Plan Review

Instructions for Plan Review and Permit Agreements


High groundwater levels influence the area near a levee during flood conditions.  When the water level in the river is above the natural ground elevation on the dry side of the levee, groundwater begins to move and tends to come to the surface near the levee.  This movement of water is called “underseepage.” Underseepage can exert significant forces on buried utilities, foundations, and slabs.  If not adequately controlled, underseepage can cause damage to properties or the levee. 

Underseepage forces are not a typical consideration in building and site design.  If not accounted for by the engineer or architect, these forces can cause damage to facilities and promote catastrophic levee failure. The North Kansas City Levee District (District) requires a design review of all proposed construction projects within the “critical area” of the levee. The reviews help ensure compliance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for work within the critical. These reviews help to ensure that the flood protection system retains its integrity.

For any property owner, developer, contractor, excavator, utility, or other parties—including any federal, state, or local government or agency, or any agent working thereunder—to develop or make improvements to lands located within the critical area of the North Kansas City Levee District, an applicant must comply with the following procedures to obtain acceptance to perform the work.

Definition of Critical Zone

On the landside of the levee, the critical zone includes all areas within 500 feet of the levee centerline or within the limits of the landside stability berm, whichever is greater. 

On the riverside of the levee, the critical zone includes all areas within 300 feet of the levee centerline.

Review Fees

The District charges a review fee for technical reviews.  Fees are generally calculated as follows:

  • For projects with up to and including five (5) drawings to be reviewed, a minimum amount of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500). 
  • For projects with more than five drawings, an additional amount of One Hundred Dollars ($100) per drawing more than five (5) drawings.

Drawing counts will be based on those drawings necessary for review of compliance with USACE criteria. 

Additional Fees

An additional fee of $1,500 per day is required for projects requiring field observation by District personnel. Field observation is typically required for emergency repairs and rework of unpermitted projects.


For specific information regarding submittal requirements, please contact:

     Miranda Hamrick. P.E.
     Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company
     9400 Ward Parkway
     Kansas City, MO 64114
     Phone: (816) 894-8965


Download a copy of the plan review checklist here