New County Planning Commissioner

This is a guest post by Mike Lawson.  He was interested in his replacement on the planning commission and had a meeting with her to understand her perspective and to share what he as learned from serving on the commission. 

As the outgoing planning commissioner for Washoe County district 2, I was more than a little interested in meeting my successor, especially considering that Commissioner Lucey’s decision not to recommend me for reappointment was politically motivated. I had made the wise but unforgivable choice to support his opponent (Steve Wolgast) in the recent election. Additionally, I voted in opposition to approval of development and zone changes which would benefit the special interests (many of whom contributed to Commissioner Lucey’s campaign), but don’t comply with the area plans. I was also concerned that Ms. Nelson’s appointment might have been influenced by the fact she is acting County manager Dave Solaro’s sister. So, it is not surprising that I was a little suspicious about my replacement and meeting with her would either corroborate or assuage my doubts about why she was selected to replace me.
I asked to meet with Ms. Nelson at her place of employment and she kindly obliged. I am pleased to report I found her to be a thoughtful and affable neighbor who shares the WRAP community concern about appropriate planning, or rather the lack thereof, demonstrated in recent years by Washoe County and the City of Reno. She was well informed about recent development along the Mt. Rose corridor and shared the citizens’ concerns about the safety and environmental issues, which have been exacerbated by poor land use development. She is informed and concerned about the flooding issues in the north valleys and the environmental concerns in Damonte ranch. She asked intelligent questions about my experience on the commission and was interested in my responses. I genuinely believe she is a well-intended citizen looking to preserve the character of the area plans while also ensuring technical reports supporting development are scrutinized to ensure the information is accurately represented, codes are complied with, and required findings can be met.
Nothing I have written is intended to suggest I speak for her. I am simply offering my impression based on a single conversation we had this week. However, I do believe she is both qualified to serve on the planning commission and has our existing communities and neighborhoods best interest at heart. I am also convinced her relationship to Dave Solaro had no influence on her appointment. WRAP and the citizens who read this blog and contribute to our cause are among the best citizens in our community. You have treated me fairly and with kindness and I thank you for that. I am asking you do the same for Kate Nelson unless or until she demonstrates she does not deserve it. We owe her that. Thank you.

A Conversation with Paul McKenzie

Tammy Holt-Still hosted a meeting with Paul McKenzie, George Still, and Steve Wolgast.  Paul McKenzie was the Reno City Councilman for the North Valleys.  This position is now held by Bonnie Weber.  McKenzie brought up a number of points that area residents may not know.

  • The storm drain systems for Silver Lake and Swan Lake are connected.  There is a rise between the two lake basins, but if the water gets high enough, it can flow from one to the other.  It does not look like this happened in the past two years.
  • Reno has a stop-loss liability policy which would apply to the class-action suit.  So, if the Swan Lake neighbors damages exceed limit (maybe $2M), the insurance company takes over the litigation and negotiation.
  • The settlement of the suit could include requirements relating to a plan to address the flooding in general.  This would be negotiated as part of the settlement.
  • Since the city was found guilty of “taking” (part of the “inverse condemnation” claim), there is no cap to the damages that could be awarded.
  • While only retention ponds can meet the mitigation requirements of the Regional Drainage Manual for development in Lemmon Valley, Reno does not use these in part because the Reno Department of Health does not allow such water to stand indefinitely.  This sounds like a fundamental problem since the water captured by the retention ponds is likely to take some time to percolate and evaporate.
  • Proposed Master Plan Amendments can not be summarily denied.  A Master Plan Amendment can only be denied by indicating that it does not meet the statutory “findings”.
  • The Western Regional Water Commission (WRWC) has responsibilities under NRS for responsible water management, water sustainability, and storm water management.  Some of these responsibilities are beyond TMWA‘s charter.  WRWC should be fulfilling its duty to develop a comprehensive plan to manage water availability, storm water run off, sewage collection and treatment, and flood control.
  • One promising plan to address flooding was to pump some of the RSWRF effluent  to Hungry Valley where the tribe would like the water for agriculture.  This plan broke down during negotiations with the tribe for unknown reasons.  TMWA appeared to be opposed to it.  TMWA sees effluent water as a valuable resource even as it causes flood damage.
  • Reno now uses drinking water for the landscaping of new developments in the North Valleys since the Public Works Director does not want to commit to delivering more effluent water for irrigation.
  • One concern with processing the RSWRF effluent through TMWRF is financial.  Reno and Sparks operate the TMWRF plant at a 66%/33% split (Reno/Sparks).  If TMWRF were to take RSWRF effluent, their percentage would increase so that the agreement would need to be re-negotiated.
  • Water is being provided for new development through the Vidler Pipeline coming from Fish Springs in California.  California has plans to limit the depletion of aquifers in the state.  This could impact the new Lemmon Valley developments.
  • Tentative map approvals expire unless they’re renewed.  Planned Unit Development (PUD) approvals do not expire.  The PUD specifies the number of dwellings to be built on a property, so once it is approved, the area is stuck with the size and density of development.
  • The area with the Amazon warehouse and other warehouses was originally zoned residential.  It was re-zoned to industrial following the Great Recession and the collapse of the residential housing market.  This includes the area on North Virginia Street and the area at Lemmon Drive and Military Road.

