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Public Works

Phone: 913-715-8300

1800 W. Old Highway 56, Olathe, KS 66061

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Utility Permit

Utility Permit

Utility companies and their contractors are required to obtain a utility permit. Fees to cover inspection and long term maintenance issues are assessed on all work except for public utilities in a new subdivision prior to the subdivision streets being accepted by the County, and for work in relation to County projects.

Road Crossing Permit

A Road Crossing Permit is for individuals who may need to install a service line across a public road. The usual situation would be where a water line is located across the road from a new house. An owner or their contractor would obtain a Road Crossing Permit to install the water service line. These types of projects are not as complex as parallel installations, and the Road Crossing Permit is much simpler than a utility permit. Fees for inspection and road cuts are identical to the Utility Permit. However, the individuals or his contractor are required to post a deposit for cutting and trenching an asphalt road, to insure that the road and right-of-way are restored properly. The deposit for cutting an asphalt road is $3,000. The deposit must be a company check or a certified check or money order made payable to Johnson County Public Works. We do not accept checks from private individuals.

We may use the deposit or that part as may be necessary to properly restore the right-of-way, remove defective work and unpaid fees due to overrun of time. The deposit or any unexpended portion will be returned after the completion of the work in a manner satisfactory to Johnson County.



Transport Large Structure

Permit Instructions

  • Notify Johnson County Public Works the day before the move at 913-715-8300.

  • The permit shall be carried in the moving vehicle and shall be available for inspection.

  • Mover is responsible for traffic control and damage to public and private property. All signs moved in order to clear wide loads should be reset immediately after passage of the load. Any trees or limbs cut to allow passage of load shall be disposed of.

  • Johnson County elected to follow the regulations used by the Secretary of Transportation for excessive size and weights of vehicles and loads on state highway.

  • Mover should notify the County immediately after completion. We will inspect the route and repair any damage caused by the move that was not repaired. Costs will be paid by the mover.

  • The cost of repairs to County property will be totalled and an itemized bill will be sent to the mover. If cost of repairs is less than deposit, the mover will have 15 days to pay or forfeit the deposit. If amount exceeds deposit, the mover and insurance company will be billed the balance.

  • All moves are to be made during good weather and road conditions, and not to be scheduled during morning and evening peak traffic periods.

  • No structures may remain overnight on County right-of-way. In case of mechanical breakdown, the structure shall be moved off the road.

Transport Large Structure Permit


Street Construction and Storm Drainage Standards

Street Construction and Storm Drainage Standards for Subdivisions

Street Construction and Storm Drainage Standards for Subdivisions (as revised in 2009)





Stormwater Quality Treatment

Stormwater Treatment Requirements for Development Projects

Unincorporated Johnson County has adopted regulations that require development projects that disturb more than one acre to treat stormwater for pollutants before releasing it into storm drain system and eventually into our streams and rivers. The requirements of this regulation can have a significant impact on site designs for both private and public development.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Johnson County Public Works Department at 913-715-8300.


The purpose of this regulation is to comply with the County's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that is issued by the state of Kansas. This page is a summary of the new requirements and is intended for use by Developers, Project Designers, Plan Reviewers, Contractors, and Inspectors to aid in the development of post-construction stormwater quality treatment plans. These guidelines apply to both private development projects and municipal capital improvement projects. Development projects that disturb more than one acre and have the potential to negatively impact stormwater quality are required to mitigate impacts through the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs can include both non-structural measures, such as site planning to preserve open space or native vegetation; or structural measures, such as extended wet detention ponds or engineered wetlands. If site planning is not enough to mitigate the effects of the development, then the project must include structural post-construction BMPs.

SECTION 1 Regulations:

SECTION 2 Standards:

The March 2008 version of the MARC BMP Manual has been adopted as the County's stormwater treatment standards.

The APWA Design Criteria Section 5600 has been adopted as the County's stormwater conveyance standards.


Design Spreadsheets from the APWA/MARC Stormwater BMP Manual (March 2008 version) for calculating design parameters for commonly used BMPs.

