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Thread: Cross Creek Sewer Project Cited, Again

  1. #1

    Cross Creek Sewer Project Cited, Again

    From the Buffalo New

    LANCASTER

    DEC cites developer for violation

    By Irene Liguori NEWS STAFF REPORTER
    Updated: 02/15/08 6:53 AM

    http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregio...y/276758.html#

    Continuing environmental violations earned the developer of Lancaster’s Cross Creek subdivision another slap on the wrist this week from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

    While town residents living near the construction site say they are happy to see state regulators taking notice of their ongoing complaints regarding the proposed 264-home subdivision, they are far from appeased.

    “It’s like having a mosquito bite a 12-ton elephant,” said Stony Road resident Roy Schneggenburger, one of a number of residents trooping to Lancaster Town Board meetings lately to complain about Cross Creek and what they view as lenient treatment of the developer, RJF Development Co.

    The developer’s lawyer, Craig A. Slater, insists his client has done everything by the book.

    “We deny any claim that we haven’t fully complied with our storm water and erosion control measures plan,” Slater said.

    In December, the DEC ordered work stopped on the project when rain submerged a required separation between a sewer trench and Ellicott Creek.

    Schneggenburger said a watchdog group of Lancaster residents called Friendly Stewards of Ellicott Creek Bowmansville East has now mobilized to monitor the environmental integrity of the creek.

    Problems all started, Schneggenburger maintains, because RJF Development took a cheaper route and installed a gravity-fed sewer line near the creek instead of a more expensive and environmentally friendly pumping station.

    “This should never have been allowed to happen,” Schneggenburger said. “It is desecrating Ellicott Creek.”

    Daniel R. David, the DEC’s regional environmental quality engineer, said RJF Development had been notified that its methods for dealing with erosion problems and construction sediment flowing into Ellicott Creek are unacceptable.

    The DEC letter, dated Feb. 8, says RJF’s actions violated its State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPEDS) General Permit for Construction Activities and also state Environmental Conservation Law. “Basically,” said David, “it was a notice of violation. This is what we normally send while considering what enforcement action, if any, to take.”

    Slater, RJF’s attorney, said when DEC visited Cross Creek for an inspection Feb. 5, the entire region was inundated with flooding due to unseasonably warm temperatures. He said his client has requested a meeting with DEC “to demonstrate our willingness to address any issues they have.”

    iliguori@buffnews.com


    *********

    This project is one of the dumbest I've seen in years.

    Yeah, let's put a sewer line in, or near a creek. And let's start construction when the creek tends to flood.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb......

  2. #2

    Get ready The Rain is coming..here we go again!

    It will be 40 to 50 with rain should do wonders for flooding in Lancaster. Oh I forgot we have no flooding in Lancaster Cross Creek will be flooding again.....On Brunck road Im getting my boots ready.

    When your out there wading up to your a-- in water or it's coming across the road just remember the town board is sympathetic to your flooding I'm sure you will sleep better at night. God forbid they would actually do something or stop building in these areas that cause flooding on a routine basis.

    Same with Cross Creek stop work order..... stop me if I'm wrong but didn't they say at the last meeting that arrangements made by developer were substantial enough to stop water from washing away dirt and it shouldn't happen again.

    So the Town and DEC gave the Developer the OK to go ahead and continue.... Then why is the town and DEC not held accountable for there decision to allow them to continue with the sewer. They also acted in bad judgement as usuall. Do they understand how much water is located in these areas and what this amount of water is capable of doing. What happened with ignorance is no defense. Is this not there job...

    The same thing will occur when they start Windsor Ridge South. When will they learn and when will they be accountable for all there negligent decisions. EPA, FEMA and 90% of govt agencies look at these areas in summer when all is dry. Many don't leave there desks they only look at all the plans submitted from developers and town .

    Remember the Town Board is Sympathetic to your flooding!!!! Get the boots not just the water is getting deep!!!!!!
    Last edited by Lancaster wetlands; February 17th, 2008 at 07:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    The developer violates the SPEDS permit for construction activities and state environmental conservation law with no remedy thus far. Still, Essex homes is already advertising their 53 homesites for Cross creek on their website.



    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?

    Georgia L Schlager

  4. #4
    Member Foot Fungus's Avatar
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    I like the terminology on the little map there. "Ferderal Jurisdictional Area". Sounds like a nature preserve. Why can't they call it what it is, a wetland buffer zone.

    Nah, that might turn some folks off. Nevermind.

