New Development Affecting My Lofty Community? HELP!
I'm not sure if there is anyone here who will have any knowledge of this matter or not (and if not I'm sorry for taking your time!), but I'm desperately searching for knowledge that I have thus far been unable to find anywhere.
I currently live in a loft in a 200 year old converted warehouse. The building, unfortunately, does not have a concrete foundation... it was built directly on the clay that was on the site way back when.
A new housing development is being built on the lot directly behind my building, with a proposal from the developper that the closest building to mine will be 15 feet from the back of our building. I am worried about potential damage this could do to our building... I have been told that there is a possibility of two things happening:
1) The planned elevation of the new development is higher than the land my building sits on. I've been told there is a possibility that this will cause my building to flood. The developper has drainage plans in place, but a member of my community insists that this still will likely be a problem.
2) Digging the foundations of a townhome that close to the back of our building could cause our building to shift and or sink, due to the fact that it could draw clay from our foundation.
Does anyone have any ideas on how likely/possible these scenarios are? If we pursue this matter legally, it's going to cost a lot of money we really don't have, so I'm desperately trying to gather facts before making a decision.
If anyone has any advice/information/suggestions, I'd be utterly greatful!
Thanks for reading!
On the drainage problem, a developer is required to do a drainage analysis of the area as it is before the development. He is then required to do an analysis of the area after the proposed development. The peak flowrate of the runoff is required to be reduced to existing or below levels. In order to do this, developers often use storage ponds, which will slowly release the water. So, you MAY have an increase in rainfall runoff, but only if the developer does not do his job correctly. You can get a copy of the developers stormwater analysis report from the local conservation district. In the report should be a topographic map of the proposed area for the development. This map should show the proposed drainage area for the development, and where the ponds are. Maybe your building is higher than the development, and all of your runoff runs downhill. Maybe not.
Also, clay is a very non plastic, cohesive soil. Unless you have a very high water table, you should be fine.
As alex said. You may want to pay for a PE to ascertain the current condition of the building in case anything changes. His assessment will give you a benchmark if legal remedies are required in the future.
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