By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Planners approve controversial Oak Ridge development

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Things have changed in the nine years since the application was approved. The developers greed and the city’s greed shine through in this little debacle. Common sense has flown out the window in the last 25 years. Now if somebody doesn’t get their way the first thing they do is bring out the lawyers. The world needs a lot less lawyers and a lot more working things out amongst themselves.


Why am I not surprised ? Why listen to the neighborhood when city and developer can make some more profit. And good to know that they will spend the money wisely



More cheaply made, over priced, garbage homes made by “Premier” Homes.

Only this time, it’s damaging wetlands.

Ah, but look at the potential tax revenue these houses will generate.

Because that’s all that matters, right?

Sandi Colvin

Just an FYI for Tom Henderson - there were not two hydrologists dueling at the hearing. There was one hydrology report submitted from a firm that has been in business for nearly 40 years, and there was Premier's attorney pretending to be a hydrologist.

Premier's attorney is not an engineer, nor a hydrologist although she did have an engineer sitting next to her to give the illusion that her numbers were legitimate. She stated as fact, that the report from PBS engineering was wrong. We should take her word over the expert PBS? Seriously?

Premier is, in fact, in the process of doing a hydrology report. Whether they submit it as testimony or not remains to be seen. Will they submit it if it isn't in their favor?

PBS's report didn't help our case as much as we were hoping it would, but we submitted it anyway. There's a dire warning in that report of flooding events that will be coming besides the ones that are happening now. It also states that should FEMA update their 36 year old map with current infrastructure that's contributing to the hydrology of Baker Creek, it would show that the basin is now partially in flood plain. By not updating the FEMA map, developers won't have to disclose that information, thus putting homeowners at risk of flood damage or worse.

Heather Richards says that updating the hydrology could have an affect on home values. Not updating it will most certainly have an affect when those same homeowners lose their homes to flooding without any flood insurance. They aren't going to be told they need it.

Current hydrology affecting Baker Creek is available now. It seems to me the city should be concerned about litigation when that flooding happens should they allow this development to take place. At the very least, the city should commission their own hydrology study if they're calling into question any of PBS's data.

Sandi Colvin

If anyone is interested, you can find a summary letter from PBS's hydrology report here:

And the entire report here:

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