These design spreadsheets are provided as an aid to the design engineer who is responsible for checking calculations and designs to meet all applicable regulations. It should also be noted that spreadsheets by their nature can be modified which could lead to errors if not properly coded and checked. The Johnson County Stormwater Management Program and/or CDM (provider of the spreadsheets) does not express or imply any warranty for the use of the spreadsheets.


What Are Your City's Regulations?

The regulations above only pertain to the unincorporated area of Johnson County, Kansas. If you plan to build within a City of Johnson County, contact your city to learn more about their regulations.



Sight Distance

Sight distance is measured 10 ft. off the shoulder of the road. A new driveway will not be allowed at a location where the sight distance is inadequate to enter the traffic stream safely. Sometimes sight distance problems may be eliminated by clearing trees and shrubs along the right-of-way line. If the trees and shrubs are a problem, the applicant will be required to do the clearing as part of the entrance permit stipulations. New landscaping should be planned so that sight distance will not be blocked as the landscaping matures.



  • All pond construction activities must comply with county erosion and sediment control regulations. A county Land Disturbance permit may be required depending upon the amount of land disturbed. Erosion and sediment control regulations can be found here: Erosion and sediment control regulations
  • If the area draining into the pond exceeds 240 acres you will need a Kansas Division of Water Resources stream obstruction permit. For permit forms call Topeka at 785-296-3717.
  • If the pond capacity exceeds 50 acre-feet at top of dam elevation or pond dam fill is 25 feet or higher then you will need a dam permit from the Kansas Division of Water Resources.
  • Do not place fill or regrade the land in a FEMA flood plain. Check the flood insurance rate maps for your pond location. If in a flood plain a Flood Plain Development Permit is required. Contact Planning at 913-715-2214.
  • No part of the pond or dam should be within 110 feet of the center of the road for section line roads or within 50 feet of the Right of Way Line for local roads.
  • Work disturbing Waters of the United States will require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Call the Kansas City District at 816-983-3990 for more information. Check for platted drainage easements or natural drainage areas, any pond in these areas will require county approval. The specific requirements are usually stated on the plat.
  • Any federal, state or county permits will require submittal of engineered drawings.


Pond Issues

Consider your neighbor upstream. Do not back water on your neighbors or road right-of-way. Your overflow spillway needs to be at least 2 ft. lower than the low point at the property line.

Consider your downstream neighbor. The dam needs to be upstream from the property line far enough that the water flowing around the spillway gets back to the natural channel before it gets to the downstream property line. This will be at least 50 ft. from the property line, and probably much more. Some ponds leak, and your downstream neighbor may complain about the seepage, you need to have a plan to correct the seepage problem.

Other considerations. Small ponds in large watersheds fill with silt relatively quickly, the spillway is hard to maintain, and the dam may overtop in a large rainfall event. As a rule of thumb, there should be 12 acres of drainage for each surface acre of water.

Proper Construction. Contact the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRSC) or click the following link for information about proper pond construction.

Johnson County NRSC Contact Information



Mailbox Guidelines

U.S. Postal Service Guidelines

For details on U.S. Postal Service requirements on mailboxes refer to their Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), specifically 508 Recipient Services:


County Guidelines on Mailboxes

This section provides County guidelines for mailboxes and newspaper delivery boxes on public right-of-ways.


No mailbox or newspaper delivery box, hereinafter referred to as mailbox, will be allowed to exist on County right of way if it interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance or operation of the road system. A mailbox installation not conforming to the provisions of this regulation is an unauthorized encroachment under Kansas State Statute Section 68-545.

Mailboxes supported by structures such as masonry columns, railroad rails and ties, tractor wheels, plow blades, and concrete-filled barrels, are roadside hazards that will need to be removed at the postal patron's expense.

The location and construction of mailboxes shall conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service as well as to standards established by the County. A mailbox installation that conforms to the following criteria will be considered acceptable unless, in the judgment of the County Engineer, the installation interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance, or operation of the road system.


