COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A southeast Columbus family said they’ve been getting the runaround for months, as rainwater from a neighboring construction site continues to flood their yard.
After contacting the city and developer D.R. Horton, they contacted NBC4 to get answers.
According to plans kept by the city, the site off of Gender Road will eventually be home to hundreds of single and multi-family housing units. When Joel and Lenore Nelson bought their home on nearby Marissa Street, they knew to expect construction in a growing part of town.
“We just didn’t know it was going to cause so many issues once it got started,” Lenore said.
Since December, water has flowed from the construction site and pooled in the Nelsons’ backyard every time it rains. The family said it left them unable to use their outdoor space.
“Even after the water kind of recedes, the ground is very saturated and stays saturated for days and weeks beyond that,” Joel said. “There’s actually been some settling of the ground down as well, so it’s kind of changed the grading of the backyard.”
The Nelsons filed a complaint through the city’s 311 system in January and again in late March.
“We’ve had code enforcement come out, we’ve had the city engineering come out. We’ve had a number of other folks that have come out to look at the space and recognize that there is an issue,” Joel said.
Anthony Celebrezze, deputy director of Columbus’s Department of Building and Zoning, said after the first complaint, the city contacted the developer, which installed black soil containment fencing. Video later recorded by the Nelsons show water flowing over and around the fencing in February.
“They were supposed to bring some sandbags out about two months ago,” Lenore said.
With temperatures heating up, so are the family’s concerns.
“Unfortunately, standing water brings things like mosquitos and other critters that we don’t want to invite here,” Lenore said.
A city zoning specialist provided NBC4 with a copy of the developer’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, which was approved before the work started as part of the required permitting process.
“Longer term we will have to review the site plan to ensure the construction activities are follow the site plan drainage/grading that was approved,” Celebrezze said Friday, also mentioning that inspection results were still pending from the Nelsons’ 311 complaint.
Later Friday afternoon, the results of the inspection, which took place Tuesday, were made available by the Department of Public Utilities.
“Our inspector found several required stormwater control measures were lacking and the developer was advised they have 14 days to address all of these issues or potentially receive a Notice of Violation, fines, or both. The inspector is scheduled to return to the site on Tuesday, April 18,” said George Zonders, a Public Utilities spokesperson.
NBC4 also reached out to D.R. Horton.
“Although we took precautions to retain storm water and drainage on our site, we were recently made aware of the issue near Marissa Street at one of our developments. We have a plan to remedy this situation and expect to complete the work by early next week, weather permitting,” replied a Bethany Carle, a spokesperson for the developer.
“I haven’t gotten a guarantee like that up until this point,” Joel said. “That’s great to hear, and we look forward to it being fixed.”