Cindy and Pat Morales are second generation Raytowners. They have made their home in Raytown and are raising their family here. Pat owns and operates a private Raytown business.
All is well in the Morales household except for one thing. The city has allowed a commercial property owner that adjoins their home on the east side, to literally dump storm water into their back yard.
Cindy Morales checked the City Code of Ordinances and found the following section.
Sec. 50-16. - Control of stormwater drainage.
All development shall control any storm water drainage that is created as the result of any development of the property according to adopted city standards currently maintained by the community development and public affairs director.
This section of the city’s code is very clear. It means the owner of a covered surface, like a parking lot, has the responsibility to keep the storm water from flooding property owners downstream of the paved surface. The most common way to meet this requirement is to retain the water on the surface so that it is metered out of (for instance) a parking lot into the storm sewer to carry of the water without harming adjoining properties.
It is why you see large commercial curbs on parking lots, concrete retention basins, or grass covered swales built to hold storm water runoff in heavy rains.
In the Morales situation the city allowed the property owner to pave the area up to Morales property without any way of stopping the storm water from flooding into the Morales back yard during heavy rains.
“Before they did the improvements they had some curbs in place to keep the water off our property,” said Cindy Morales.
“When they repaired their parking lot, city engineers did not require the property owner next door to build adequate curbing to divert the water to the storm drainage ditch between our properties,” she continued, “so now all of the storm water drains directly into our back yard.”
Mrs. Morales has not received an adequate answer from city officials as to why the city’s code of ordinances is being ignored by the engineers in the Public Works Department.
“I mean,” she said, “certainly they have to know that water runs downhill. By allowing the property to owner to the east of us to make changes to his property that floods our property, does not make sense.”
To make matters worse, a large sinkhole has developed in the newly paved surface. The Morales’s are concerned the resulting underground flooding will further undermine their property.
Cindy and Pat Morales are the victims of bureaucratic red tape. They did not ask their neighbor to remove curbs that kept water from flooding their back yard. In the winter time, the curbs also offered a degree of safety from snow plows dumping snow on their chain link fence that divides the property.
The city ordinance is very clear in a resolution to the problem. From our point of view the city should enforce the ordinance and have the property owner put curbs on property to divert storm water runoff from flooding the Morales property.
State House Race Heats Up
The five way race to become the Democratic candidate for the 28th District representing the Raytown area is starting to heat up.
We have heard, but not been able to substantiate, allegations of misinformation being spread by one candidate who is taking credit for projects in the Raytown area that are, quite frankly, very hard to qualify.
That being said, it is appropriate that we straighten out what we do know to be true.
The most visible candidate we are aware of is Jerome Barnes. He has a smattering of signs dotting Raytown neighborhoods. No doubt his door to door campaign is paying off.
Barnes is currently serving his second term on the Raytown School Board.
There is some confusion over the status of one candidate. Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere is making his third attempt to be elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. The big difference this time is that he is running as a Democrat. Aziere has run twice before as a Republican. He also served as a Jackson County Republican Committeeman.
Former Raytown Alderman Pat Riehle is also making his third attempt for the open seat on the State Legislature. In his first attempt he was removed from the ballot for not making a timely filing of required reports. He was defeated by Tom McDonald (who cannot run for re-election due to term limits) two years ago. Like Barnes, Riehle has been seen campaigning in Raytown precincts.
Diane Krizek and Josh Greene round out the list of candidates. Both are running ads in the local newspapers.
On the Republican side, Ward 4 Alderman Bill VanBuskirk, who does not have an opponent in the Republican primary, has been seen campaigning door to door in area Raytown neighborhoods.
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