Rain to Recreation

Stormwater Management

Ted Semadeni
Stormwater Superintendent
[email protected]

Tom Jacobs
Stormwater Engineer
[email protected]

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Our Rain to Recreation Program is nationally recognized for our approach to stormwater management. Our mission is to implement and maintain water quality and flood control projects that protect the natural and developed environment, while providing public education, involvement and recreational opportunities.

We view stormwater as an amenity, not a liability, and we focus on green infrastructure solutions to prevent pollution and reduce runoff, achieving compliance through community commitment. Since it began, the Rain to Recreation program has been recognized for its commitment and creativity in helping Lenexa residents keep water clean.

Protecting water quality

Our staff helps protect water quality by preventing and reducing pollution on a watershed level through:
  • Educating residents on ways to prevent pollution and reduce stormwater runoff

  • Finding ways to engage the community – residential and professional – in protecting stormwater

  • Responding to emergency spills and pollution complaints

  • Issuing permits for commercial businesses, construction sites and land development to prevent pollution

  • Inspecting permitted job sites for compliance

  • Utilizing green infrastructure and stormwater Best Management Practices to treat and reduce runoff

  • Monitoring lakes, creeks and streams for pollution, identifying problem areas and planning protection.

History and ordinances

We began planning a stormwater management approach in 2000, and a watershed management master plan that same year created the framework for the adoption of a Land Disturbance Ordinance to support our erosion and sediment control efforts in 2001.

In March 2002, we were the first municipality in the Kansas City metropolitan area to adopt a Stream Setback Ordinance, proving us a regional leader in watershed protection. We adopted Post-construction practices in 2004, using a Best Management Practices manual that identifies a minimum level of service to achieve when mitigating stormwater runoff. We revised our stormwater management plan in 2005 to accommodate the requirements of the NPDES permit, and we passed an Illicit Discharge and Detection Ordinance in 2006.


Initially, Rain to Recreation received some funding from the city’s general fund account and a now-expired one-eighth cent sales tax. Currently, the program is funded three ways: 

  • A stormwater utility fee established in 2000 that is collected as a special assessment on Johnson County property tax bills.
  • A systems capital development charge, so that as new developments are built, growth pays for growth.
  • Erosion and site development fees, assessed at the time of land disturbance and site development permits.