No mailbox will be permitted where access is obtained from a freeway or where access is otherwise prohibited by law or regulation. Mailboxes shall be located on the right-hand side of the roadway in the carrier's direction of travel route except on one-way streets, where they may be placed on the left-hand side. The bottom of the box shall be set at a height established by the U.S. Postal Service, usually between 39 in. and 48 in. above the roadway surface. The roadside face of the box shall be offset from the edge of the traveled way a distance no less than the greater of the following:

  • 8ft (where no paved shoulder exists and shoulder cross slope is 13 percent or flatter), or
  • the width of the all-weather shoulder present plus 8 in. to 12 in., or
  • the width of an all-weather turnout specified by the County plus 8 in. to 12 in..

Exceptions to these placement criteria will exist on residential streets and certain designated rural roads where the County deems it in the public interest to permit lesser clearances or to require greater clearances. On curbed streets, the roadside face of the mailbox shall be set back from the face of the curb at a distance of between 6 in. and 12 in. On residential streets without curbs or all-weather shoulders that carry low traffic volumes operating at low speeds, the roadside face of the mailbox shall be offset between 8 in. and 12 in. behind the edge of the pavement. On very low-volume rural roads with low operating speeds, the County may find it acceptable to offset mailboxes a minimum of 6 ft. from the traveled way and under some low volume low-speed conditions may accept clearances as low as 32 in..


Design and/or location criteria for the mailbox support structure should consist of the following:

  • Where a mailbox is located at a driveway entrance, it shall be placed on the far side of the driveway in the carrier's direction of travel.
  • Where a mailbox is located at an intersecting road, it shall be located a minimum of 100 ft. beyond the center of the intersection road in the carrier's direction of travel. This distance shall be increased to 200ft when the average daily traffic on the intersection road exceeds 400 vehicles per day.
  • Mailboxes shall be of light sheet metal or plastic construction conforming to the requirements of the U.S. Postal Service. Newspaper delivery boxes shall be of light metal or plastic construction of minimum dimensions suitable for holding a newspaper.
  • No more than two mailboxes may be mounted on a support structure unless crash tests have shown the support structure and mailbox arrangement to be safe. However, light-weight newspaper boxes may be mounted below the mailbox on the side of the mailbox support.
  • Mailbox supports shall not be set in concrete unless crash tests have shown the support design to be safe.
  • A single 4-in.-by-4-in. square or 4-in. diameter wooden post; or metal post, Schedule 40, 2 in. (normal size IPS (external diameter 2⅜ in.]) (wall thickness 0.154 in. or smaller), embedded no more 24 in. into the ground, shall be acceptable as a mailbox support. A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate, but it may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than 10 in. below the ground surface.
  • The post-to-box attachment details should be of sufficient strength to prevent the box from separating from the post top if the installation is struck by a vehicle. The exact support hardware dimension and design may vary such as having a two-piece platform bracket or alternative slot-and-bole locations. The product must result in a satisfactory attachment of the mailbox to the post, and all components must fit together properly.
  • The minimum spacing between the centers of support posts shall be the height of the posts above the ground line. Mailbox support designs not described in this regulation are acceptable if approved by the County Engineer.
  • Where snow plowing operations cause damage to fixed mailbox installations, swing-away designs may be used.

Shoulder and Parking Area Construction

It shall be the responsibility of the postal patron to inform the County of any new or existing mailbox installations where shoulder construction is inadequate to permit all-weather vehicular access to the mailbox.

Removal of Nonconforming or Unsafe Mailboxes

Any mailbox that is found to violate the intent of these guidelines shall be removed by the postal patron upon notification by the County. At the discretion of the County, based on an assessment of hazard to the public, the patron shall be granted not less than 24 hours and no more than 30 days to remove an unacceptable mailbox. After the specified period has expired, the unacceptable mailbox will be removed by the County at the postal patron's expense.



Land Disturbance

Forms and Applications

Disturbing less than one acre

Disturbing greater than one acre

​Forms required prior to permit issuance:

Form required prior to terminate permit:


Erosion and Sediment Control


In order to comply with Federal and State Regulations, Johnson County has adopted Resolution Number 068-08. Effective January 1, 2009, this resolution requires those engaging in land disturbing activities to obtain a Johnson County Land Disturbance Permit and implement erosion and sediment control measures.