    ___________________________________

    "It's a perfect example of you need to get out and vote because all your votes count".
    Mark Montour- Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties candidate for Lancaster Town Justice

    "I don't think it was luck" -Donna Stempniak, unopposed candidate for Lancaster Town Council on winning re-election.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gorja
    The developer violates the SPEDS permit for construction activities and state environmental conservation law with no remedy thus far. Still, Essex homes is already advertising their 53 homesites for Cross creek on their website.



    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?
    What's the green area in lots 3 thru 7 and 10 and 11?

    What's the shaded in areas in lots 12, 13, and 62 thru 66?

    Are they easements, wetlands, flood plains, or "Federal Jurisdictional Areas"? If they are, I hope the developer is going to explain it to prospective buyers, and explain exactly what the conditions and limitations are.

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb Cross Creek - Federal land,Town land ! ? Lancaster,NY

    Lets see now - Cross Creek Development in Lancaster,NY by Essex has some thing for everyone.

    Sorry - see new thread "Cross Creek-Federal Land"
    Last edited by 4248; February 22nd, 2008 at 12:32 PM.
    #Dems play musical chairs + patronage and nepotism = entitlement !

  7. #7
    Member Foot Fungus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gshowell

    What's the green area in lots 3 thru 7 and 10 and 11?

    What's the shaded in areas in lots 12, 13, and 62 thru 66?

    Are they easements, wetlands, flood plains, or "Federal Jurisdictional Areas"?
    I would imagine that those are the areas where you can't place your storage shed, picnic table, wetland monument etc.

    Maybe that's why they don't put in the stipulated wetland monuments, they're in a wetland, it's not allowed...or maybe they were sucked into the wet ground...or maybe it was the wetland monument gnomes...

    If they are, I hope the developer is going to explain it to prospective buyers, and explain exactly what the conditions and limitations are.
    Did you just see that pig flying overhead?

    Oh, sorry, just an acid flashback from an old Pink Floyd show.


    OK, when pigs fly.

    That was cool.

    ___________________________________

    "It's a perfect example of you need to get out and vote because all your votes count".
    Mark Montour- Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties candidate for Lancaster Town Justice

    "I don't think it was luck" -Donna Stempniak, unopposed candidate for Lancaster Town Council on winning re-election.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Foot Fungus
    Did you just see that pig flying overhead?

    Oh, sorry, just an acid flashback from an old Pink Floyd show.


    OK, when pigs fly.
    CENTER]
    What do you mean pigs don't fly? What's that stuff on your head?

  9. #9
    Member Foot Fungus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gshowell

    What do you mean pigs don't fly?
    Come on, you know pigs don't fly, however they are great underwater swimmers. Some can hold their breath for 12 minutes or longer.

    Don't try starting that controversy stuff with me buddy. Especially when it comes to pork. The other white meat.

    What's that stuff on your head?
    It's an experiment. Ever since I went bald, I've been trying to grow a mushroom patch up there. You mean...that's not...soil...????

    Awwwwwww....crap.

    ___________________________________

    "It's a perfect example of you need to get out and vote because all your votes count".
    Mark Montour- Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties candidate for Lancaster Town Justice

    "I don't think it was luck" -Donna Stempniak, unopposed candidate for Lancaster Town Council on winning re-election.

    Maybe the mushrooms would grow better in these two quotes. Just a thought.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshowell
    What's the green area in lots 3 thru 7 and 10 and 11?

    What's the shaded in areas in lots 12, 13, and 62 thru 66?

    Are they easements, wetlands, flood plains, or "Federal Jurisdictional Areas"? If they are, I hope the developer is going to explain it to prospective buyers, and explain exactly what the conditions and limitations are.
    All the green areas (light and dark) are regulated wetlands.

    3-7 are most likely only federal regulated wetlands (ACOE juriddiction)

    Lots 10-13 and 62-76 are under NYS wetland regulations.

    The DEC stated the following when giving their wetland permit blessing:

    DEC Special Condition 16: The regulated 100-foot-wide wetland adjacent area of New York State Wetland LA-15 extends into lots 11, 12, 13, and 62 through 76. All future owners of those lots shall be notified prior to purchase that portions of their lots have areas regulated by Article 24, Freshwater Wetland ACT; however, certain specified activities can be done (see Special Condition #17) using this presently authorized permit issued to the subdivision developer.

