A number of residents of the Orchard Estates subdivision off G Road have been advised they're blocking the neighborhood drainage system by filling in their "roll over" curb and gutter with gravel or concrete. Among them is a tenant of Pat Stroud's who is battling cancer.
Stroud appeared before Delta City Council to request a variance for her house at 569 W. Apple Drive. She called the depression that runs along the front of the property a "bump gutter" because "you bump up to get across it, and you bump up to get out." The jarring movement caused her terminally ill tenant a great deal of pain, so he filled in the depression.
"We actually identified six properties in this neighborhood that had obstructions in the gutter," utilities/public works director Steve Glammeyer told councilmembers. All six received notices of non-compliance of city code, which prohibits any type of blockage of drainage ways. Curb and gutter is a drainage way system, Glammeyer clarified.
After receiving one of those letters, Stroud decided to seek council approval for a temporary solution that would allow her tenant to drive himself to and from medical appointments without suffering excruciating pain.
"Amazingly enough, today when I was supposed to come here and talk with you, your efficient city crew removed the gravel," Stroud said.
So instead of asking for council approval to block the storm gutter, she asked council for permission to put in a pipe that could be covered to allow the tenant smooth access to the house while maintaining drainage.
The removal of the gravel was a "horrible coincidence," Glammeyer said, that occurred when the city street sweeper "who had no knowledge of this situation" was conducting routine street sweeping activities on Garnet Mesa.
"We received a call, and Glen (Black, interim city manager) and I immediately went up and yes, the gravel had been removed. It wasn't directed by us to have that happen. I apologize that it happened but it is what it is. If you grant a waiver tonight, we'll certainly be up there first thing tomorrow to install gravel or whatever you would allow," he told councilmembers.
Glammeyer used a series of photos to help council understand the issue.
Some homeowners had filled the dip in with gravel or concrete; another had placed a pipe at the end of his driveway, then ramped concrete over it to extend his driveway. "That certainly allowed some drainage through, but does not carry the drainage the curb and gutter is intended to carry," Glammeyer said.
Additional photos illustrated how, following a recent snow/rain event, the blockage forced the drainage out into the street and around the obstructions.
In the same subdivision, one homeowner has installed what the city considers to be a legal mitigating option. Again, using photos, Glammeyer pointed to a driveway cut that, with proper slope, has the same carrying capacity as the curb and gutter as it existed prior to removal and replacement.
The option of installing a driveway apron is available to all citizens, Glammeyer said. A permit and proper fees are required.
Stroud reiterated she is looking only for a temporary solution that would make her tenant more comfortable over the next few months.
Councilmembers struggled with the unfortunate circumstances, but could come up with no viable temporary solution, particularly since there's a legal mitigating option available to the homeowner.
Although reluctant to look "hardhearted," they declined to act on Stroud's request.
"Although I feel for the man, that ordinance is there for a reason," said Mayor Ed Sisson.