Going forward …

  • The City of Reno should be discouraged from moving forward with an appeal to the verdict in the Lemmon Valley class action suit.  Some progress may be possible in this regard through informal contacts.
  • There should be a moratorium.  There is no plan to handle the excess run off and the increasing waste water volume.
  • A strategy is needed to change the NRS in the coming session so that it grants more rights to homeowners.  As it is, it is blatantly biased in support of developers.  There are two parts to this effort.
    • Identify what changes need to be made to the statutes.
    • Identify a champion to promote these changes in the coming session.

 

Mercury in Bella Vista Ranch?

This is a letter from Kim Rhodemyre to the mayor and Reno City Council regarding Mercury in an area proposed for development.  Kim is an authority on flooding and environmental issues in the area and leads the Upper Southeast Communities Coalition.

Dear Mayor Schieve and Reno City Council members,

On June 6th Randy Walter representing Bella Vista Ranch Phase II appeared before the Planning Commission to request on behalf of the applicant an amendment to the already approved Bella Vista Ranch Phase II. They wanted to add 20 more houses to their project. After reading through the handbook the Upper South East Communities Coalition has some significant concerns that we raised at this meeting but are now additionally concerned that the applicant is just going to start his project without the 20 additional homes because of the significant issues we raised at that meeting would cost them money.

This project was originally approved in 2013, but ALL of the significant and critical flood modeling was done way before that. On page 13, section 2, c.2 of the PUD, the modeling is so outdated that it might as well have been written on a stone tablet.

The Army Corps of Engineers approved the 404 permit in 2005. This was before the issue of Mercury became known. This project sits in the middle of a wetland that is flooded by Steamboat Creek on a regular basis and the applicant should be stopped from doing any grading or begin any movement of earth until a comprehensive grid test is done of the entire property. There has been NO testing for mercury in the project site. The safety of the surrounding residents and the future residents, depend on testing.

Additionally the Flood Control Master Plan and the flood storage plan are from 2006! The CLOMR is from 2007 and the LOMR from 2008. These are at least 10 years out of date! The entire area has changed and there is significantly more development and the Southeast Connector was not factored into the modeling. The flood storage basin in this project is so small it is a joke and is a danger to surrounding residents. We don’t have to tell you that flood modeling has significantly changed since 2006 and this project is a danger to not only the future residents but all the surrounding communities as well.

Recently the Daybreak Master Plan was denied by City Council for not being able to make a number of the findings. One item addressed at that time, and was significant, was that FEMA wants a remap of the entire east side of the valley and Jay Aldean, Executive Director of the Truckee River Flood Management Authority has already informed Council that all current flood elevation maps are at minimum 1 foot off- and that puts water in their project. He also stated that the remap will put a significant number of south Reno residents into the flood plain.

The Coalition is urging Council to get involved in this issue and require the applicant to update modeling and test for mercury before any permits are issued. The applicant went before Planning in June for 20 additional houses. They might just think that 20 houses are not worth going to City Council and will continue on as is with their approved PUD. Reports are that they are staging at the old gun club already.

We are asking you, for the safety of the entire area, to get involved and don’t let this project move forward without additional testing and modeling. If you allow this project to continue without these critical avenues followed and resolved, you could be criminally liable.

I would appreciate a response.

Thank you,

Kimberly Rhodemyre, Chair
Upper South East Communities Coalition

…..

