Urban Fold

Exurban Growth Without Sprawl?

Johnson County's rural residents fear the expansion of nearby Overland Park is a land grab that will perpetuate suburban sprawl, thereby diminishing their quality of life.

"Norman Pishny is a soft-spoken former farm boy who loves nothing better than puttering around his 40-acre spread in south Johnson County.

But the 53-year-old financial planner - and hundreds of others like him who cherish their bucolic lifestyle - feel threatened by Overland Park.

The city wants to annex 15 square miles and extend its borders nearly to Miami County, the largest expansion in the city's 47-year history.

Hundreds of angry landowners, including professional golfer Tom Watson, have packed hearing rooms in the past several months to tell the city the "land grab" is arrogant and robs them of a voice in their own future.

'It's nothing more than suburban sprawl,' Pishny said with disdain. He sees it as a way for Overland Park to marginalize green space while perpetuating urban crowding and conformity."

Full Story: Can Overland Park seek growth without sprawl?

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