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Shillington Public Meeting - August 2nd, 2005

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS), U.S. Infrastructure (USI), and PBS&J conducted a public meeting at Sharon United Methodist Church on August 2, 2005 for affected citizens within the Shillington Capital Improvement Program (CIP) area.  The meeting was attended by the following:

  • Sandi Hayes, USI
  • Steve Sands, USI
  • Jennifer Glotfelty, CMSWS
  • David Smith, CMSWS
  • Troy Eisenberger, CMSWS
  • Bob Laura, PBS&J
  • Rick Hiner, PBS&J
  • Chad Grimshaw, PBS&J
  • Elliott Grosh, PBS&J
  • Citizens

During the meeting, the following occurred.

  • USI convened the public meeting at approximately 7:10pm.
  • The main purpose of this public meeting is a workshop to acquire citizen feedback regarding the existing storm drainage system and the recommended improvements from citizens residing within the project limits. 
  • The audience was made aware of the sign-in sheets, drainage area maps, questionnaires, and copies of the public meeting agenda.  Customer service evaluation cards were not provided at this meeting, but were mailed to all meeting attendees.
  • USI serves as the project management consultant for CMSWS, and PBS&J serves as the design consultant.
  • Representatives from CMSWS, USI and PBS&J who serve on the project team were introduced to the audience.
  • Troy Eisenberger was introduced and has replaced David Smith at the CMSWS Project Manager.
  • USI provided background on the development of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) initiated by CMSWS.  CMSWS launched the CIP in 1993 to address storm drainage problems utilizing a holistic watershed approach.  The Shillington project, which falls within the jurisdiction of the CIP, originated from flooding complaints made by citizens.  The goal of the Shillington project is to develop storm drainage improvements that address flooding issues and citizens' concerns while meeting CMSWS requirements and minimizing disruption of traffic and impacts to private property.
  • There are six (6) phases in the CIP.  The Planning Phase typically consumes approximately 12 – 27 months.  USI noted that the Shillington project is currently at the end of the Planning Phase.  Remaining phases of a typical project schedule are Design (21 to 34 months), Permitting (3 to 9 months), Real Estate Acquisition (9 to 12 months), Bidding (4 to 5 months) and Construction (12 to 24 months).  Real Estate Acquisition and Bid phases may overlap with other phases.
  • USI described the process of citizen involvement via mailings and a series of three public meetings.  CMSWS mailed questionnaires to citizens within the watershed at the beginning of the Planning Phase.  Questionnaires that were returned by citizens provided input that is greatly valued by the project team.  The first public meeting introduced the project, identified problem areas, and solicited citizen feedback on existing conditions within the project area.  The second public meeting (this meeting) is intended to present and gather citizen feedback on proposed solutions.  At the third public meeting, the project team will present detailed design plans, discuss associated impacts, and start easement acquisition.  Real estate acquisition will include one-on-one discussion with property owners.  The project team will continue to provide project-related updates to the citizens throughout the project duration.
  • USI described the large-scale existing conditions exhibit and identified the watershed boundary (black line) and the existing storm drain systems.  The watershed boundary was described as the "ridge" line and defined the project limits.  Rain that fell on one side of the "ridge line" entered the pipe and channel systems within the Shillington drainage network.    Rain that fell other side of the "ridge" line (outside the watershed boundary), flowed into other drainage systems and away from the Shillington drainage network.  The outlet for the Shillington watershed is at the confluence with McMullen Creek.  The primary system is defined as the spine of the drainage network, which is fed by the secondary systems or branches of smaller pipe systems.  Analysis of the existing storm drain system was conducted to distinguish parts of the drainage systems that meet or do not meet current CMSWS standards.  Green-colored parcels represent property owners who returned a questionnaire response.  Additional symbols on the map represent 336-RAIN requests by citizens who have contacted CMSWS in the past and reported drainage problems.  The symbols are color coded and represent whether the request has been addressed (closed), has not been addressed (open), and the priority ranking of the problem.  The requests were previously investigated by CMSWS and ranked according to the severity of the problem.  Requests are prioritized as follows:  A–flooding problems that cause house, street, and/or structural damage; B–flooding problems that impact crawl spaces or mechanical equipment (HVAC); and C–flooding problems generally characterized by property damage, such as channel erosion, blockages, etc. 
  • USI also stated that the project must consider the potential impacts on downstream properties and roads as a result of the recommended improvements.  In addition to those locations within the Shillington watershed, properties and roads along McMullen Creek where flooding damage already occurs may have increased damage.  The analysis to date indicates that there is a potential for increased impacts to downstream properties once the culverts, closed pipe systems, and channels within Shillington are improved.  The analysis and evaluation is continuing and now directed towards investigating locations within the watershed that could be used to detain or hold storm water.  Detaining storm water within the watershed may be a feasible solution to offset downstream impacts by controlling the release of storm water to mimic existing conditions.  The locations that are being investigated include the ponds within Quail Hollow Country Club Golf Course, the vacant property at the intersection of Park Road and Gleneagles Road known as the SAKS site, and the vacant lot upstream of the Gleneagles culvert.
  • USI described the large-scale recommended improvements exhibit.  Proposed improvements are recommended based on problem areas identified from citizen input and existing condition analysis and evaluation.  These improvements are categorized and described as Existing to Remain (no improvements proposed at this time), Improvement Size and Alignment Selected (improvements are proposed and size/alignment have been selected) and Improvement Size Selected (improvements are proposed and approximate size selected, but additional citizen feedback and survey are needed to determine necessity and evaluate more detailed solutions).
  • USI reiterated that remaining phases of this project include Design, Permitting, Real Estate, Bid and Construction.  The next public meeting will present detailed design plans.

