April 21, 2002
Charles Benjamin, the attorney representing the Johnson County South Coalition, received word from Doug Berka of the Corps of Engineers that the proposed Wal-Mart SuperCenter project at the NE corner of 159th and Metcalf has been authorized by nationwide permit (NWP) 49, the least restrictive kind. The permit is valid for two years and simply requires that Wal-Mart submit a "Compliance Certification" form upon completion of the project. The permit was granted on April 18. Here are versions of the letters formatted for the web by NeighborhoodNet:
Wal-Mart Request For Approval
Corps of Engineers Approval
The JCSC notes that although the Corps stated it would notify Mr. Benjamin when Wal-Mart submitted its application ("I will get you a copy of the site plan that they submit next week." - see article)
and documentation, and although both JCSC members and Mr. Benjamin called the Corps on a weekly basis, the Corps provided no information to either the JCSC or its attorney until after the permit had been issued. The Corps is not obligated to provide any such information, so it would have simply been a courtesy to do so.
It is not up to the Corps to address the extensive erosion, flooding, silting, and pollution documented by neighborhoods downstream from the property who are concerned that this project will worsen the situation. This is up to the City of Overland Park. NeighborhoodNet includes much of the documentation of these problems submitted by residents.
The JCSC, along with its attorney and its expert consultant are reviewing the permit to determine what, if any, response will be made.