LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – Several dozen homeowners successfully banded together Tuesday to fight a proposed new subdivision near their Lee’s Summit neighborhood.

The neighbors worried the new development proposed along I-470 could put their yards or basements under water.

Opponents of Anderson Pointe all wore red, symbolizing they wanted Lee’s Summit City Council to stop the project. Many were wearing Chiefs red, which ironically may be what their neighborhood is best known for nationally.

That’s because in 2017 when flood waters filled basements in Oaks Ridge Meadows, surrounded a school and blocked Anderson Drive, it was former Kansas City Chief Neil Smith who came to one driver’s rescue leading her to safety. But neighbors say there’s plenty of minor flooding without heroic rescues impacting their lives on a regular basis.

“Whenever there’s any rain at all there’s a river running between my house and the neighbor’s house,” Erin Smith said.

Justin Van Wyk and neighbors have tried to build a dam of sorts to protect their homes where they’ve had to redo basements.

“You can see right here it’s generally like a swamp all through here,” he showed in his yard Tuesday despite several days of sun and heat.

Van Wyk lives directly below where developers asked Lee’s Summit City Council to rezone the property to residential, and approve a preliminary site plan to build 66 single family homes and 10 duplexes at the top of the hill.

“If you have 24 acres back there all the sudden of them 17 turn into concrete and shingles and a surface  that’s not porous, all of that is going to increase flooding in my opinion,” Van Wyk said.

“If we get all the runoff from the top of the hill here after they clear off all the rock and the tree line and they make it all asphalt there’s no drainage for that except this neighborhood,” Barry Lewis said.

“We just want to be heard and the key part right now is people need to listen,” Tony Wrisinger said.

City planners say they have listened, and will work with developers to explore possible solutions but they can’t burden developers to try to fix existing flooding issues they didn’t create.

Matt Schlicht with Engineering Solutions said the project would likely actually improve storm water runoff. But some neighbors weren’t so sure.

“They have shown proposals that they are going to put in drainage systems that will divert some of that but at the end of the day we’re still the development downhill from where they are,” Van Wyk said.

Because a majority of nearby residents had submitted protest petitions the project would have needed a super majority of 6 votes to proceed. It failed 5-4, with Mayor Bill Baird and Council Members Felker, Lovell and Shields supporting the project and DeMoro, Edson, Hodges, Lopez and Prier voting it down.

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