Tucson business owner says HOA storm water wash overflowed and flooded his property

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Continental Reserve HOA  is a planned community of 1,326 homes managed by Associa-Tucson, established in 2002.

Typical of many desert communities in Arizona, its storm water system consists of dry riverbeds called “washes.” Most of Arizon’s rain falls in the monsoon season, which runs from June 15 – September 30. Storms can happen suddenly, are sometimes accompanied by high winds, and create torrential downpours. Rain water is temporarily collected in low-lying dry basins and channels that ideally direct runoff away from property, while collecting or “harvesting” water to replenish the aquifers.

(You can read more about Arizona monsoon season here.)

Washes located on private property, including HOAs, must be maintained by the property owners. The city or county will not maintain private washes.

In order to maintain free-flowing water channels in heavy downpours, the owner must keep the bottom of the wash clear and unobstructed.

As explained in this pamphlet from Scottsdale, owners need to remove lower limbs of trees, and remove any grasses or small shrubs that start to grow in the bottom of the channel, while leaving vegetation on sloping side banks intact, to prevent erosion. It’s also critical to repair eroded areas of the basins, and remove silt, garbage, or debris that accumulates anywhere in the path of water flow.

Unfortunately, some private owners, many of them HOAs, are not consistently maintaining their private washes, allowing them to become overgrown with vegetation and clogged with debris.

That’s how floods and property damages occur within and beyond the boundaries of association-governed communities such as Continental Reserve.

The owner of Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse, in Marana, has gone public with his complaints against Continental Reserve HOA. Both sides have their attorneys involved, rasing the possibility of a lawsuit to settle the dispute.

More liability and unexpected expense for homeowners.

Restaurant owner blames nearby HOA for flood damage

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 8:47 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 9:27 PM EDT
Written By Aalia Shaheed

Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse in Marana was hit hard by floodwaters last week, and the owner believes a nearby homeowner’s association is to blame.

The flooding happened last Tuesday, as heavy storms hit the area.

“It hit just north of Abner’s,” explained owner David Hoffman. “It flooded the restaurant, it destroyed the parking lot. It was amazing.”

Hoffman has owned the restaurant for more than three decades, but said he’s never seen anything like last week’s damage.

He believes the HOA of nearby Continental Reserve is responsible for that damage, because the water came rushing over a wall that separates the two properties.

“The trees and the brush that they didn’t clear caused the water to overflow onto my property,” said Hoffman. “So what they should have done is clear a path for water.”

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