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    Melanie Pollard

    I would love to participate in this program on my street. But first, I must formerly request that the City of Brookhaven INSTALL drains and curbs. We have no curbs or drains. In late August, we recorded 8 inches of surface water with high velocity on our street from the over-development permitted by the City. I have recorded as much as 12 inches in our yard. It is not safe for a child to stand in the surface water current. EACH new development that removes trees and adds 3X impervious surface to our streets need to be responsible for the cost of adding in curbs and drains at the street. Otherwise, they are externalizing the cost of their new home to surrounding residences. Requiring single-home retention ponds does not solve the problem since it burdens the surrounding properties to be vigilant on the maintenance of these ponds. Plus, we have a home up the street that has built a 10 foot high hill to set the new house on. How on earth will that water shooting down the driveway be contained? It is criminal what the city is permitting to our quality of life.

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    I really wish we could post pictures here because I could share quite a few of D4’s disastrous curbs or lack thereof.

    While many are clearly just extremely old, some of the broken curbs (complete with metal rods poking out) were finally completely broken by city/county/gas/utility workers doing roadwork using the curb to turn around instead of circling the block.

    Besides the obvious hazard of curb pieces rolling into the roadway, those that live on a hill or incline get not only whatever funk is in the street from cars, but the runoff of all the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers from the yards above us.

    Most, myself included, have paid someone to divert the water from flooding our homes, but without actually fixing the curbs there is a limit to what we can do to keep this toxic polluted water from flooding our yards.

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    It’s my understanding that once D1 citizens are taken care of and happy, attention to the desires of other city citizens will be considered and addressed if the budget allows. You could contact your councilman, Joe Gebbia, but I think he could be preoccupied with meeting developers about redeveloping Buford Highway. Welcome to Brookhaven.

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    Good lord, this is dramatic. Ponds are required by LAW for water to leave at the exact same rate in which it did before the development. They are designed after studies by ENGINEERS to to this. Then they are tested. I don’t like tons of development either, like that damn Marta TOD, but just say that instead of making up your own “facts”. Also, explain to us all where you got the each new home adds 3X the water? Is that a scientific study you did? Please explain how are surrounding properties burdened by bio-renention areas? Are you also burdened if my roof leaks or I drive through my carport? Lastly, I have been here a long time and one fact remains, none of these older homes, including mine in some places, were graded to proper standards. Grading like that would never be allowed today. Most of the homes in brookhaven were designed to sheet flow from house to house, most likely like yours. This is not allowed today. In fact, new development controls water 1000% better than your ever could. Everyone should be yelling about your house, its the problem. Otherwise we wouldn’t have changed the standards.

    If you have 12″ of water in your home then you have a SEVERE grading issue that needs to be looked at by a qualified professional. If you had bought your home on a hill like your neighbors, which clearly sits in a flood prone area, then you wouldn’t be in this situation.

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    The most annoying part of it is that I- and others- would happily pay to fix our curbs ourselves, but that’s not allowed so we’re stuck with much more expensive and very ugly workarounds. Some people just “fix” things illegally.

    Our Brookhaven councilman has been contacted by many but yeah, there are more important projects.

    Personally I want to be optimistic about all of the great dreams for D4, but it’s hard when the area struggles with even the most basic maintenance.

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    Melanie Pollard

    Barbara, We have hired professionals- a forensic hydro engineer, recommended to us by Stack and Associates. We also hired a forensic Construction engineer. We have spent almost $3,500 in surveying damages permitted by the city, including lawyers, arborists, and city officials. If you would like to view the stormwater velocity on our street, I have 1.5 years worth of video to illustrate the 8-12″ we have measured with yardsticks at various times. Our neighbor downhill on the COA side had their driveway sandbagged during the last flood event. The 12″ of surface water is coming from the street, not side properties, and trespassing directly into our yard. It is a new change in stormwater behavior that did not exist when we bought our property in 99′. The problem increased with the street was repaved last year with an increase in the slope towards our side. We do not have water leaving our property since we have a driveway hump and many trees and vegetation to help absorb our property which was built in the 40’s. The only water is what is coming over into our yard from the street. It enters at 3 points- the far right on a cement pad for our recycling and refuse containers, over the driveway hump, and at the junction of Woodsdale. We did not have problems until 4 years ago when Brookhaven permitted the multiple developments uphill from us – a gentle sloping street. The uphill properties have been largely denuded of the streets vital stormwater protection, a street without any curbs or drains, and then allowed the builders to regrade the properties to be 6-10 feet higher- the more heavily impacting change in our area’s topography. They literally built hills. The “3X impervious surface” is in reference to the extended driveways and 3X larger footprints from 1200-1500 square ft houses to 4,000 sq ft houses with maximized building envelopes on relatively large lots. Mayor Ernst has changed the stormwater code requiring homes larger than 3,000 square feet to retain their own stormwater, but, quite frankly, I’m not sure how the builder will manage that on the one under construction now. And as the engineers advised, it’s often the velocity of water that is most damaging- increased by building heights. The tone of your comments indicates that you have other personal agendas therefore I will refrain from further comment. Please do consider the possibility that my comments, information gathered at great personal expense, is meant to help others safeguard their properties from damages similar to what we have incurred.

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    Melanie Pollard

    HMM, completely agree. There is much data out there on this problem which other cities are experiencing as well. Houston has estimated a city services cost of $4,000 for every square meter of impervious surface! We are not alone. Although it certainly feels like that sometimes. Maybe we’ll have opportunity to post pictures of stormwater. I have plenty that’s for sure!

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    Melanie Pollard

    Susan, I have tried multiple times over the last year and 1/2 to reach Joe Gebbia. He even lives around the corner. He has been encouraging in the City Hall courtroom but never returns my calls afterwards. Others have had the same experience. Pine Hills NPU responded to our problems and others who have even worse flooding but they too are frustrated at the lack of response from Brookhaven. I’ll be at a meeting Monday night, hopefully to get more answers. That’s after 100’s of hours and $3,500 invested in engineers and arborists. Sadly, I think we just need to move. Reading some of the comments here, they will probably be glad. It’s really sad when neighbors and citizens lack empathy for what people are experiencing.

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    When was the last time a true professional evaluated the water situation in Pine Hills? It seems to be every woman and man for themselves- something that cannot be infinitely sustainable.

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    Did you just site Houston, the city WITHOUT ZONING CODES as a reference?

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    Melanie, sorry Joe isn’t more helpful. He may be preoccupied with development projects in his district and trying to figure out how to get us our monorail system.

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    Personally I don’t know much about urban planning, environmental engineering etc etc but I do suspect that when this neighborhood was designed in the 50’s or whenever that there was some sort of plan for where water would drain. If there wasn’t a plan then, I’m sure one was eventually implemented.

    Now with cracked and completely broken curbs we have water trickling to downright gushing on different paths. Homeowners obviously don’t want water coming at their house, so the water gets diverted again. In some places managing the water coming from the curbs is basically like a hot potato game of keep away with no real rhyme or reason.

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    LOL, the monorail system. Only in Brookhaven!

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