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Question for conservation/civil engineers.

  1. #1
    Posting Freak KevinB's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.


    I was wondering if anybody on the board is familar with conservation land and rain water runoff drainage.

    After a rain storm a huge puddle forms on the street in front our house due to lack of storm drains .The city came in and installed a drainage pipe leading into a low area on the side of our house, which now turns into a small pond. This area is conservation land, are allowed to due that? Our problem is, with all the extra water, our yard now gets really muddy and soggy.

    Kevin

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  2. #2
    Dic on
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    Re: Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by KevinB
    I was wondering if anybody on the board is familar with conservation land and rain water runoff drainage.

    After a rain storm a huge puddle forms on the street in front our house due to lack of storm drains .The city came in and installed a drainage pipe leading into a low area on the side of our house, which now turns into a small pond. This area is conservation land, are allowed to due that? Our problem is, with all the extra water, our yard now gets really muddy and soggy.

    Kevin
    I think Randy will handle this one.

    derek

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  3. #3
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    depends

    you say this is "conservation land"

    who owns it?

    are there any deed restrictions/covenants on the property?

    is it "your" yard.... or conservation land adjacent to "your" property?

    do you know where "your" property lines are?

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    RandyO
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    Posting Freak KevinB's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by RandyO
    depends

    you say this is "conservation land"

    Conservation wetland.

    who owns it?

    State conservation land bank.

    are there any deed restrictions/covenants on the property?

    No

    is it "your" yard.... or conservation land adjacent to "your" property?

    Paper road/conservation land.

    do you know where "your" property lines are?

    Roughly

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  5. #5
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    I find it very very hard to beleive there are no covenants on the land conservation land. That would mean that it really isn't conservation land cause the fee title owner would be able to do ANYTHING they want.

    does state conservation land bank own it in fee, or just an easement.....

    you really need to look at the legal documents to see what the rights are

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    RandyO
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  6. #6
    Posting Freak KevinB's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by RandyO
    I find it very very hard to beleive there are no covenants on the land conservation land.

    I thought you were talking about our property. Don't know for sure, but it was turned over to the town/state by a builder years ago.

    does state conservation land bank own it in fee, or just an easement.....

    It was turned over to the state.

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  7. #7
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    In other words....you don't know who really owns the conservation land, or if there are any stipulations

    If there was a puddle in the road, most likely the road construction was incomplete or not according to plan, who knows what prompted the drainage work.... you said something about a "paper " road.... maybe a new phase of development is beginning.

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    RandyO
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  8. #8
    Posting Freak KevinB's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    At one time, guessing at least 15,20 years ago someone owned the land behind our house. There is at least 5 building lots, but it boarders a river/wetlands. So the owner couldn't get permits to build, which in turn my the property useless. That is when he turned it over to the town or state. It can't be developed without an act of congress.

    The conservation guy to us we can't due anything in our back yard with getting a permit from him, such a cutting trees and redoing our lawn(this is shit on my property). So how the hell can they drain the rain runoff into this enviromentally sensative area.

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  9. #9
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    In NH, if it is a small amount of runoff from the road (typically 150' to 200' length of roadway), you are sometimes allowed to discharge to a sensitive area. There are many factors including soil types, surface area of impervious area from which the runoff is originating, distance the discharge travels between discharge point (end of pipe) and entering the sensitive area... etc.

    If the runoff is from a small portion of roadway (you don't know unless you have an as-built conditions drawing with topography) and it is flowing over a few hundred feet of disturbed grasses prior to entering the sensitive area, treatment of the runoff is usually achieved by the grasses (the grasses remove sediment and contaminants before reaching sensitive area).

    But regardless of where the water is going, you probably have some options depending on your town and who you are able to talk to. Flooding on your property as the result of something the town has done or another developer has done is fixable. Might take some time and patience on your part, but if you raise the concern with the road agent and take some photos (before, during and after rainy periods, also during dry periods), you might eventually get somewhere. Keep in mind it probably won't be fixed until the next bit of work in that area needs to be done or until you have basement flooding issues (do you?).

    If you have a town engineer or a town road agent (you definitely have a road agent, call the town clerk and get a phone number), you can contact that person and NICELY explain the situation. See what he/she can do, if anything. If it's not your property, you are SOL.

    Your last resort, and this should only be done AFTER making a solid effort to work with the Town, is to call the NHDES Wetlands Bureau. If there is a potential wetlands violation, they may send someone out to look around (perhaps you could offer photos of the area and also photos of where it's originally coming from to help make the decision if a field visit is needed). Keep in mind, if this is a wetlands violation on the part of the Town (or another developer, even) you will be putting the State on someone else's back, which isn't neighborly. This is a last resort and all efforts should first be made to rectify directly with the Town or whoever it is causing the situation.

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  10. #10
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by sahd03
    In NH...
    What if he's in Mass?

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  11. #11
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    In Mass (uh... duh...) the options would still be the same. Whether or not ANY discharge is allowed to sensitive areas changes from State to State and site to site.

    The other huge question is whether or not it's actually a wetland. Conservation area can be anything, but wetlands are where things get sensitive and in order to qualify as a wetland, there are numerous plant/animal/soil characterisitcs to be met first.

    Mass is pretty strict when it comes to wetlands and drainage, NH is not.

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  12. #12
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by sahd03
    ...wetlands are where things get sensitive and
    Yeah, no shit! Ever try putting a beach in???

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  13. #13
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Ahhhh... shorefront is a whole other animal! It's wayyyyy more PIA than plain old wetlands. You can fill wetlands to a point, depending on what category they fall into based on hydrologic characteristics. Beaches and shorefront... a precious commodity across the world at this point... just stay away and save yourself the headache and the cash!

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  14. #14
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by sahd03
    Ahhhh... shorefront is a whole other animal! It's wayyyyy more PIA than plain old wetlands. You can fill wetlands to a point, depending on what category they fall into based on hydrologic characteristics. Beaches and shorefront... a precious commodity across the world at this point... just stay away and save yourself the headache and the cash!
    Yeah...we're thinking at this point of just building like, a deck that sits on the water front. Have some stairs coming off it leading to our dock...

    Sorry, Kevin! You were saying?

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  15. #15
    Posting Freak KevinB's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Sahd03

    Thanks for the insight,and advice.
    We have talked with the Public Works and Conservation Dept.
    They seem to be willing to work with us. But if this area is so sensitive that I can't do anything to my yard without there approval or permits,why would they be allowed to drain the street runoff. The town has tried to get this done for years, and were unsucessful until now,the conservation dept had previously put a stop to it. Also I would really consider this wetlands because, its not grassy and if they weren't draining into this area it would dry up. I'll probabaly post some pics.

    Kevin

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  16. #16
    Lifer oreo_n2's Avatar
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Originally posted by sahd03
    ...distance the discharge travels between discharge point (end of pipe) and entering the sensitive area... etc.
    Originally posted by sahd03
    ...Whether or not ANY discharge is allowed to sensitive areas changes from ...
    Originally posted by sahd03
    ...wetlands are where things get sensitive and
    ...
    sorry kevin

    sahd03...for some reason i feel like i owe you $.99 a minute for reading this.


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  17. #17
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    Question for conservation/civil engineers.

    Oreo, I bill out for more than 99cents a minute!!! I don't get paid much more than that, though...

    There are so many "what if's" in a situation like this one. If the locals are willing to work with you, be patient within reason. Town government moves slow, but oftentimes does fix its wrongs (eventually).

    Good luck with it. You could always threaten to pave your backyard and put an above-ground fuel-oil storage tank back there with no spill containment... that would get their attention!!

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