Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Here's a conundrum for you: Say you're an Overland Park city planner and you're faced with a decision on what to do with a vacant parcel of land near 107th and Roe Avenue. What do you do?

The situation is getting dire. The land has become overgrown with unsightly woods. Woodland wildlife is making it a haven in the middle of your beautiful pavetropolis.

The deciduous trees shed their leaves in the autumn, but only after assaulting passersby with a horrible display of gaudy reds, yellows and oranges -- colors that patently conflict with the suburb-approved grays, dark grays and light grays of surrounding developments.

You thought about putting in a soccer field. Everybody likes soccer, right? But alas, a new soccer field is already being installed a few miles south, so that's a no go.

But you have to make you're decision. So quick, what do you do?

Well, you do what any progress-minded suburban planner would do. Cut out all the trees, grind them up, and put in a strip mall.

I took these pictures a few days ago.

By now, the vegetation on the plot of land is about two thirds shredded. Should be all gone by the end of the day tomorrow.

Here's what the area looked like less than two weeks ago (not the streets, you numskulls, the woods just beyond the street).

Actually, it's probably unfair of me to characterize this as just another strip mall project. There isn't any signage nearby explaining what's going on. I called the OP city desk and got three call transfers, two voicemails and a "I honestly don't know what they're doing" before giving up.

A quick Google search didn't net much info either. I suppose it's possible that the clear cutting is part of the Indian creek flood control project, but it seems to be a little too far south of Indian Creek for that.

A clerk at the nearby QuikTrip mentioned that they're finishing off 107th Street. But do they really need to shred all the trees within a 500 yard radius?

I dunno. Like I say, I'm just a cave man. Your retail shopping and street paving frightens and confuses me.

If you guys have any idea what this project is about, drop me a line of explanation in the comments. Mmmkay?

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  1. I'm going to go with a new life guard tower for the new shore line of the gulf of Mexico. You know because of the impeding doom caused by the global melting of the polar ice caps and all that whale piss.

    And by the looks my aerial recon I'd say it was going to be another housing slum.

    But Indian creak isn't that far, it follows 103rd street right?

  2. where is Daryl Hannah when you need her. You should have at least chain yourself to a tree, or better yet chain the D to a tree.

  3. I was considering posting on this very topic.

    But that would have required parking my car at QT and walking over to the site. That's quite a blog commitment. Actually calling O.P.'s city hall never crossed my mind.

    I, too, am really irked to see this. The trailhead right there was really nice.

  4. I run on those trails on a weekly basis and all of sudden POOF! it's gone.

    And..what are those large piles of shit out there? Are they mulching the entire plot?

    Somewhat devastating.

    My prediction: a McDonald's, a Vietnamese nail salon, a mailboxes etc (or something equally as pointless), a Chipotle and a cutsie, overpriced boutique.

    This will all, of course, just like the rest of JoCo, sit empty for at least 3-6 months.

  5. sfrbv,

    Yeah, the chopped up mounds of former forest are impressive and unsightly. Run (or, if you're lazy like me, drive) by early in the morning while it's still cool, and you can see them steaming as they decompose.

    Like gigantic steaming piles of manure. That actually might make an interesting picture for HIB to take.

  6. Sad! We've had the same tree murdering going on here in Raytown, to build a Wallmart! Just great!

  7. The last thing they'd do in a flood control project is clear cut a patch of woods. All that does is let surface waters run off faster increasing the flooding downhill.

    A memorial to the former glories of K-State football, perhaps?



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