Prospect residents concerned development could worsen flooding issues

Flood concerns worry residents living near new development

PROSPECT, Ky. (WAVE) - Residents are fighting a new proposed subdivion because of flooding concerns.

They said the insurance of some has gone up; people have moved away and they battle mold on a daily basis.

They’re worried the new development, called Breakers at Prospect, off U.S. 42, would only make things worse.

Neighbors said they're not against developments as a whole, but think this one is too dense and would leave nowhere for water to go except their homes.

"One minute, we can look out and we are withstanding,” Wendell Morgan, who lives in the area, said. “The next minute, you look out, we're underneath water."

Flooding in the James Taylor - Jacob School Neighborhood can happen fast, but it’s the swiftness of the Breakers at Prospect development that has neighbors concerned in the dry heat of the summer.

“We are asking for delay,” Mark Jackson, the neighborhood association president, said. “We are asking for the engineers to really do a survey on how it’s going to affect us.”

Homeowners in the historic African-American neighborhood, and in the nearby Sutherland neighborhood, said they’re concerned because the proposed drainage would tie into their already-stressed system.

“We can’t withstand what we have today,” Morgan said. “I know for a fact, we cant withstand what the developers going to push through.”

Jackson said he's convinced the flooding will get worse because that's what he's seen over the past several decades. He moved into his home in the early 1960s.

"We understand change,” Jackson noted, stating he wasn’t against development as a whole.

Jackson said drainage issues didn’t exist before the Sutherland neighborhood was built next door in the 1990s.

Now, he's teamed up with that neighborhood to fight the new developers trying to build on the Sutherland farm.

"Now they want to put something new in, but just haven't fixed the problem that already exists,” Jackson said.

Breakers at Prospect developer Stephanie Gilezan said the company has changed its plans multiple times to meet MSD requirements, bought a house in the Sutherland neighborhood to run drainage lines, and isn't building at full housing capacity, which it says is 150 homes.

Some who oppose the proposed 71-home density said they don’t blame developers for trying to build, but MSD should be looking out for people’s best interests.

“MSD’s job is to protect the people, the citizens of this community from drainage problems,” Meme Sweets Runyon, the Executive Director of River Fields, said. “MSD’s market is not developers.”

Sweets Runyon said she is also concerned the developments will create issues related to traffic, historic preservation, wetlands and the Garvin Brown Preserve, which her group helps manage.

A public hearing regarding the development took place back in January. Another one has been scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Country Day School.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.