2008-02-09 / News

Residents blame new development for flooding

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE- Tuesday afternoon Slocum Street resident Bill Hubbard stood in the rain next to a large pool of water covering his street. One side of the pool was draining beneath his neighbor's house, while a steadily flowing stream fed the pool from its opposite side.

Hubbard, who has lived on Slocum for seven years, said that sort of flooding never happened until the land across Slocum from his home was cleared for the development of the Landings at Maple Bay subdivision. The water was flowing strongly from the direction of the development property.

Hubbard worried that a large pump, which was diverting water from a retention basin within the subdivision property, may be sending it toward Slocum, which has happened previously. He said he hoped the flooding wasn't an omen of life next door to the subdivision. Hubbard called village officials about the problem.

Mayor Frank Foster sent an email release stating that he received calls about water running across Slocum from the new development. "I walked the area and I am convinced without a doubt that the developer is not responsible for doing anything that has created additional water flowinto that area," he said in the email. "In fact, while I was there (Landings at Maple Bay development partner Bill O'Malley and construction manager Rick Wolney) arrived as they also were concerned about the situation."

Foster said that several weeks ago water was inadvertently pumped into that area causing a similar problem. They corrected that error immediately upon notification, he said. "In my discussion with them today they agreed to try to divert the water from that area to the sediment pond they have," said Foster. "They were willing to do this not because they have created the problem, but rather because they want to be good neighbors." He said they will do some grading "to help alleviate a problem that has existed long before they began their work."

Not everyone accepted that explanation.

"The self-serving dissertation is an affront to logic and the people impacted by the inundation of water," replied Buckeye Lake resident and former Buckeye Lake Planning Commission member George O'Donnel. "The reality is, when the topography was modified to the extent that it has been there will be problems unless there is forethought and serious planning." He believes Foster's meeting with the develop ers would have been more productive by finding alternate plans for the next rain event. O'Donnel said prior to his leaving for work he witnessed the overflow of water into the standpipe west of Hunts Landing Road and south of Lynn Street. "The sediment pond is too small and is topped off for the third time in 60 days," he said. O'Donnel suggested placing the water on the west side of the property and letting the developers speak for themselves.

Foster replied in an email that he requested that the developer do some grading to virtually eliminate the water that currently runs toward Slocum. The developer readily agreed. "The bottom line is that a water problem exists, the developer has agreed at my request to take action to help alleviate the problem," he said.

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