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Dredging and Draining At 159th & Metcalf
Is This Legal?

March 17, 2002

Developers have proposed re-zoning the SE Corner of 159th and Metcalf from planned residential uses to intensive retail commercial. There are two water features on this property: a pond and a 1200 foot stream. The water from this property drains into the Blue River, just as the water from the Wal-Mart on the NW corner of 159th and Metcalf does.

Residents of Blue Valley Riding, downstream from the property, noticed an abnormal flooding of the channel draining this property going through their yards. This was odd since there had been no precipation to speak of. Further investigation shows that someone has dredged a channel and begun draining the pond. Click on a picture to get a larger view.

Newly cut trench

Lowered pond level

Dredge detritus

Wal-Mart was required to obtain a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers prior to modifying drainage when it was discovered by the Johnson County South Coalition (and conveniently overlooked by both the applicant and the City Of Overland Park) that there was water on that property - less water than on this. The Corps of Engineers then ruled those were jurisdictional waters of the US and no activity would be allowed until Wal-Mart submitted an application for a permit and was approved. (Wal-Mart has not yet submitted the necessary application).

There is also the question of whether this pond was originally built with the help of Federal and/or state funds. If that were the case, then state and/or federal approval for draining the pond might also be required.

Johnson County has been requested to provide any documentation on recent permits it might have issued with regards to the pond or the stream.

Here is an article on how the Johnson County AIMS on-line mapping tool has been used to help neighbohrhoods in obtaining critical information.

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