Friday, March 27, 2015

I Don't Remember Asking for a Pond

If you've been following my blog, you will know I have had concerns regarding the landscaped berm the developer is required (by our township) to put behind our lot for privacy and sound concerns.

This is an example of a landscape berm (although much bigger than what is proposed):

Being a Civil Engineer (with a specialty in grading and drainage), I have been keenly following their progress and comparing what they have proposed to what will actually work (and fit).  The biggest problem is there is no space behind our lot to place a landscape berm due to easements.  Behind most of the lots on the street there is 15'+/- of open space behind, but behind my lot there is only 3'+/-.

Originally (per the County engineer approved Grading Plan), the lots were to drain to the rear, into the open space, into a swale (ditch) and into a larger ditch (with an easement).  Not onto my lot or over my lot.  If stormwater is channeled across multiple lots, a drainage easement is required, to prevent the home owner from regrading the ditch and creating flooding (ponding) issues.

First problem 

The proposed landscape berm plan we were shown has the berm off of my lot, not on it.  

Here is a photo I took on 3/22/2015.  Look at the location of the yellow capped lot pin:

My lot is to the left of the yellow pin.  The berm is sitting on the lot line and over onto my lot.

Second Problem

I let Ryan Homes know the current layout for the berm will create drainage issues including flooding on my lot.

The proposed layout creates a natural swale (ditch) across the rear lots and onto my lot.  When I mentioned this to Ryan Homes about this they commented "field modifications will be made to ensure the water drains out into the ditch".  I was supposed to have a conference call with them this week to discuss but no one has called me back to set a time.

While I was out at the lot today, I took this picture:

This is a photo from the street looking towards the rear of the lot.  Notice the pond?

I'm not one to point out a problem and not provide a solution.  I sent Ryan Homes a sketch of a solution that has the berm behind the lots, with no drainage problems.  We'll see what happens next.


  1. It's great that you have the knowledge and solutions for this issue. Obviously, this is a real concern. However, it makes me question how many people who don't have this expertise are taken advantage of by builders. I hope this is solved for you!

  2. Thanks for the support. It can be trying to get problems like this resolved since there are so many parties involved. Between the property owner, developer, engineer, builder (Ryan homes) and future owners, trying to find a solution that appeals to everyone can be tough. Ultimately, we are the customer and it is Ryan Homes job to make us satisfied.