What is a Land Disturbing Activity?

Land Disturbing Activity means any activity that changes the physical conditions of land form, vegetation and hydrology, creates bare soil, or otherwise may cause erosion or sedimentation. Such activities include, but are not limited to, clearing of land, removal of vegetation, stripping, grading, grubbing (uprooting vegetation, trees), excavating, filling, logging and storing of materials.

This page is a summary of the Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Requirements for Unincorporated Johnson County and is intended for use by Developers, Project Designers, Plan Reviewers, Contractors, and Inspectors to aid in development and implementation of effective erosion and sediment controls and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWP2). Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Johnson County Public Works Department at 913-715-8300.



If you are planning to undertake a project that will disturb less than one acre, you can satisfy the County requirements by following the “Erosion and Sediment Control Standards for Building Construction that Disturbs Less Than One Acre for the Unincorporated Area of Johnson County”. You must also submit a form that describes the proposed work and certifies that the total land disturbance is less than one acre.


If you are planning to undertake a project that will disturb one acre or more, you must apply for a Land Disturbance (LD) permit from Johnson County. The permit fee is $250 for plan review and inspections. Additionally, a performance surety is required to provide the County assurances that the requirements of this regulation are installed in a timely and workmanlike manner. The primary requirement of the Johnson County Land Disturbance Permit is for the permittee to develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention (SWP2) plan. When the land disturbing activity is completed and final stabilization of the site is achieved, the permittee must submit a certificate of completion to Johnson County to terminate the permit.

  • Regulation - For projects that disturb equal to or greater than one acre in Unincorporated Johnson County


Forms required PRIOR to permit issuance:

Forms required PRIOR to terminate permit:

Additional Resources:


  • APWA Design Criteria Section 5100 – Erosion and Sediment Control
  • APWA Division II Construction and Material Specifications Section 2150 Erosion and Sediment Control


Permitees are required to maintain a copy of the SWP2 Plan on the job at all time. The SWP2 Plan is intended to be a living document, with changes shown as work proceeds. In addition, the permit holder must inspect the site at least once per week and within 24 hours of a ½-inch rainfall event. Inspections must be performed by a "Qualified Erosion Control Specialist." A "Qualified Erosion Control Specialist” means a person qualified to perform inspections of Erosion and Sediment Control measures. Qualified personnel includes a Professional Engineer licensed in the state of Kansas or anyone who has obtained one of the following certifications:

  1. Johnson County Certified Erosion Control Inspector through Contractor Licensing Department
    • Current List of Johnson County Certified Inspectors
  2. CCIS through Stormwater USA, LLC
  3. CISEC through CISEC, Inc
  4. CESSWI through EnviroCert International, Inc

Other equivalent qualifications may be approved in writing by the Director as part of an approved Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan or Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

These documents are intended to provide guidance to the permit holder for self-inspections and maintaining a SWP2 Plan. They may not meet all the requirements of Johnson County, the EPA and/or Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Failure to maintain the SWP2 Plan and inspect the site are among the most common violations cited from EPA or KDHE investigations.

  • Template for SWP2 Plan and Inspection Forms (Excel)
  • Erosion Control Inspection Checklist and Forms



In addition to applying for a Johnson County Land Disturbance Permit owners or operators of any project or combination of projects who engage in activities which will disturb one (1) or more acres of land must also obtain a Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) construction stormwater general permit.

KDHE Construction Stormwater General Permit Application
Application to the State is made by submitting a KDHE Notice of Intent (NOI) form at least 60 days before starting construction. The permit fee for this general permit for stormwater runoff from construction activity is $60 per year.


What Are Your City's Regulations? The regulations above only pertain to the unincorporated area of Johnson County, Kansas. If you live within a City of Johnson County, contact your city to learn more about their regulations.


Entrance Permit

Please Note

Johnson County requires property owners, in the unincorporated area, to obtain an entrance permit prior to installing a new driveway entrance, removal and replacement of an existing entrance, or a temporary construction entrance.
Any unauthorized entrance or an entrance that has been constructed improperly can be removed by Johnson County Public Works.  It is a code violation to install a new driveway without a permit and fines may be imposed.