USI opened the floor for general questions from the audience. 

  • A resident inquired about USI and their project role.  USI stands for U.S. Infrastructure, a Consultant which acts as project manager on behalf of CMSWS for the Shillington project.
  • A resident asked what function the ponds serve.  Ponds generally do not serve as adequate flood control storage devices if they have a lot of water to start with during a storm.  Dry ponds or wet ponds with ample storage above the existing water level are better for flood control.  The pond upstream of Whistlestop Road does not provide significant flood control; however, this pond does provide some water quality benefits.
  • A resident asked about the green parcels shown on the large-scale exhibits.  The green shading represents those property owners who responded to the CMSWS-mailed questionnaire.
  • A resident asked who approves the project.  City Council approves the construction contract and ultimately the project.  CMSWS strives to work with the community during all phases of the project to get support, address their concerns, and address public safety concerns, such as house and street flooding. 
  • A resident asked when construction will begin.  Based on durations for a typical project, construction is not likely to begin until at least 5 years from now.
  • A resident inquired about the easement process.  CMSWS asks for property owners to donate easements to construct and maintain drainage improvements.  Easements allow CMSWS personnel to construct and maintain pipes in perpetuity, but ownership of property remains with the homeowner.  USI stated that CMSWS prefers to work with the owners to reach agreement and condemnation is not preferred.  Condemnation is considered when the improvements are necessary to eliminate a public safety problem. 
  • A resident inquired how close an easement should be to a house.  Easements should be established away from structures, such as homes.  Distance of separation depends on dimensions and depth of pipe(s).
  • A resident asked if an easement is needed for construction work performed in the street right-of-way.  CMSWS has the legal right to work in the right-of-way without property owner consent.  However, it is the desire of CMSWS to minimize disruption during construction.  Furthermore, the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) reviews all design plans and requires traffic control plans and procedures that maintain traffic and access to private property at all times.   
  • A resident asked about the duration of construction.  Construction will be performed in phases and could last for twelve (12) to twenty four (24) months.  The project size and amount of improvements influence the duration of construction.
  • A resident asked about the progression and sequence of construction.  Construction typically starts at the furthest downstream location and progresses upward through the watershed.
  • A resident asked how long it would take to construct improvements along 100 yards of roadway.  Construction duration depends on the size of the pipe and number of structures.  Construction of pipes under a roadway could possibly take up to two weeks.  Typically, three (3) or four (4) sections of pipe can be constructed in one day (one section is 6-8 feet long).  Also, because access to private properties must be available at all times and traffic conflicts must be minimized, it is likely that more than 100 yards of a roadway would not be blocked or restricted at one time. 
  • A resident inquired if there is a CIP project currently undergoing construction, so that the community could see what level of disruption occurs with a typical CIP project.  CMSWS has six (6) to seven (7) projects under construction throughout Charlotte.  Contact CMSWS staff for specific project locations.
