HOA, condo, co-op Stormwater system articles (Dec 2017)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Retention ponds are the anchor used to create many HOAs. But it is my opinion that constituents should pressure public officials to deprivatize ownership and maintenance of storm water and flood control infrastructure. It is in the public interest to have competent oversight and adequate funding for such important infrastructure, to prevent flooding and environmental impacts to watersheds, wetlands, etc.

As long as the public continues to meekly accept the current situation as the new normal, it will continue. But our government is supposed to work for us, we are not obliged as taxpayers to make government’s job easier. The tail is wagging the dog. It must stop.

Jones Creek homeowners to use drone footage to fight proposed subdivision

Cheryl Mercedes

Dec 7, 2017 06:25 PM

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Representatives from several subdivisions near Jones Creek hope drone footage, which shows the impact flooding had on their neighborhood last August, is enough to convince the Planning and Zoning Commission to reject plans for a new subdivision.

The video was taken on August 14, 2016, over the Country Manor subdivision off Stumberg Lane and Coursey Boulevard, shows the streets covered by water that came in from Jones Creek. Some 40 homes flooded.

Read more (Video):


Solution possible for Strabane Manor conflict (PA)

Katie Anderson Nov 30, 2017 Updated Nov 30, 2017

South Strabane Township is moving toward a solution for Strabane Manor residents who had a falling out with the developer and builder of the project.

Members of Strabane Manor Homeowners Association rallied at the township’s October meeting, raising concerns Dan Ryan Builders was creating a second homeowners association, Strabane Haven, which would require both associations to share a stormwater drainage system.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Seth Wilson, an attorney for Dan Ryan, told the township supervisors his client wants to merge both associations back into one, according to Brandon Stanick, the township manager.

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Instead of having separate HOAs sharing the same stormwater basin, developer now wants to merge all phases of the community into one HOA. ALL homeowners now get stuck with the maintenance.


“When I hear the rain or news about the rain…it’s a lot of stress.”
Author: Jobin Panicker
Published: 10:40 PM CST December 4, 2017

The sound of running water is normally a calming sound for most people. But for Iga Njagi it is quite the opposite.

“When I hear the rain or news about the rain…it’s a lot of stress,” the Little Elm resident said.

When she bought her home six years ago she did not know she would be also investing in a real headache. She says her backyard has slowly eroded after the creek behind her home started flooding.

Read more (Video):


This unfortunate homeowner is somehow stuck with a drainage area without public easements, plus it’s on the border between two cities. So far, her HOA has not been helpful. 

Monument homeowners, developer in dispute over drainage, erosion issues

By: Rachel Riley December 4, 2017 Updated: December 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

At first glance, Bel Lago View is a picturesque cul-de-sac lined with polished, upscale townhomes that frame a vista of shimmering Monument Lake.

But a peek into the backyards of the homes on the west side of the road reveals flaws: a slowly crumbling hillside, drainage issues that have left the area vulnerable to flooding and barren dirt where landscaping should be.

Bel Lago View homeowners say it’s unfinished business left behind after the developer dissolved his company with the state and disappeared earlier this year, leaving the residents with nearly $150,000 in costs to complete the work.

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Home buyer beware. Hillside homes can pose serious risks. In this case, the developer was supposed to build a three-tier retaining wall. That never happened – instead he walked away, leaving the HOA and its homeowners to foot the hefty bill for building the wall. The author of the article notes that several other previous developers had abandoned efforts to build homes on the site. 


Council declines to provide financial support for Vestavia Lake clean out

December 18, 2017

After discussion during both a work session and regular meeting, the Vestavia Hills City Council voted not to enter into an agreement with the Vestavia Lake Homeowners Association (VHLA) for the removal of sediment from Vestavia Lake.

The issue was brought before the council as a unanimous-consent item after VHLA sent a request to City Manager Jeff Downes on Dec. 11, asking for financial assistance in continuing the sediment removal begun by Vestavia Country Club.

The request for $158,500 was ultimately denied unanimously by the council, but only after lengthy discussion about what is and isn’t the city’s responsibility.

Vestavia Lake, which was constructed in 1954, is roughly 5 acres of private property and sits surrounded by the 17 properties of the homeowners that own it.

At the time, the lake was built to be an amenity for future homeowners in the Vestavia Lake subdivision.

In the six decades since, however, the lake has seen significant buildup of sediment that VHLA representatives assert is due to the runoff from commercial construction and residential construction along U.S. 31 in the 341-acre watershed of the lake.

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Most municipal governments will not use public tax dollars to maintain or repair private infrastructure, unless there is a compelling public interest to make an exception. In this case, the private lake community claims that silt build up in its 64-year-old lake morphed into a de facto stormwater pond, collecting sediment from newer upstream development.

But city council is not convinced that it needs to contribute to the cost of removing sediment from the private lake. In addition, city council has urged the homeowners to strengthen the dam to meet safety standards, and to prevent a breach that would lead to downstream flooding.

The private lakeside community consists of only 17 properties. A $158,000 lake dredging will cost more than $9,000 per property, and homeowners can expect to pay thousands more to repair their aging dam. 

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