Daybreak links

Reno denies Daybreak

Daybreak development continued

Daybreak Redux

 

Class-Action Suit: Epilogue

The plaintiffs (neighbors) prevailed on their claims of “inverse condemnation” and “conversion”.  In some regards, the neighbors had won before the verdict was read.  A lot of information was presented at trial that confirmed the malfeasance of the city toward the Lemmon Valley residents.  The city council should feel chastened.

Here are some of the points made in the trial that I thought were significant.

  • The Quad-Knopf study was completed in 2007 having been commissioned by the city.  The study concluded that suburban-density development should never be done in that closed basin.  If such development were done, it would require 100% mitigation.  The mitigation would be retention basins that could hold 100% of the runoff from the property due to the impervious surfaces.  The study considered all the solutions that are currently being considered, and found that none were promising.  Reno ignored the results and approved high density development with no mitigation or inadequate mitigation.
  • The Ecologic study commissioned by the City of Reno in 2005 addressed the issue of waste water effluent contributing to flooding.  It indicated that increasing development supported by “imported” water (from outside the basin) would cause flooding if the effluent were discharged into Swan Lake.  It indicated that there was no easy or cost effective way to handle additional effluent generated in the basin.
  • NRS states that “Approval of tentative map by the city does not constitute ‘substantial involvement’ with the development.”  This seems to indicate that the city is not responsible for anything that it explicitly approves.  The NRS should be changed.
  • After the 1986 flooding, the Regional Water Commission was formed to consider flood characteristics of Lemmon Valley.  The RWC concluded that all developments should have 100% mitigation of their impervious runoff.  Reno did not want to be bound by their results.
  • Reno paid HDR $325,000 for their engineers to testify for the defense against the scientific evidence supporting the plaintiffs.  Once their testimony was done, Reno granted HDR a new contract for $1,000,000 for a feasibility study about a new reservoir.  It sure looks like quid-pro-quo.
  • Dave Solaro claimed that Washoe County didn’t evict residents from flooded properties, but the county put red and yellow tags on homes that said “Do not enter.” and “Uninhabitable”.
  • While there were 57 plaintiffs in the suit, there were 160 homes with flooded septic systems.
  • Mike DeMartini testified that a home on a 1-acre lot will have almost no impact on runoff compared to a 1-acre parcel in its natural state.  He remembered seeing almost no runoff from his 1/3 acre lot during a heavy storm.
  • Most of the existing development is within the City of Reno.  The older neighborhoods in the county are on 1-acre lots with well and septic.  They produce little run off and no effluent.  The county’s role will change with the new Prado North and Lemmon Valley Heights developments both approved by the county commissioners.
  • The RSWRF permit with the NDEP allows them to discharge effluent in Swan Lake up to the 100 year flood plain which would cause major flooding around the lake.
  • The RSWRF measuring flume (gauge) was overflowing for almost 1,400 hours.  They really don’t know how much effluent and storm water they discharged to the lake.  The experts for Reno, used the recorded flow data which was clearly too low.
  • When Silver Lake flooded, the Lear lift station pumped a lot of runoff along with sewage to RSWRF and this was discharged to Swan Lake after treatment.  This could have been avoided with better attention to the storm sewers in Silver Lake.
  • Reno doubled the developed area around Swan Lake since 2005.  Their mitigation efforts had negligible effect.
  • 2017 was a “ten-year” storm, not a “100-year” storm.  It had less precipitation than 1986, 1997, and 2005.
  • The RSWRF plant has a bypass line that could have sent some of the RSWRF flow to TMWRF, but this bypass line failed during the storm.
  • Undisturbed parcels will likely have 3-10% runoff from storms: roughly 90% will be absorbed.  Developed parcels will have 68-90% runoff: roughly 20% will be absorbed.

Charged moments:

  • Roger asserted that Shipman lied (ok … “made a fallacious statement”) that the city had not hired a consultant to assess the damages that the plaintiffs had suffered.  Shipman didn’t dispute it.  It makes me wonder if Reno was thinking about a settlement before the verdict.
  • Roger asked Reno’s hydrologist, Forest, “Did you select methods to support the answer that Reno wanted?”
  • McMahon (hydrologist for Reno) repeatedly contradicted earlier testimony he’d given in a deposition.  Roger repeatedly asked “Do you remember answering this question in your deposition?”  followed by “Do you remember how you swore to tell the truth?”.  At one point, McMahon made a retort.  The judge came down on him hard.
  •  John Flansberg, Reno Public Works, did not seem to know that the Reno design manual requires mitigation on all projects to reduce runoff.  The first time he asked anyone on his staff to look into mitigation was 2018.

