least hope the MoJ has paid close attention to the lessons to be learned from the debacle that was best-value tendering.