    DEC Special Condition 17: Construction, expansion or placement of minor accessory/appurtenant residential structures, including garages, carports, patios, decks, gazebo, pool houses, cabanas, greenhouse, above ground pools, tennis/basketball courts, satellite dishes, fences/walls, barns, storage sheds, spas/hot tubs, sidewalks/walkways, paved driveways, ornamental ponds/waterfalls, playgrounds and landscaping is authorized for the above noted lots in areas that are within the 100-foot-wide adjacent area of Freshwater Wetland LA-15 and not encumbered by easements. All the above activities are covered as long as there is no more than incidental fill associated with the listed activities.

    How sweet a deal is that for the developer and the homebuyer. A first! Certainly not like what happened at Windsor Ridge.

    The town did put in the following condition when giving site plan approval:

    3. The builder shall cause monumentation of the boundary of any federal jurisdictional wetland or the 100’ adjacent area of any designated NYS wetland affecting any portion of any sublot.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by pudge
    All the green areas (light and dark) are regulated wetlands.

    3-7 are most likely only federal regulated wetlands (ACOE juriddiction)

    Lots 10-13 and 62-76 are under NYS wetland regulations.

    The DEC stated the following when giving their wetland permit blessing:

    DEC Special Condition 16: The regulated 100-foot-wide wetland adjacent area of New York State Wetland LA-15 extends into lots 11, 12, 13, and 62 through 76. All future owners of those lots shall be notified prior to purchase that portions of their lots have areas regulated by Article 24, Freshwater Wetland ACT; however, certain specified activities can be done (see Special Condition #17) using this presently authorized permit issued to the subdivision developer.

    DEC Special Condition 17: Construction, expansion or placement of minor accessory/appurtenant residential structures, including garages, carports, patios, decks, gazebo, pool houses, cabanas, greenhouse, above ground pools, tennis/basketball courts, satellite dishes, fences/walls, barns, storage sheds, spas/hot tubs, sidewalks/walkways, paved driveways, ornamental ponds/waterfalls, playgrounds and landscaping is authorized for the above noted lots in areas that are within the 100-foot-wide adjacent area of Freshwater Wetland LA-15 and not encumbered by easements. All the above activities are covered as long as there is no more than incidental fill associated with the listed activities.

    How sweet a deal is that for the developer and the homebuyer. A first! Certainly not like what happened at Windsor Ridge.

    The town did put in the following condition when giving site plan approval:

    3. The builder shall cause monumentation of the boundary of any federal jurisdictional wetland or the 100’ adjacent area of any designated NYS wetland affecting any portion of any sublot.
    Thanks for the info. I've got some comments but I need to look some stuff up. I think I have pictures that show parts of lots 10, 11, & 12 flooded. They are from a few years ago when we had a heavy rain.

    There's also other flood related problems to allowing construction in areas prone to flooding. I doubt someone will build a garage that far back, but hey, ya never know.

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    Question Cross Creek new homes - flood insurance ?

    Will the lucky new home owners have to carry flood insurance . In many parts of Lancaster - that can add $1000.00 a year to the cost of owning a home - and thats besides the regular "Home Owners Insurance costs."


    Maybe the developer can say , "Well in todays market - thats a steal - $100.00 a month for water front property!"
    Will they have to inform prospective home buyers of the flood insurance issues ?

    #Dems play musical chairs + patronage and nepotism = entitlement !

  13. #13
    Here's an article from the Buffalo News about flooding in New York State. It doesn't specifically pertain to Ellicott Creek, but some of the issues reported on have similar impacts to creeks and flooding in Lancaster.

    Severe flooding in recent years prompts state to examine solutions
    By Michael Hill - ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Updated: 02/25/08 6:40 AM

    http://www.buffalonews.com/nationalw...y/284503.html#

    ALBANY — New York has endured nine floods since 2004 that were declared federal disasters — including a deluge that ripped a crater through a highway north of Binghamton and another that scattered buildings and cars in the Catskills.

    The spate of severe flooding has been so damaging and costly — more than $500 million spent for response and repairs — that the state will hold a flood “summit” in flood-prone Binghamton on Thursday. Among the questions that will be raised at the summit is this:

    Is there anything the government can do to ease the damage caused by flooding?

    Experts say there are indeed steps that public officials can take, though they caution there are no “silver bullets” and that many solutions are costly or politically complex.

    “There’s no simple answer,” said James Curatolo, watershed coordinator for Upper Susquehanna Coalition, “and there’s got to be a lot of little answers.”

    Flooding is common around New York State, though the last few years have been especially harsh, particularly in the Southern Tier and around the Catskills. Most severe was a historic flood in June 2006 that swept away homes and cars from Binghamton to the Mohawk Valley and cut a chasm across Interstate 88. Four people died. Last June, a flash flood strong enough to rip homes from their foundations washed through the Catskills. Witnesses described a rushing wall of water. Four people were swept away; three bodies have been recovered.