Open issues:

  • Will Reno ever go back and seal the drains in the retention basins that are not built to the city handbook?  These function as detention basins, which is not what is required.  Will they fine the builders or developers?  Most of the developments do not comply with the Reno ordinance for mitigation.

Reference:

Quad-Knopf study: 40 PLF 1812- 2338 North Valleys Flood Control, Vol I & II, Quad Knopf_ABBR    [Note that appendices and references have been removed to limit the file size.]

Ecologic study: 133 PLF 1630-1662 2005 NV Effluent Disposal Options

Class-Action Suit: The Verdict

The bottom line is that the neighbors prevailed over Reno.  But, there’s more detail to consider now that the verdict is in.

The Verdict:

  • The jury found for the plaintiffs on inverse condemnation (taking of real and personal property without paying just compensation in violation of the Nevada and US Constitutions).
  • The jury also found for the plaintiffs on conversion (damaging or destroying personal property).
  • The jury denied liability for the trespass (unlawful physical invasion of real property) and nuisance (the creation of a condition that interferes with the use and enjoyment of real property) claims.

Note: the jury verdict on one of the elements of inverse condemnation – “taking,” (whether there was a physical invasion of water that substantially interfered with the use and enjoyment of property) is an advisory verdict. That means the judge has the final say on liability for inverse condemnation.  If the verdict on inverse condemnation becomes final, the damages cap does not apply to that claim. Class members will be entitled to claim the full value of taken property (to the extent it was taken).

The defense and plaintiffs’ counsels have been ordered to meet to hammer out a “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” document to define the outcome of the trial.  The plaintiffs will draw it up.  The defense may object.  The judge will review and enter what he sees fit.

The damages portion of the trial is expected in December.  The parties are ordered to have a settlement conference no later than November 7, 2019.

Verdict minute: johnson minute order

 

Class-Action Suit: Wednesday 6/26

After confirming with the counsels for the defense and for the plaintiffs, the judge brought in the jury and gave them detailed instructions.  There were 44 line items that the judge covered.  Many of these were pretty self evident or seemed kind of technical.  Here are a few of the principal points.  See link to complete document below.

  • The standard for judgement in a civil case is the “preponderance of the evidence” not “beyond a reasonable doubt”.  If the plaintiffs’ case seems even a little bit more convincing than the defense’s case, you must find for the plaintiffs.
  • Bring “every day” common sense to your judgement.  Do not be swayed by sympathy.  Do not guess.
  • Consider only evidence that is presented by witnesses.  The arguments presented by the counsels are not evidence.
  • Deposition testimony should be given the same weight as testimony given during trial.
  • Do not consider damages.  These will be covered in a separate trial if needed.
  • Mobile homes that are not recorded with the Assessor as fixed to the property are “personal property” rather than “real property”.
  • The offenses alleged are “inverse condemnation”, “nuisance”, “trespass”, and “conversion” without compensation.  In effect, Reno used the plaintiffs’ properties to store water (runoff and effluent) for the public good, without compensating the plaintiffs for the use of their property.
  • Approving a tentative map for a development does not constitute “substantial involvement” by the city.  I was stunned to hear this.  Is this the pro-development bias that appears repeatedly in state law?
  • The offense need not be intentional.
  • “Reasonable” drainage is allowed where the benefit of draining onto a private property outweighs the harm to the property owner.
  • The jury shall select a fore-person to represent the jury.  Six of the eight jurors must agree to convict on each charge.

The alternate juror was thanked and excused.  The judge thanked all the jurors for their service and acknowledged the disruption it meant to their lives.

Busby gave the plaintiffs’ summation.  His purpose was to briefly “connect the dots” of the points made by the witnesses.  His summation went like this.

