Owasso Residents Concerned New Development Will Increase Flooding
OWASSO, Oklahoma - As it continues to rain in Green Country, people in Owasso are concerned a new neighborhood will increase the risk of flooding.
Members of the Citizens for Responsible Rural Development have been fighting a neighborhood development for years. On Monday, their efforts became unsuccessful.
They said flooding in their neighborhoods is already bad, and this could make it worse.
Black and white pictures show that when it rains in Owasso, it pours through a 100-year floodplain off 106th Street North and Mingo, the proposed site for 137 new homes.
"It's an area that's historically flooded," said Bronce Stephenson with the City of Owasso.
Resident Joe Falleur said Mingo Road has flooded several times, and water pools in neighborhoods.
Neighbor Jonathan Vanbeber spoke at a planning meeting Monday and said the Brighton Park development could stop water from draining.
Jonathan Vanbeber, Resident "That could actually cause water to stay on our property and not to run off at all," Vanbeber said.
Stephenson showed us 100 pages of relatively new drainage regulations the development would have to follow to build; along with EPA, DEQ and FEMA regulations.
"They'll have to show how the stormwater will be treated, how it will be taken care of, how the current issues will be addressed," Stephenson said.
He said it would be illegal for the developer to make flooding worse, in fact, the development's engineering, with a creek and storm drains, would help improve drainage.
"We have some of the best drainage standards around, and that's why we know that whatever goes in here will have no adverse impact," Stephenson said.
Not everyone is sold on that.
"If they don't fully control the runoff and that becomes a problem for my property, or anyone else, then they should be held responsible for that," Vanbeber said.
The planning commission did approve changing the zoning of the land to residential family housing. That's the first step of a long process to get the development built.
The city said it needs to develop the floodplain because Owasso needs more places for families to live.
The developer is the Sallee family.