“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
At the April 26 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, the Board heard the appeal from the Lemmon Valley Recovery Committee against the Lemmon Valley Heights development for the reasons that it would increase flood risk and general risk to public safety. The Board voted against the appeal 3-1 (Lucey, Berkbigler, and Jung) with Herman supporting the appeal.
Commissioner Lucey argued:
The appellants don’t have standing since their property is more than 500’ from the new development location. They are not aggrieved and this would set a bad precedent.
The appellants argued:
- Area homes were flooded last year by Swan Lake. The new homes will contribute to flooding.
- Last year Lemmon Valley Drive was flooded preventing emergency vehicles access.
- Mosquitos are bred in the floodwaters and have a range of miles.
- The schools will likely be overcrowded. The developer is making false assumptions.
- The county plans to elevate part of Lemmon Valley Drive, but not the part that flooded.
- The developer plans a new road that is shown going through a retention pond.
- There are no statistics based on measured runoff to make realistic models.
- The retention basin that is there is not percolating and is holding its water level.
- The new retention basins could be mostly filled by a single storm. A second, moderate storm will cause flooding.
- The new development will cause a large increase in impervious-surface area promoting flooding.
- The sewer effluent volume is the same volume as the retention ponds, but it is not considered in the flood analysis.
Commissioner Herman spoke in support of the appellants and said that it would be irresponsible to more forward with this development plan.
The county admitted that the water treatment plant can only function with earthen berms to protect it. They have had to build up the berms and provide storm pumps to combat the effects of erosion and seepage.
Commissioner Lucey proposed the motion to deny the appeal saying “The appellant has not standing for being outside of the 500’ and I don’t find that the appellant is aggrieved in any manner, way, shape, or form.” This motion carried 3-1.
See the final discussion and voting in this 4-minute video clip.
See the entire meeting with this LINK. Select agenda item 24.