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Houses in Overland Park neighborhood could be razed under proposed plan

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 20:10:14-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Residents in the Nall Hills neighborhood of Overland Park are on alert after learning their homes could be demolished.

The news comes after the neighborhood asked the city for help to control flooding in the area due to Indian Creek overflowing.

The city hired engineers to study the area and came up with these recommendations:

1) A full buyout of 40 properties from south of 103rd Street between Walmer Street and Nall Avenue and a major roadway alignment costing $17.3 million.

2) Open the channel north of 103rd Street from Lamar Avenue to Horton Drive and culvert improvements costing $6.6 million.

“Cost benefit-wise, you are looking at impacting displacing the least amount of people while spending the least amount of money,” Overland Park public information officer Meg Ralph said.

On Thursday, quite a few "for sale" signs could be spotted in the Nall Hills neighborhood. Neighbors who talked to 41 Action News off-camera said they were having a hard time selling their house.

City leaders hope that if the plan is approved, people will move out on their own.

“Our ideal scenario is to not get into eminent domain,” Ralph said.

One resident said that would be a scary situation.

“So I’ve been a little on edge about that," Mary Thompson said. "We’ve done a lot of remodeling to our home and you know I’m thinking, what if we don’t get all that out of the buyout, all the money we’ve put into it."

Her fears were alleviated on Wednesday, however, when she learned her house was safe. But she knows her neighborhood could soon look a lot different because many of her neighbors may be gone.

“I feel lucky, but I feel bad for my neighbors,” Thompson said.

The city said that if the county rejects the proposed plan, the full cost would need to be put into the city's five-year budget, which could take a while.