Entrance Permit Process

Application:  Entrance Permit.  Printed packets are also available at the Johnson County Public Works office.

Permit Fee:  $75 payable by cash or check; checks should be made out to Johnson County Public Works.

Filing the Application:  Mail or deliver the completed application, along with payment, to Johnson County Public Works, 1800 W. Old Highway 56, Olathe, Kansas 66061.

Review of the Application:  Upon receipt of the application, staff will review the proposed entrance to assure conformance with all applicable requirements.  Applicants should stake the location of the requested entrance within one day of filing the application.  Proposed entrance locations will be checked for required sight distance, distances from intersections and adjacent entrances, required frontage for number of entrances on the property and for adequate roadside drainage capacity.

Upon completion of review, the permit can be picked up by the applicant from Public Works or returned to the owner or contractor at the address provided on the application.


Due to the likeliness of damage to the entrance during the construction of homes and businesses, there are two required inspections.  Public Works will attempt to inspect the work while it is in progress in an effort to avoid costly repairs or reconstruction.  Notify Public Works at least two days in advance of installing the entrance.

Initial Inspection:  When culvert installation is part of the entrance permit, the initial inspection is performed after the culvert is installed.  This inspection is to ensure proper location, workmanship, materials, elevation and drainage.  To schedule this inspection, the applicant must notify Public Works when the entrance is constructed.  If no building construction is anticipated in the near future, this will be the final inspection.

Final Inspection:  If the entrance permit is issued in association with a building permit, prior to the request for final occupancy by Building Codes, the applicant must request a final inspection for the entrance installation.  The final inspection will check for damage to the culvert and driveway surface, removal of all construction debris and the establishment of vegetation in all disturbed areas.  All corrective actions are the responsibility of the applicant and must be completed prior to final acceptance of the entrance.  Upon acceptance, Public Works will provide Building Codes a copy of the approved permit.

To avoid any potential delays in the issuance of the Occupancy Permit, please schedule the final entrance inspection far enough in advance to provide adequate time for any possible corrections or repairs needed for the entrance before the final inspection of the building.



Driveway Limitations

The Comprehensive Arterial Road Network Plan (CARNP) adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on January 7, 1999 reduces the number of driveways or streets that may be constructed along arterial roads (generally section line roads). In November 2000 these driveway limitations were incorporated into the county zoning and subdivision regulations. Driveways on residential streets inside subdivisions are not part of the CARNP, and different guidelines apply.


One focus of CARNP was to provide a safe roadway system and protect traffic capacity in order to minimize future construction costs. The number of driveways affects traffic safety, traffic capacity, and maintenance costs. CARNP addressed this issue by providing reasonable driveway restrictions along arterial roads. The number of driveways will be limited by driveway spacing requirements related to road frontage. The table below indicates the maximum number of driveways that your property may have based on the road frontage. Sight distance, drainage and other factors may reduce the available driveway locations. Also, there may be deed restrictions, or restrictions on the subdivision plat which may limit driveway numbers and locations.


Please keep in mind that you may want to split your property at a later date. If all available driveways are used on one portion of your property, the new owner may not be eligible for a driveway on the new tract unless you remove an existing driveway. Shared driveways are also an option in areas where there is not sufficient frontage.


      Section Line and Other Arterial Roads

                                   Required Road Frontage

 Roadway Type 

   No Driveway

  1 Driveway

  2 Driveways 

      Type I

  Less than 330



      Type II

  Less than 660



      Type III

 Less than 1,320 




Corner lots with less than required frontage are restricted to access on the side road. Driveway corner clearance at the intersection of two arterial roads is 600 ft.



Drainage Plan Criteria


This guideline applies to unincorporated area residential subdivisions with lots larger than 5 acres. In a subdivision with lots smaller than 5 acres APWA Section 5600 applies. All required drainage calculations and improved channels must comply with APWA Section 5600 criteria.

