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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wichita developers and the Wichita Metropolitan Area Planning Commission are responsible for floods

For some time Wichita has had its share of flooding problems. But many are caused by bad management. There was flooding along the Cowskin Creek before and now, according to an article in The Wichita Eagle, it is happening in two southeast Wichita subdivisions.
On Sept. 12, 2008 basements flooded and people’s yards turned into swamps according to the article. Also;
“The rain poured off a field owned by a church just south of the Maple Shade and Brentwood South subdivisions. It hit a line of wood fences, veered away from the path that developers intended and pooled around nearby houses, flooding basements.”This is not the first time there has been flood problems. The Cowskin Creek flooded October 31, 1998 and caused millions of dollars in damages in northwest Wichita. The City of Wichita spent a lot of money on flood control programs, but the biggest problem of all was that developers were allowed to build on flood plains of the Cowskin Creak. The real problem was that developers built houses on a flood plain, put in a small useless dyke, and then lied to homebuyers when telling them they wouldn’t have to worry about floods.
But the people of those homes went to the city. They should have filed lawsuits against the developers. The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission has mostly pro-development people on it. They should have been fired from the board for allowing this to happen.
The City Council of Wichita is in the pockets of the land developers so they never said or say anything that might offend them. They never held them responsible for their negligence.
The Wichita Eagle article goes on to say;
“Metropolitan Area Planning Commission members and city staff gave final approval to the Maple Shade subdivision in June 2001 without requiring a grading plan, even though the city had rules on the books requiring one since October 2000, city records show.
The grading plan could have prevented some of the flooding problems that exist today. It would have set elevations at the corner of each lot and shown how water would drain toward storm sewers or other channels to prevent flooding….
Several factors contributed to the drainage problems:
*City officials and planning commissioners approved the developments without detailed grading plans to account for runoff…
* Developers have balked at the idea of paying a neighboring church $25,000 for a 20-foot drainage easement on the congregation's property.
Isn’t it time for the City of Wichita to finally hold developers responsible for shabby planning and irresponsible building of homes in places that are not suited for development? And why haven’t they cleaned house in the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission?
Most of us would be fired if we did such a bad job. Maybe it’s time to fire members of the incompetent Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.

The Cowskin Creak: land development has been to close and has caused flooding in heavy rains.

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