Standing water behind homes in Sugarmill has made residents fear for their lives as they now share their backyard with moccasins and mosquitos, they told council members at last week’s meeting.
A tree line once separated a drainage swale from the field behind Monte Vista Lane, but fallen trees, lawn clippings and debris have left the swale backed up and blocked.
When the first section of homes in Sugarmill was built, developers planned on letting the water run off into the field, Addis Mayor David
Toups said. Now, plans have changed and the front of the adjacent property will be developed into a mixed-use commercial and residential development. The back part of the property will be a continuation of the residential section of Sugarmill.
“In hindsight, we probably would have liked a drainage structure such as a ditch or culvert on the backside,” Toups said.
A portion of the swale was cleared by the owners of the field, though maintenance of the swale is not their responsibility.
Councilman Tate Acosta described the drainage swale as one of the most minimally built he had ever seen.
When Sugarmill was developed, ordinances governing subdivision developments were not.
The subpar development and nonexistent maintenance of the drainage swale are due to the subpar ordinances in place at the time of the development, Acosta said.
“If you’re going to be mad at someone, be mad at us,” Councilman Acosta told residents.
The back portion of the field will be developed into a continuation of the residential portion of Sugarmill, beginning in July, weather permitting. The front portion will become the Bearing Point development, which will feature a strip mall, restaurant and housing.
The town is working with developers to alleviate the issue, Mayor Toups said. The town expects the problem to be solved before the other development projects begin. The plan will be to pull water to the street and ponds, instead of through the swale.
“When it’s all said and done nobody’s going to have any of those issues,” Toups said.