I. Natural Drainage Channel Areas

  1. General: Natural drainage channel areas are allowed where no channel improvements are anticipated by the developer, which is usually the case in large lot rural subdivisions. The intent of the natural drainage channel area is to delineate the area that floods so that buildings are not located near flood prone areas. The natural drainage channel areas do not apply to FEMA designated flood plains or flood areas designated by the watershed studies.
  2. Width: Per APWA 5600 the width of the natural drainage area should be large enough to enclose the 100 year flood plus one foot of freeboard, plus 10 ' measured horizontally on each side. The minimum width of the drainage area will be 30’ where calculations are provided. As an option for under 30 acre drainage areas calculations are not required if width shown on the plat is 140 ft. and generally centered on the natural channel.
  3. Plats: Delineate natural drainage channel areas on preliminary and final plat. A note should be shown on the plat that prohibits building construction in the natural drainage channel area and prohibits low opening of any structure to be lower than the adjacent boundary of the natural drainage channel area.
  4. Location: On drainage courses, the natural drainage channel area shall begin where drainage area accumulates to five acres.
  5. Flood Elevations: Base flood elevations and bench marks are required on natural drainage channel areas where the drainage area exceeds 300 acres and watershed study results are not available.

II. Drainage Calculations

  1. Use watershed study information where available. If available calculations are only required upstream of studied areas.
  2. Small Drainage Areas: For natural drainage areas where the drainage area is less than 30 acres calculations are not required if a minimum width of 140 feet is shown. For a width of less than 140 ft. calculations are required to justify the reduced width.
  3. Hydrology: Use APWA section 5600. Assume fully developed upstream and compute 100 year flow rate. Use FEMA or watershed data if appropriate.
  4. Open Channel Hydraulics: Use APWA Section 5600 or HEC-2. HEC-2 is required in FEMA detail study areas, and floodway delineation in FEMA approximate areas. Compute flood limits upstream of watershed studies and FEMA areas to a point where drainage is less than 5 acres or to 30 acres if 140 ft. width is proposed upstream of 30 acres. Elevations may be required if near FEMA area.
  5. Headwater at crossroad culverts: If land is upstream from a crossroad culvert compute head water elevation at crossroad culverts for 100 year storm (usually inlet control).
  6. Existing Dams: Large lot subdivisions do not increase impervious area enough to affect dam hydraulics. However, they do affect flood elevations and limits of natural drainage channel area.
    1. The natural drainage area upstream of dams should include the area below the top of dam elevation plus 2 feet, unless flood routing calculations are performed.
    2. On dams with more than 30 acres drainage the limits of natural drainage area should be calculated for the emergency spillway.
  7. Delineation: On preliminary and final plat, show base flood elevation data and flood plain limits along FEMA designated flood plains, watershed study areas and other areas where drainage area exceeds 300 acres.


  1. Detailed study area
    1. Show floodway as determined by FEMA.
    2. Show flood limits and elevations determined by FEMA.
    3. If applicable, show limits of additional flooding using FEMA elevations and more current contours and recent watershed studies.
  2. FEMA Approximate study area
    1. Use watershed study information if available, if not follow steps listed below.
    2. Calculate 100 year runoff using fully developed conditions upstream.
    3. Calculate flood limits and elevations.
    4. Delineate floodway if work or development is proposed in flood plain.
    5. On preliminary plat, indicate FEMA flood plain, calculated floodplain. Show floodway if work is proposed in flood plain.
    6. Show base flood elevation data and flood plain limits on preliminary and final plat.

IV. Required Field Surveys

  1. Surveyed channel cross sections are required to calculate flood elevations.
    1. A cross section is required at front building line if channel parallels side lot line.
  2. If development is upstream from existing road.
    1. Profile road center line with field survey.
    2. Measure crossroad structures and determine flow line elevation.
  3. Profile top of dam including spillway.
    1. Cross section of emergency spillway.
    2. Bench marks are required when base flood elevation must be determined due to being in a FEMA area or drainage area exceeding 300 acres.
  4. Not less than two permanent sea level bench marks shall be inside or immediately adjacent to each subdivision or development.
    1. Bench marks must be described on the preliminary plat or development plan.
    2. Survey of dams is required to determine limits of natural drainage area.
    3. Bench Marks


Construction Specifications