Local News

Raleigh Residents Blame New Development For Runoff Problems

Posted September 29, 2003

— People who live downhill from a new Raleigh neighborhood say mud sometimes lands in their yard. With 600 to 800 new developments citywide, it is also an issue that is also landing on the city's desk.

Peter Evans said Raleigh's growing pains are landing in his back yard.

"When they cut in the roads, we started seeing a lot of erosion," he said.

Athens Woods is a new subdivision up the hill from the Evans' house, but the clay piles from construction often flow downhill when it rains.

"There was [a] flood of mud that came down across neighbors' yards," Evans said.

Fred Mills, the developer, has the proper catch basin and silt fences that are required, but many are bulging at the seams and sometimes do not hold.

"We don't like to be a problem for neighbors," he said.

Mills said Mother Nature became the bigger problem this year.

"What we can't anticipate is the flood and that's what we've had this summer," he said.

The city of Raleigh says Mills is set-up properly. He was fined once when the clay poured over the fences, but that was during one of the heaviest rains.

"We believe the city needs to address this kind of runoff while the building is still going on, so other people do not have to face this," Evans said.

Raleigh stormwater services manager Danny Bowden said the city is talking about the issue, but change is still a ways off.

"We're getting better. [We] still have got a ways to go with sediment control and technology," he said.

"The situation doesn't get any different, so we don't have anywhere to turn right now," he said.

Many residents are also concerned for the environment concerns for the creek. North Carolina State University is also doing a study on sediment control.

Next spring, Raleigh will start collecting a small fee from residents and businesses that will go directly into stormwater management. City officials say that will generate revenue for projects and prevention.


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