From: Chiye Azuma [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 7:11 AM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Caroline Kim; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: More First Rain and Consequences
Thanks Sparky, for the clarification. Here are some additional thoughts and a brief description of how my property has been affected.
First of all, the irony of this situation is that whatever environmental scars the Quarry operations may have left on the hills, the operators at least understood the basic hydrology of the hills enough to keep a number of holding ponds on the site, as well as maintain a system of "jersey barriers" that directed the runoff at the base of the site AWAY from the public roadways. It was not a perfect system, but it was effective in that it respected the natural force of the watershed and the existence of Chimes Creek coursing through the Quarry. I do not know for sure, but I would suspect that the holding ponds were functional enhancements built on natural features already on the site. It's hard to imagine the Quarry operators trying to install aesthetic features on the land that they were harvesting (to put it politely).
What is curious about the responses that we have been getting from the City's engineers so far focus only on the "winterization," the hydroseeding and soil binding AS IF these measures will protect us from the erosion and mudslides that will surely occur on the steep denuded hills. The pictures we took at the Quarry this past Sunday show a lot of groundwater bursting out not from subdrains, not from undergrounded pipes, but from random weak spots in the vertical grade cuts. Ask any knowledgeable structural engineer about the force of subsurface water curtains. This developer has not only buried and covered the holding ponds so essential to breaking the force of the runoff from the hills above, they have also tried very hard to deny that there is a year-round creek on the site by burying it under a pile of gravel. All it took was this fall's first showers to show that there is, indeed, a natural watercourse on this site. The EIR repeatedly confirms the existence of the watershed, so why does the developer AND the experts at the City - who should really know better - continue to insist there is no creek on this site? Is this to circumvent the involvement of State Fish and Game? It doesn't matter if you hide the creek under a pile of gravel -- it will sooner or later burst out, and hopefully you have not put all your money into that townhouse right below that impromptu waterfall.
Is there a plan to deal with this water that will continue to pour down the hillside? Any hydroseeding applied to the hills in October will have a difficult time establishing itself before it is washed down by the random outbursts - a glimpse of which we were treated to on Sunday. Why would anybody feel comfortable buying property in this Quarry, when there is no plan to deal with the watershed other than having one very large holding pond at the bottom of the hill?
My backyard is two properties downstream from Steve and Annie's, and we have already suffered the loss of more than 8 feet of creek bottom since the early 80's. It is remarkable indeed that the loss has not been greater, but it feels like there has been an accelerated degradation of the creek this year. A large Acacia tree in our back yard lost its footing in June this year, and came crashing down missing our house by about 5 feet. Another large Acacia tree is already teeter tottering over the creek at this moment, half of its root ball exposed by the creek water that has been especially raspy with Quarry dirt throughout this summer. I will be certain to let you all know when this tree falls, because it will take a large portion of our backyard with it, and it will crash into my neighbors' properties and directly on their sewer line. I certainly hope that County Flood Control and City engineers will take care of this mess because it is, afterall, their easement.
So Mica, I am hoping that you now understand why I am upset. When you asked me some time ago why I was asking all these questions and bugging your office for help in making sure the project was being constructed responsibly, I am not sure that you or Desley tried to understand the issues. To this day, Desley has not once addressed the Chimes Creek neighbors directly, preferring to speak through you, like some kind of god from above. So I hope the rest of the Council members won't mind if we continue to appeal for their help and understanding because we just aren't getting the kind of proactive advocacy that we should be getting from our council rep.
.... oh, and did you all know that not only are we taking in all the stormwater runoff from the Quarry, but we'll also be hosting in our pipes adjacent to the creek, the additional sewage that will be generated by the 470 plus units at this development? According to Mr. Uzegbu, our pipes here have been identified as being "under capacity."
Frankly, this leaves me speechless.