question about water runoff

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Hi all,
I have a question that's been bugging me for a while. I live next to a restaurant that has a parking lot that runs parallel to my house. When it rains, the water runs off of the parking lot and into my yard, and then down into my basement. There isn't enough room to slope the ground from the side of my house to the parking lot because of a sidewalk. Do I need to put up a retaining wall? Would a fence work? A ditch? Who's responsibility is it to take care of this problem? I don't have the best relationship with the owner of the restaurant (he refuses to make his employees close the dumpster and trash blows into my yard all the time) So I'm not sure what to do here. Any suggestions?
Pat
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PatK,
Many jurisdictions prohibit water runoff from adjoining properties. Allthough even with local help, getting adjoining proper owners to rectify these situations isn't always easy.
PatK wrote:

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G Henslee wrote:

...
Also, may depend (jurisdictions have differing rules) on who modified the drainage last--is the parking lot a new addition or was it existing when you bought the house? It may be pertinent that (I'm presuming) the house was there first even if you bought it afterwards. Some jurisdictions have rules that basically state that new construction can't create a different/new drainage problem. Of course, if it's been a number of years and you haven't complained or you're a new owner of an old existing problem you may not have too much luck.
But, the first thing to do is to contact the city/county/whichever you reside and find out the rules/regulations you're operating under and to see if you can force the other guy to take some action to at least help mitigate the magnitude of the problem you have to solve.
The problem obviously needs to be corrected/alleviated however, before it does structural damage to the foundation.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Well, the parking lot was there when I bought the house but there wasn't a restaurant there. When they put the restaurant in, they repaved the parking lot and made it a lot higher. I've been living here since it was done but I didn't realize where all the water was coming from until we had a downpour one day and it flooded. I just hadn't been home and seen it before.

I'm hoping that's not been done already! Pat
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The city or county goverment will direct you on who to complain to on garbage, it should be the health dept. And who can address your water issue. If work is recent, 1 yr. you should have no problem in getting him to remedy it through the inspectors.
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As long as they are not his regulars for lunch......or fishing buddies. ; )
Never forget the power of the "good ole boy" network.
RJ

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m Ransley wrote:

No, it's not that recent. THe parking lot was repaved about 4 years ago.
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PatK wrote:

Well, that's going to make it more difficult, obviously, to get relief through the city...they <may> look at it and decide the repaving made it worse, but if you didn't notice it for four years, I'd sure be less if I were the city person... :)
May be your best recourse now would be a diversion ditch around your side lot onto your (mutual) neighbor--of course, then they may come after you for creating a new nuisance for them... :(
Still best bet is to go to city first and see what they'll say/do...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I'll try talking to him first and see what he says but I'm not holding my breath. But hopefully something can be done.
Pat
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Ransley is probably right on. You may have a better chance with the city if you go look at permits for the original lot installation and the repaving. The city may have approved a grade that could have been expected to drain onto your lot - then you will have to fight city hall. An asphalt curb might do the trick in directing the water off the lot toward street. Just a small berm on the edge of your lot along the paving, with sod or a ground cover on top and not very high, might do the trick and save a lot of grief. Keeping the peace is in your interest if you plan on staying there, and may keep the restaurant owner from becoming more creative and plowing snow onto your property :o)
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Norminn wrote:

They almost did that this last winter. I had to go out there and tell the guys who were plowing NOT to push the dang snow up against my fence(chain link around backyard). But they were persistent. <G> Pat
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clipped

It might be highly profitable for the restaurant owner to make you unhappy enough to move. I've had a good taste of bad neighbors who are politically connected - doesn't make for peaceful living :o)
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Norminn wrote:

He's actually offered to buy my house. It think he'd like to tear it down and built a bigger parking lot. But he's not willing to pay what my house is worth. I did talk to him today and he said that he has some of the parking berms (not exactly sure what they're called...the things that go in the front of parking spaces to keep car tire from going too far) and said that he could put several of those along the parking lot to keep the water from coming over. If that works, it would be great we'll see.
Pat
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PatK wrote:

The time frame starts when you first notice the problem.
First, understand, the law's on your side irrespective of what ordinances, inspections, permits, etc. may or may not exist. The owner of a piece of property is absolutely responsible for any damage the use of his property causes another. Your case is no different from one in which the neighbor builds a rickety three-story building that falls on your house!
First, I would counsel with my homeowner's insurance agent. They may be able to help.
Next, I'd visit the diner's owner. Explain that his resurfacing project has imperiled your home, that he needs to get the contracters back out and have them fix the job. No threats, but be firm in your position that he must take steps forthwith and he must keep you informed of the progress.
Following that, after gathering all your ducks from the city inspection and permitting office, visit a lawyer. A simple demand letter that the neighbor take immediate steps should be sufficient.
As for the trash, heck, I'd gather it up in a trash bag and return it to him. In the restaurant. During his busiest hour. I'd also send him a fire-truck at various times of the day or night.
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HeyBub wrote:

Send him a fire truck? What do you mean? Don't mean to be dumb or anything...
Pat
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It seems to me that the owner of the parking lot is responsible. His runoff is impacting your property. Maybe small claims court if he doesn't correct the problem. and should be required to remedy the problem. I'd first contact the city or county. Ron

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Take alot of photos especialy of the garbage in case it goes further. Garbage is a health issue. You may or may not have a flooding claim, talk to an atty. if the city won`t help. See if he pulled a permit 4 years ago for the lot, they are on file.
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m Ransley wrote:

I thought about doing this and will next time it happens. Do you mean a permit to repave?
Pat
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if the city/county route doesn't seem to help, get th local news station to run an "investigation" of the "bad neighbor." If he is a smart businessman, he will realize that there is such thing as bad press.

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ADC wrote:

His wife is on the city council and he owns a lot of the town. I wonder if they'd even let it get printed.
Pat
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