  • This is an important case involving a constitutional issue at both the national and the state levels.
  • The city made this disaster.  The development caused the runoff while the RSWRF expansion added effluent.
  • Reno imposed the cost of the development on the plaintiffs.  Reno saved the warehouses around Silver Lake and pumped water from Silver Lake to Swan Lake.
  • He reviewed the hardship suffered by the Robinson, Johnson, and Walls families.
  • He reviewed DeMartini’s point that the Cold Springs, Silver Lake, and Swan Lake basins all received similar precipitation, but that only Swan Lake had severe flooding due to development there and effluent contribution.
  • Several of the large, new retention ponds had drains contrary to the Reno handbook.  He didn’t ask why Reno did not inspect these large developments in the city.
  • The city did not follow the recommendations in the Quad-Knopf study that they had commissioned.  Since the report, impervious area in the Swan Lake basin has increased 100%.
  • He cited Janelle Thomas saying that the city planned to convert the area from rural to suburban and that they had permission to pump water into Swan Lake up to the Base Flood Elevation that would have flooded many homes.
  • The older county neighborhoods were there in 1986 when the rain was heavier but flooding didn’t occur.
  • Reno owns all the sewer and storm water infrastructure, and they annexed 1800 acres around Swan Lake in 2016 for development.
  • More rain fell during the water years of 1986, 1997, and 2005 than in 2016.
  • Thompson estimated that the development and effluent had added 1.7′ to the level of Swan Lake even based on the under-reported RSWRF flow.  Thompson said that Reno’s contributions will result in earlier, deeper, and longer flooding.
  • This case is not about being pro development or anti development.  Transporting, storing, and discharging water are public uses.
  • “Intent” is not required for inverse condemnation.
  • The definition of “Trespass” includes water.
  • “Nuisance” is legally defined as something that interferes with your use and enjoyment of your propert.
  • “Conversion” is to assert dominion over private property (not real property).

He closed with “Reno gambled by not following the advice of the studies that it had commissioned.”

Shipman made the closing argument for the defense.  His argument was hard to follow.  Here’s what I inferred.

  • In the bigger picture, to protect property rights, we need the city to establish codes and zoning.  Otherwise, development would be a free-for-all.  The city needs to be a referee doing planning with foresight.  The city can enforce its standards.  [This all begs the question of why the city planned for development that would produce flooding.  It does not address why the city did not enforce its own codes regarding retention ponds.]
  • He tried to make the case that the city was not responsible for the retention ponds required for the developments.  These were for private benefit.  [This made no sense: the retention ponds were required by Reno codes to protect other properties.]
  • He argued that “reasonable use” permitted uphill properties to flood downhill neighbors if it was done responsibly.
  • He showed blurry exhibits of aerial photos of the basin from 1939 and 1945 talking about “baselines” that were used for comparison.  His point wasn’t clear.
  • He said the storm was a regional event with states of emergency declared by adjoining counties.  He presented Governor Sandoval’s letter requesting emergency help from the President.  Reno was impacted too: it was a victim.
  • He fears that if the city gets sued for not following a study, that they will simply avoid doing studies in the future.
  • When Reno works with a developer that doesn’t count as substantial involvement, even if Reno approves the tentative map for the development.  [Unbelievable]

Roger gave a rebuttal of Shipman’s statement making the following points.

  • All the plaintiffs’ experts agree on the factors, but had some difference on the quantities.  They used accepted data sources and they visited the site personally.
  • The defense’s experts made assumptions, and didn’t visit the site.  They “cherry picked” the data to try to bolster the case of the defense.  Their analyses used very specific time intervals to support their claims.
  • Forest did not include the overflow of the RSWRF flume and assumed that developments had volume mitigation per the Reno handbook, when they did not have mitigation.  Further, he used uncorroborated rain data and underestimated the impervious area of developments.
  • Forest and McMahon were employees of HDR which was charging Reno $325,000 to support the defense.  Furthermore, Reno granted HDR a new contract ($1,000,000) to do a feasibility study on a possible reservoir in the Silver Knolls area a few days after Forest provided favorable testimony in this trial.
  • The “reasonable use” exception for flooding downhill properties requires proper planning.

The flooding of Swan Lake was not an emergency: Reno designed the sewer and storm water drains to make it happen.  He went back to the opening theme of “Pavement and Pumping”.

The jury took about 4 hours to decide the case.  They sided with the plaintiffs on the “inverse condemnation” and “conversion” charges, but not on the “trespass” and “nuisance” charges.  There will be a new trial in December to determine damages due to the plaintiffs.

Complete jury instructions: Jury_Instructions-062619_01

Class-Action Suit: Monday 6/24

Both the plaintiffs and the defendants have rested their cases.  The judge discussed his plans for the instructions to the jury with the counsels for both parties. There is to be no consideration of the monetary damages that might be due the plaintiffs.  This trial is structured in two parts.  The first part is to determine liability: is Reno responsible for the harm caused by the flooding.  The second part is to determine a monetary award if Reno is found liable in the first part.  If Reno is not found liable in the first part, there will be no second part.  So, the jury is instructed to disregard the issue of monetary damages.  If that trial is called, there will be a new jury.

