5 On Your Side

Cary homeowner has backyard river

Posted August 5, 2008 5:23 p.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2008 6:24 p.m. EDT

— When a new neighborhood is developed, older existing neighborhoods often feel the impact.

Homeowner Elizabeth Jones said her home has been suffering the effects of a new neighborhood.

Despite having two big storm drains in her backyard, homeowner Jones said she still has problems with a flooded backyard.

Jones said water flows mostly from the neighborhood behind her house.

Jones said when KB Homes first started building the neighborhood about three years ago she was concerned about the berm they built, so she called the Town of Cary.

“I thought it was obvious that our house was going to be flooded,” Jones said.

A town erosion control inspector came out.

“He said wait until the houses come in. It’ll be fine. They did a good job,” Jones said.

Jones said the area isn’t fine, becoming a river during a good rain. She called the Town of Cary again.

“He said …the builder, KB Homes is already gone and they're done building so they're no longer responsible,” Jones said.

Jones suspects the runoff is to blame for her chimney separating from the house and her home’s foundation cracks. She paid a landscaping company to change her property to better direct water away from her house and to the drains. Though it helped, Jones said it didn't resolve the issue.

Jones hired an attorney, but KB still didn't do anything, so she contacted 5 on Your Side.

After calls from 5 on Your Side, representatives from Cary and KB Homes went to the home to assess the problem.

Cary's bottom line is that while the KB built neighborhood did increase the runoff toward Jones' house, the builder followed all the rules. Since the project is complete, town engineers said they couldn’t make KB do anything.

KB wrote Jones a letter stating that while they don't feel they are responsible, they want to be a "good neighbor." The builder offered to install an additional drain at Jones property line.

An engineer Jones hired believes it will work, so she is giving it a try.

“I just want them to fix the problem,” Jones said.

Jones and KB are still working out details before starting the drain project.

The situation is a reminder that residents should keep after the builder during construction. Once the builder leaves the neighborhood, the property they built on no longer belongs to them, which can make it complicated to resolve.