  • A resident asked if storm drain improvements are aligned under roads or homeowners' properties.  Storm drain improvements can be under both private property and right of ways.  In most cases, new pipes are placed in the same location as old pipes.  Impacts to properties, costs, owner concerns, aesthetical value are factors considered in the determination of alignment(s) of improvements.
  • A resident asked about establishing a reservoir to store excess runoff.  Stormwater detention in reservoirs can be used to delay the timing of peak flow at the outlet of the Shillington watershed.  CMSWS is looking for opportunities for detention basins in the golf course, the empty lot between Shillington Place and Gleneagles Road, and the undeveloped SAKS site. 
  • A resident asked if the adjoining watershed poses a problem.  CMSWS/USI noted that the adjoining watershed does not influence the existing drainage systems within the Shillington project limits. CMSWS ranks CIP projects in terms of severity of priority as high, medium, or low.  The project team is not sure if the adjoining watersheds have problems right now; however, there are not any storm water projects in adjacent watersheds in the same phase as the Shillington project. CMSWS would assign a level of priority to the adjoining watershed should problems develop.
  • A resident asked about the priority of this project and if future CIP projects or budget issues would influence the priority or duration of construction on the Shillington project.  Shillington is a high priority project and the Planning Phase was started in 2003.  The team stated that once a project has started, it is not typically stopped.  CMSWS established a total budget for the project based on estimated costs for improvements before the Planning Phase began.  At that time, funds were allocated to the Shillington project.  The estimated construction costs are updated during each phase of the project and, finally, before construction. The funds to construct the project must be procured before City Council will approve the project and contractor selection.  Furthermore, CMSWS sells revenue bonds to ensure adequate project funding.
  • A resident inquired if the construction of the SAKS development would introduce more water into the existing storm drain system.  Generally, new construction like the SAKS development could increase runoff; however, SAKS is required to implement storm water control measures and meet current City standards.  Furthermore, the recommended storm drainage improvements for the Shillington watershed consider future zoning plans so that additional improvements in the future would not be needed as the watershed develops.
  • A resident asked for further explanation of the legend that contains the letters, A, B, C, etc. on the large-scale exhibits attached to the wall in front of the audience.  The letters A, B and C respectively represent levels of priorities–high, medium, low–assigned to drainage requests made by citizens in the CIP limits.  A is top priority assigned to roads and structures where flooding impacts threaten public safety and property damage occurs.  B is designated for requests where flooded crawl spaces and HVAC systems, structural damage to roads/property and drainage system structural failures occur.  C designates lower priority requests and include erosion, blockages of the system, etc.  Stars and dots respectively represent open and closed service requests in response to 336-RAIN requests.  For example, a red dot represents a closed service request that involves street and/or house flooding.

USI invited the citizens to visit one of the multiple stations manned by project team personnel to ask property-specific questions.  Each station represented a unique geographical area of the watershed. 

