Residents near development complain of flooding

Fred McCormick

Three people who live near Tudor Croft of Black Mountain contend they’ve experienced flooding exacerbated by work done on the 35-acre development.

The property owners expressed their concerns to the Black Mountain Board of Aldermen during its April 11 meeting at town hall.

“My home is directly behind the trailer there, and they built a driveway,” June Advincula, who lives on Hiawassee Avenue, told the board. “So when it rains, the water just puddles right there on Byrd (Road) and comes straight to my property. I’m not against Tudor Croft. I think it’s a great thing for Black Mountain.”

Advincula said the stormwater problems began when Sure Point Builders broke ground on the development last June. “I had issues with stormwater in July, August and September,” she said.

Advincula said she told the developers then that she attributed the excess water to the removal of a ditch that had been on Byrd Road. The flow of the water shifted mulch in her yard and damaged blueberry bushes, she said.

“This has been a problem for a long time, even before we had Tudor Croft there,” said James Hyde, who lives on Oceeneechee Avenue, two blocks from the development. “It’s just gotten worse since they cleared off the whole farm and the water has nowhere to stop, as it did before.”

John Banks, another Hiawassee Avenue property owner, said heavy rains in December and lack of adequate drainage caused flooding at the house in which his daughter and son-in-law live.

“Around Christmas we had a big flood where they pushed the dirt from the holding pond behind my house,” he said. “They put up no silt fence, the culvert was already stopped up, and it flooded the basement.”

Hyde requested the town work with the developers to address the issue.

“We’ll definitely be looking at it,” mayor Michael Sobol said.

Town manager Matt Settlemyer said that property owners and the developers had met recently. The developers are not violating any stormwater ordinances that the town controls, he said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t want to help mediate among the parties to make sure the issues are addressed,” he said.

The first meeting with nearby property owners to address stormwater concerns occurred sometime around the beginning of the year, said Wade Ogle, one of the three owners of Sure Point Builders.

“This is an engineered site,” he said. “The stormwater plan is designed by our engineer, and we go by those measures. The issues that were brought up in the meeting, we have not had since then.”

Ogle said that dividing and directing stormwater to three points on the property has alleviated much of the problem.

“We have three catch areas that all feed into the retention pond or sediment basin,” he said. “There the water is treated, meaning the sediment drops. And then the water goes into the existing stormwater conveyance that the town already has in place.”

Ogle said Sure Point Builders is “not taking this situation lightly.”

“We are a family-owned company and not a big corporation,” he said. “We understand the complaints, and we’ve been working toward a solution since when we started grading.”

Ogle also mentioned a series of water-conveying ditches located off-site, on private property.