Roger and Shipman debate the definition of “inverse condemnation” regarding the residents loss of use of their properties.  Shipman argued that this only applied to repeated occurrences and inevitable recurrence to constitute a “taking”.  Roger prevailed on this point.

This session was for the plaintiffs’ rebuttal to the case made by the defense.  The judge pointed out that this was not a time to introduce new information or to revisit points already made.  Roger asserted that Shipman lied about hiring a specialist to make an assessment of the losses and damages to the plaintiffs properties.  Shipman had claimed that the defense hadn’t while Roger had proof to the contrary.  Shipman claimed that the plaintiffs class was not valid since only a few class members had testified.  Roger asserted that the class could be represented by a few plaintiffs exactly as done.

The jury was called in.  Kerry called Linda Walls to the stand and asked her about the state of the flooding when her home was only protected by sandbags.  This was before the Hesco barrier perimeter was completed.  She showed the high-water mark in her carport and the algae bloom in the water.  McKean handled the cross examination.  The Walls moved out in February of 2017 and can’t move back because their septic system is still submerged.  Busby called Jay Rosenthal to the stand.  He is a meteorologist hired by the plaintiffs to review McMahon’s report on precipitation.  Rosenthal asserted that the winter of 2017 was not a once-in-a-lifetime event: it followed a pattern of a heavy winter every 10-15 years.  In fact, it looks like the 2017 winter was the fourth largest for precipitation.  McMahon claimed that the 2017 winter was the worst ever and didn’t consider evidence that it wasn’t.  He used specific dates to make the data look more dramatic rather than considering the characteristics over the entire “water year” (October to June).  McMahon’s use of radar to determine precipitation volume has limited accuracy which was not discussed.  Clouds can have levels with different characteristics, so the radar data can depend on what altitude is being sensed.  McMahon’s use of the Big Meadow rain gauge to estimate the rain on Peavine Mountain was probably not representative.  Rosenthal thought little of the runoff into Swan Lake came from Peavine Mountain.  McMahon used averages for all his conclusions while Rosenthal analyzed  individual storm events.  Sendall handled the cross-examination.  She asked about using NCET weather data.  Both McMahon and Rosenthal used the NCET as an element in their analyses.  Rosenthal claimed that NCET provides accurate data for Reno but the accuracy may not extend to Lemmon Valley.  Sendall introduces the letter written by Governor Sandoval in 2017 requesting assistance from FEMA citing “record breaking rainfall”.  This was objected to given that Sandoval is not a weather expert.  There was some discussion of Rosenthal being retained by the plaintiffs.   Rosenthal asserted that the NCET data was the “best there is” but that it still had its limitations.  For a specific watershed, a scientist should review multiple sources of information to get the best understanding.

Roger called David Thompson back to the stand.  Thompson disagrees with Forest’s hydrological model.  Thompson’s mass-balance calculations cover the entire water year, not just portions of it.  The effect of evaporation is included in the lake level changes as is infiltration.  He thinks there’s very little infiltration under Swan Lake.  Forest didn’t consider runoff before January 1, 2017.  He also used NDEP flow rates for RSWRF when that data is known to be too low.  Thompson used daily rainfall data rather than averaging as Forest did.  The undisturbed surfaces only allow 3-10% runoff contrary to Forest’s claim.  Thompson identified areas where his analysis diverged from Forest’s.

  1. Forest used lower numbers for the effluent flow from RSWRF.
  2. Forest assumed higher runoff from pervious (undisturbed) areas.
  3. Forest assumed that areas with mitigation had no runoff at all.

Shipman handled the cross examination.  He pointed out that RSWRF has been discharging into Swan Lake since the 70’s.  He displayed a graph that was a variant of a Thompson graph, but Thompson didn’t make it and Shipman couldn’t defend it.  It was practically laughed out of court.  On re-direct, Roger asked “Does most run off from development end up in storm sewers?”  The answer was “yes”.

Kerry re-called Donna Robinson to the stand.  She pointed out a couple of erroneous statements by the defense.  Forest and Shipman had asserted that her property had flooded three times when it had only flooded twice.  On re-cross, McKean asked about the timeline for the flooding.  They discussed the 311 number set up for emergencies.

Up next …

Tuesday there will be last minute negotiations including the judge and the lawyers from both sides.

Wednesday the case will go to the jury.  The judge expects them to reach a verdict on Wednesday.