    “The last few years seem to be pretty bad years,” said Jim Tierney, assistant commissioner for water resources at the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Tierney is working with communities in New York to figure out ways to mitigate the “peak flow” of water during heavy rains.

    Tierney and other experts said the old solution of straightening out streams with riprap or building concrete sluices tends to just shoot the water — and the flooding problem — elsewhere. Better to utilize dry wells or catchment ponds that can hold excess water, they say. Catchment ponds are especially useful next to commercial developments that feature acres of parking lots, Tierney said.

    “You put pavement all over the place and it rains, then a stream that used to get maybe a thousand cubic feet per second during a high-precipitation event gets two or three or five thousand cubic feet per second,” he said. “That water moving through the stream rips the stream apart . . . and starts to flood things.”

    Wetlands also play an important role in flood control, acting like sponges for surface water during heavy rains, Curatolo said.


    Gary Firda, a surface water specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Troy, said flood-control reservoirs also work, mentioning Whitney Point Lake on the Otselic River north of Binghamton and Mount Morris Dam on the Genesee River, south of Rochester.

    One of the larger water bodies in the state, Great Sacandaga Lake in the southern Adirondacks, was created to control flooding downstream along the Sacandaga and Hudson rivers.

    But Firda notes that big public works reservoirs might be more difficult to build given stringent environmental reviews and the problem of purchasing the necessary land.

    A number of experts stressed that tinkering with nature can be only part of the solution.

    If homes are getting flooded out, they note, it often makes sense for people to move beyond flood plains to higher ground. The federal government has been trying to encourage this, to mixed reviews, through a property buyout program for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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    Tierney and other experts said the old solution of straightening out streams with riprap or building concrete sluices tends to just shoot the water — and the flooding problem — elsewhere. Better to utilize dry wells or catchment ponds that can hold excess water, they say. Catchment ponds are especially useful next to commercial developments that feature acres of parking lots, Tierney said.
    Developers put collection ponds in Lancaster, swear their hydrology reports indicate they are releasing water as the same rate that would be released had the land not been developed and yet the town is seeing more flooding than ever.

    Why? Because, we are paving over most of our land, land having abundant hydric soils and wetlands. And because the volume of water not being absorbed by undeveloped land but collected in ponds and released is increasing the volume of water in the waterways.

    It just doesn't stop raining or snowmelt ceases when the ponds fill up!

    “You put pavement all over the place and it rains, then a stream that used to get maybe a thousand cubic feet per second during a high-precipitation event gets two or three or five thousand cubic feet per second,” he said. “That water moving through the stream rips the stream apart . . . and starts to flood things.”

    Wetlands also play an important role in flood control, acting like sponges for surface water during heavy rains, Curatolo said.
    How many times has the town, the EPA, DEC, ACOE and sewer districts colluded to give developers the necessary permits to destroy or fill in valuable and functional wetlands – those important “sponges.”

    The recent installation of a sanitary sewer line in a disturbed wetland directly adjacent to Ellicott Creek is an example of a colluded environmental travesty.

    If homes are getting flooded out, they note, it often makes sense for people to move beyond flood plains to higher ground.
    Gee, the town still lets one build in a floodplain. They just refuse to accept it’s a floodplain. Or if they do recognize it as one, they ordain that there should be no basement. Proactive, the town knows not the meaning of this word.

    Town mantra: "Developers welcome. Our land is your land. Property rights favored and protected over that of the community. Just tell us what to do, or threaten to sue us, that'll work"

  15. #15
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    What's the "New Plan for Lancaster's Flooding issues" ?

    Has there been talks between - Village - Town - County and Federal Agencies like FEMA to help correct the damage and future damage ?

    Will the Town of Lancaster and Erie County ever correct the flooding caused by their rerouting Ellicott Creek - as was stated in the original agreement between these two Governing Bodies ?


    So far - NO PLAN - past and present Lancaster Town Board Members and past Town Supervisor refused to join into a flood control program when it was offered.

    As flood insurance rates are rising - Lancaster still allows a number of local businesses to add Millions and millions of gallons of water a year to Ellicott Creek.

    How about buy us out - the Feds have programs - why are they not being looked into - ?

    NO PLAN or Commitments yet - we'll keep you updated if it ever changes.
    #Dems play musical chairs + patronage and nepotism = entitlement !

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