Saturday, April 07, 2007
Here is the Law of Unintended Consequences at work again. The Town of SPI requires new buildings to be built up 5-8 feet above the street level. So what happens when people build on all three sides and you're left in the middle? Basically, you have most of the ingredients for a small swimming pool that can breed mosquitoes when it rains.
Add to that the heavy-duty trucks and now you have some pretty good ruts - contractors will use any empty lot as their private staging area without even asking.
In this case, the outcome has a good ending, at least we hope, since the builder turned out to be a real good guy and promised to help. But then I got to thinking, hey wait a minute here, my lot is at Ground Zero, dead level with the street. Therefore, if folks built up on the adjacent properties, I could be in the same boat.
Well, dang, I'm already in a house so I can't raise my yard and house 5-8 feet without the use of a bulldozer and starting over again. I know the Town has good intentions, but some of us in the cute old beach bungalows from the 70's and 80's could be condemned by virtue of Town fines and a lien. Bummer.
Then I got to thinking, that these old pole houses were meant to flood, but the waters quickly recede by soaking into the sandy ground. The houses built on San Benito foundation clays do not allow water to percolate as well, so they end up actually making the runnoff problem WORSE.
I don't have any solution to the problem other than perhaps a better culvert and french drain system could be used on the side streets. For example, the joint in my driveway by the road (a little dip there for water drainage) allows water to seep down quite rapidly, whereas all the new construction is water-tight and they all have standing water for days after mine is dry. According to the experts with the Town for years, such a culvert and drainage system was proposed at one time but died due to ... some kind of opposition.
Funny how my lot works great and the problems are with the elevated lots. Maybe it's time to rethink the issue again.