The Greensboro City Council quietly solved the neighborhood controversy over the development of two lots at 1107 and 1109 Latham Road across the street from Latham Park and more importantly from Buffalo Creek which frequently floods.
In order to build on those two vacant lots the developer had built them up above the flood plain which made them considerably higher than the adjacent lots, and is why the lots acquired the name “Mount Latham.”
Neighbors complained to the city that the large pile of dirt was an eyesore.
The city reported that the East Wind Development, LLC by raising the lots above the floodplain had met the city, state and federal requirements to build and had been issued the necessary building permits.
But on Tuesday, June 18 with no discussion or explanation the City Council approved the purchase of those lots by the Greensboro Water Resources Department for $212,000. The appraised value was $147,000, but according to the resolution, the price, “in the opinion of the City Council, is a fair and reasonable alternative to condemnation.”
The resolution also states, “The [Water Resources] Department is proposing the purchase of this property as a strategy to reduce potential future impacts due to flooding in the Latham neighborhood area.”
The resolution to approve the purchase was on the Consent Agenda, which is a list of items considered noncontroversial and routine that the City Council passes with one vote.
The City Council is not supposed to discuss items on the Consent Agenda, with the notable exception of Councilmember Sharon Hightower who regularly discusses and asks questions about a couple of items.
Hightower, evidently, had no questions about this item because it passed with no discussion.
It would appear someone at the City may have dropped the ball on this issue. If the lots were within a jurisdictional floodplain, permits to fill above the flood elevation would have been required indicating that the fill would not raise the flood elevation on adjoining properties. This requires surveying, engineering calculations followed by review and approval from the local government. Now that the fill material has been placed, the damage is done, the city buys the lots, and now must remove the fill. Is there anyone in charge????
Ohh yes, someone is in charge…just no one with common sense or half a brain…