January 19, 2002
The following letter was written by David Emerson to the Army Corps Of Engineers in late November to document the flooding and silting which has occured in Willowbend. In the rush of events at the time I did not publish the letter. David also provided photo documentation to go with the letter.
The newly issued regulations of the Army Corps of Engineers appear to free Wal-Mart to build its 200,000 square foot SuperCenter at 159th and Metcalf without a restrictive Individual Permit. If so, the job of protecting downstream residents from storm waters and flooding is squarely back in Overland Park's court.
One hopes that Overland Park will consider the evidence of flooding, silting, and erosion problems presented in this letter; plus all the evidence from Willowbend, Creekside, Creekside North, and other neighborhoods in Overland Park; plus all the evidence from The Hills of Ironhorse, Leawood Mission Valley, The Reserve at Ironhorse, the Woods at Ironhorse and other neighborhoods in Leawood downstream from Wal-Mart; plus the 2 year study recommending $10 million in Negro Creek project to handle the flooding and other water related problems.
To see documentation from many of these neighborhoods, visit this summary article.
I write this letter as a concerned citizen of Overland
Park. My issues are with the apparent lack of concern
on the part of the Overland Park Planning Commission
as it relates to the water shed in the areas of 159th
>From 1994 to 1999 I owned the property at 15736 Horton
Lane. This property backs up to the larger or upper
retaining pond in the Willow Bend subdivision. On
numerous occasions, during heavy rainfall, I witnessed
the water level of this pond raise from 10 to 15 feet.
Though our home was never at any real risk, those at
the north end of the pond were as their entire back
yards were submersed.
Clearly I am not an engineer but common sense dictates
that if upstream from this pond the amount of run off
is increased substantially, these homes are at serious
At the 1996 Overland Park city council meeting I was
assured by the Mayor and council members that a
complete water study would be conducted. After this
past Mondays council meeting it is apparent this has
not been done.
I am not sure if it will help or add validity to my
claim but I have several photos documenting these
claims if you are interested.
Please understand I am not anti-Wal Mart, in fact I am
a stockholder. I am not anti-growth, I understand
that with population growth comes commercial
development. However, in this case I am not sure all
the proper planning and analysis has been completed.
Thank you for you time.