Man Claims Neighbor's Water Runoff Ruining Property

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A property owner came before the Town of Woodbury Planning Commission Tuesday night at City Hall seeking suggestions on how to handle the situation of water from his neighbor's property coming down the hill and flooding out his property during rainstorms.

Mike Wiedemann of East High Street alleges his neighbor made alterations to his property which created a funnel shape directing water down to Weedleman's property and onto his house.

The changes to the property have majorly changed the natural flow of the water from the way it was directed before. Several loads of filter was brought into the neighbor's property and then they laid gravel on it. However, Weedleman contends the two soils don't mix. The filter has more clay in it so the soil that had already been there along with the dirt they have brought in won't mix.

Wiedemann mentioned it took three months to get any grass to grow. Anytime a heavy rain comes, dirt is washing down to his house and water is at the back door. At first there were trees to help with water erosions however with the changes the neighbor has done, the trees were cut down.  It was undetermined whom the trees belonged to.

Wiedemann said, "They did this with no regard at all to anyone down the hill." Wiedemann is concerned that the dirt that erodes away is going to put so much pressure on his house that it's going to cause the foundation of the house to fall.

The property owners after clearing off some of the tree roots and rocks out of the backyard, tilled the land to plant a garden. However, instead of running the garden rows in a terrace fashion, the rows were tilled East to West up and down the hill.

The soil throughout the properties is now in a soggy state almost like quicksand. Ruts have been caused as a result in Wiedemann's yard.

Planning Commission said they would like to see pictures. State Planner Charles Brown advised Wiedemann that he would probably have to take legal action against the neighbor for the damages he has caused.  Brown suggested talking to Dale Peterson, Woodbury city attorney. He also said that he would check with other planners to see what has been done in similar situations.

Dottie Duggin says she has information that there are policies of the National Flood Program that says a homeowner can't make alteration of property that would cause another person's property to be flooded and she will research the information and bring it before the next planning commission meeting.

Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick knows the property owner Wiedemann spoke of and has had other issues in the past. He asked Weedleman to come back at the next Commissioners meeting in June to discuss the possible solutions.

In other Commissioners actions:

Mayor Patrick moved to approve the May 2011 Agenda with putting two people Wiedemann and Hidden Treasures owner under other business. Commissioner Sue Patrick seconded the motion

Mayor Patrick moved to approve the April 2011 Minutes Commissioner Bill Jennings seconded the motion.

Mayor Patrick reported that he along with County Executive Mike Gannon and Tennessee Department Of Economic and Community Development specialist Don Rigsby met with officials of Care2Medical last week. The company manufactures splints and a child's toy that distracts them from pain during medical treatment called Laffy Laffalot.

The toy is an electronic toy that is pre-programmed with various forms of laughs and giggles. The company is one congressional vote away to get approval to manufacture the products in the United States. The President of the company along with Medford Bragg, an investor in the company as well as a
former graduate of Woodbury Central High said that when they get that approval they want to start operations in Woodbury.

The group went and looked at the Valdor building. According to the officials, it is an acceptable building to start manufacturing in; however, with the way contracts come in they may want to build their own building in the future.

The group is only one signature away from getting accepted. The company headquarters is located in Costa Rica, California. They currently have a production facility in China. Plans are to relocate from California and continue operations in China.

Commissioner Sue Patrick reported that Gerald Toledo of Global Industries is hopeful that he's got a new contract for more production.  If the contract comes through Global Industries will be providing 30 more jobs here in Cannon County.

Next the Commissioners discussed the status of the local planning for Woodbury. As part of Governor Bill Haslem's reorganization plan, the state is closing all of the planning offices around the state's six regions.

Mayor Patrick says the reasoning was, "his (Haslam's) logic was the big cities have their own planners and do not use this service. Small counties and cities weren't growing fast enough to warrant the service. Town of Woodbury Planner Charles Brown said that the contract ends June 30th with the last day being July 20th.

The move came as a shock to all of the state planners who's offices are closing after 70 years of providing service to the communities, cities and counties of Tennessee.

Mayor Patrick said the issue is not a dead one yet because of a meeting concerning this is being held Wednesday. Alternative plans are in the works.  Commissioner Dottie Duggin added, "maybe the Governor is restructuring."  Mayor Patrick replied, "It's not a restructure. it's an elimination and Haslem is saying to cities and counties you're on your own."

Regardless of the outcome, city and county planning commissions would still be intact. Mayor Patrick reported that he has already gotten a letter from a planner in Nashville wanting to provide the service to the town of Woodbury but it's at a much higher fee than the State's fee for providing a planner.

Donna Coyte, the owner of Hidden Treasures, went before the Commission to make sure she was in compliance. She rented a flashing sign to attract customers to her business on. She has not turned on the flashing lights. She was informed that city ordinances prohibits flashing lights on signs but lights are allowed if they aren't blinking. She is renting the sign for 30 days until her permanent sign comes in. She also is planning on putting a banner up at her building.

The Commissioners wrapped up the meeting by discussing the possibility of getting some form of traffic control out near Houston Hills and Hwy 70 due to construction. Mayor Patrick will check with Woodbury Police Chief Tony Burnett and Cannon County Sheriff Darrell Young to see what can be done to alleviate the traffic flow problem that has been created.
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