  • Mr. and Mrs. Fourqurean of 8314 Prince George Road declined consent to perform storm drain construction on their property, which is located in section S14 of the secondary system.  Though the entire section S14 is targeted for improvement size selected, the existing pipe that bisects 8314 and 8300 Prince George Road is of specific concern to the owners.  They stated that their neighbor at 8300 Prince George Road does not desire to have the pipe relocated closer to 8300 Prince George Road, should pipe alignment alternatives be considered.  The property owners remarked that they desire to leave their hardwood trees intact. The owners also questioned the need for improvements in section S14.  They stated that any flooding on Prince George Road is attributed to flow overtopping the channel banks behind Mrs. Paradise's property.  However, the owners did observe that the interception capacities of the yard inlets are compromised during rain events because of clogging debris.  Furthermore, they stated that runoff collects and ponds in a depression located upstream of DI 154 and would prefer to see a yard inlet placed in the depression, which is located on property owned by the Olde Georgetowne Homeowners' Association, to absorb more runoff into the pipe network.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Turnbull of 3328 Shillington Place prefer the proposed pipe alignment along Shillington Place be adjusted to the center of the intersection to minimize impacts to the existing trees along Bar Harbor Lane and Shillington Place. 
  • The Wrinkles and O'Connors at 3323 and 3309 Shillington Place strongly prefer that the existing 72" CMP, which traverses their property, be left in place as-is and function to handle local drainage, since they have landscape drainage which ties into the existing culvert.  They desire their existing trees and landscaping be disturbed as little as possible.  They would prefer not to fill the existing culvert with slurry or flowable fill since their trench drains connect to the pipe.  Some excavation may be necessary in their yards to accommodate adjustments to the existing sewer laterals.
  • Neighbors of the vacant lot (3236 Shillington Place) do not have a problem with treating this lot as a natural area or a detention basin and would prefer that it remain undeveloped.  They did express a concern that the detention basin not remain wet and become a breeding area for mosquitoes.
  • Land behind a unit of town homes (6837, 6839, 6841, 6843, 6845 and 6847 Dumbarton Drive) becomes soggy during rain events.
  • Bricks at the upstream end of a pipe segment connecting HW 190 to DI 189 in section S8 are broken and falling off.  Section S8 is located in the Olde Georgetowne subdivision immediately upstream of Prince George Road.
  • Sinkholes exist upstream of pipe connecting HW 190 to DI 189 in section S8.  Section S8 is located in the Olde Georgetowne subdivision immediately upstream of Prince George Road.
  • Flows tend to overtop at the severe bend in secondary channel eight (SC 8) located in section S2; the drop inlet that receives flow from this channel is often clogged with debris.  Section S2 is located in the Olde Georgetowne subdivision downstream of Whistlestop Road.
  • Mr. And Mrs. Calabrese of 8333 Prince George Road, who live upstream of Mrs. Paradise, said that the existing channel behind their property has become so choked with vegetation that it is encroaching on their property and taking over some of their vegetation.  This vegetation is so thick that it could also be responsible for reducing the capacity of the channel and may be causing some flooding problems.
  • Mr. Turnbull, a member of the Neighborhood Association Board, asked if there was any information or materials that he could take back to the Board and make available to the residents.  He was provided with a 24"x 36" map and will be sent an electronic file showing the proposed improvement areas.  He would like someone from the project team to attend their annual meeting on the afternoon of the last Sunday in January and will call Richard Hiner or Troy Eisenberger to make arrangements when it gets closer to the date of the meeting.
  • Ms. Suite of 8025 Prince George Road stated there is an open channel in her backyard that suffers from erosion and scour.  Runoff from Sharon Acres Road travels via overland flow in the backyards of 8009, 8017 and 8025 Prince George Road and 8331 and 8341 Bar Harbor Lane contributes to this channel erosion.  Ms. Suite asked if it was possible to re-grade this area.
  • Mrs. Taylor of 6224 Sharon Acres Rd stated that she has never observed flooding on Sharon Acres Road, but she has observed flooding and erosion in the channel that intersects her and her neighbor's properties. She added that she never viewed this as a problem (just nature) until CSWS began holding project meetings.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Carrier of 3300 Shillington Place stated that a small pipe network that crosses Gleneagles Road outfalls onto their property.  This discharge travels as sheet flow across their property into the open channel below the existing Shillington Place culvert and above the Gleneagles Road culvert.  The Carriers would prefer to have this discharge piped from the existing pipe network to the Gleneagles Road culvert.  This proposed alignment would run parallel to Gleneagles Road.  These residents also inquired about the direction and fate of flow in the above-described existing pipe network on the southern side of Gleneagles Road where the sidewalk project was performed.  The Carriers preferred to adjust the downstream end of the proposed pipe system along Shillington Place to match the existing pipe alignment.  They inquired if the entire span or a portion of the furthest downstream pipe segment can be removed to accomplish this preferred re-alignment.  The Carriers made the observation that the open channel banks at the outfall of the existing Shillington Place culvert are eroding towards their driveway.
  • Water stored in golf course ponds currently backs up onto the fairway of the seventh hole several times a year.
  • Mr. Jim Heller, P.E., an engineer from the John R. McAdams Company, would like to be informed of progress as we proceed with design.  He is involved with engineering for the golf course and is very interested in any pond designs we develop.  The golf course manager, Jeff Kent, would like to meet after the project team has completed the next conceptual assessment of potential storage areas to reduce downstream impacts to the FEMA stream. 

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