Brookhaven, GA – A construction project located at 1670 Redding Way in Ashford Park, may leave the casual passerby scratching their head, wondering what is going on at the site.
The tops of many trees have been cut off, leaving awkward looking 10 to 15 foot tall stumps. We’re told this is done so that later on, what’s left of the tree and its root ball can be pulled out of the ground as a single unit. The taller stumps provide more leverage when pulling.
1670 Redding Way is one of the lowest points in Ashford Park. Adjacent to the property is a small drainage tributary that meanders along the edge of the lot, which is typically at a trickle. But when it rains, it fills up quickly with stormwater which often spills over the banks and floods a large area. This tributary runs under Redding Way and eventually meets the North Fork Peachtree Creek Tributary “A” – which finally meets North Fork Peachtree Creek.
You may be wondering why there has been no activity at the site for a month. It’s a bit complicated but easily explained by the language placed on the bright red Stop Work Order (SWO) displayed on the front of the Job Box.
The Brookhaven Community Development Department placed the SWO on Wednesday, December 11th, citing that there is no apparent county approved plat for the represented lot which is a violation of the City Code section on Land Development, 14-63. This brings up the question how a permit was approved on this site in the first place but that’s another story.
After further review, the City’s Community Development Department is requiring the builder to prepare a full hydrology study for the property to determine the actual flood elevation for the lot. The site plan will likely be revised as necessary to accommodate the actual flood elevation determined by the hydrology study. This could include a rework and repositioning of the proposed home, although it’s still too early to tell.
Here’s what we have been able to find out about the site utilizing FEMA maps, information from US Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division “Risk Snapshots”, FloodSmart.gov and USGS Surveys.
According to FEMA, areas of moderate or minimal hazard are studied based upon the principal source of flood in the area. However, buildings in these zones could be flooded by severe, concentrated rainfall coupled with inadequate local drainage systems.
Local storm water drainage systems are not normally considered in a community’s flood insurance study.
The failure of a local drainage system can create areas of high flood risk within these zones.
Flood insurance is available in participating communities, but is not required by regulation in these zones.
Nearly 25-percent of all flood claims filed are for structures located within these zones.
“The 1-percent AEP flood has a 1-percent chance of occurring in any given year; however, during the span of a 30-year mortgage, a home in the 1-percent AEP (100-year) floodplain has a 26-percent chance of being flooded at least once during those 30 years! The value of 26 percent is based on probability theory that accounts for each of the 30 years having a 1-percent chance of flooding,” Robert R. Holmes, Jr. and Karen Dinicola wrote in the USGS Facts Sheet at right.
The USGA admits, the term “100-year flood” can be confusing or unintentionally misleading to those unfamiliar with flood science. Because of the potential for confusion, the U.S. Geological Survey, along with other agencies, is encouraging the use of the annual exceedance probability (AEP) terminology instead of the recurrence interval terminology.
For example, one would discuss “1-percent AEP flood” as opposed to “100-year flood.”