Applicant Greg Brown Homes recently submitted a rezone request for 79.85 acres east of North Kickapoo and north of Shawnee Mall for a single-family residential development, but in doing so, received opposition from a nearby resident.

Applicant Greg Brown Homes recently submitted a rezone request for 79.85 acres east of North Kickapoo and north of Shawnee Mall for a single-family residential development, but in doing so, received opposition from a nearby resident.

In a letter of opposition submitted to the planning department, resident Allen Craig was concerned the proposed development might exacerbate an existing flooding problem in the area, and wants the city to fix the issue before development would be allowed.

However, according to City Planner Rebecca Blaine, Craig's concerns might have the best chance of resolution after such a development is allowed — not before.

“In protest I would ask you to deny a development there until the bridge and creek can be rebuilt to take care of the flooding,” Craig said. “We have a flooding problem on N. Kickapoo now at the bridge just south of Westech Road.”

He said every time a hard rain comes, Kickapoo has to be closed due to the high water.

“This development will put additional drainage in the creek causing more flooding,” he said. “No matter how much water retention they put in, it will still put water into the creek faster during flooding rains.”

Though they somewhat intersect, Blaine explained that Craig's flooding concerns and the proposed development are basically unrelated issues — at least as far as how the city has to handle them.

“We try to keep private development separate from public infrastructure improvements, as we would not ask the developer to take part in that,” she said. “However, you can argue it's cart-before-the-horse that we have to see more development out there in order to raise that infrastructure need on our priority list.”

Regarding the potentiality for more flooding, Blaine said the developer already would be responsible for containing water runoff from the property under construction — as is the case for any such development effort in the city.

Blaine also addressed another concern of Craig's — the issue of whether a notice had been posted on the property a full 30 days in advance of the hearing.

“We have photos of when it was posted,” she said. “It is a large parcel, so I'm not sure if they were looking for the signs to be in a different location.”

No one came forward to speak against or in favor of the request during a public hearing that was offered Monday; commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rezone request immediately afterward.

The property is to be rezoned from A-1 (Rural Agricultural District) to R-1 (Single-Family Residential District).