Neighbour of proposed Arthur subdivision concerned about flooding

WELLINGTON NORTH — Tracey Swift, whose home borders on the 35 townhouse subdivision being planned for Arthur, fears the new subdivision will worsen flooding she has had on her property and in her home.

There is a planned retaining wall to be built at the north end of the new subdivision or south end of Swift’s property. Water pools in that spot and flows towards where the retaining wall is to go. So Swift worries that the water will have nowhere to go and the flooding she has had in the past will be much worse.

The proposed new subdivision would involve 35 town homes being built south of Domville Street and west of Conestoga Street in Arthur. The developer is VED Homes.

Smith was the lone citizen to delegate at the public meeting on the proposed development Tuesday night in Kennilworth. One other resident left written comments.

“Our biggest concern, I am speaking on behalf of my property which is 303 Domville and my neighbour Wanda Vander Veen, 305 Domville, and it’s in regards to the existing ponding of water in our backyard that happens every year, every spring, every time we get a heavy rain, as soon as the ground gets saturated our backyard ponds,” Swift said.

Swift has taken action against the issue but there is a flooding problem that remains.

“We have both done some mitigation measures to keep the water out of our house. It does tend to leak into our crawl spaces, our basement quite readily and we have done everything we can to this point, to minimize water coming into our house,” Swift said.

The water will naturally drain towards where the retaining wall would be built. So the excess water will no longer have a natural route away from the area.

“Our sites appear to be naturally draining like overflow through to the field to the south. And there currently is a retaining wall that is planned on this development that I think will negatively impact the drainage of our backyard,” Swift said.

The photo Swift provided shows how the water builds up and drains to the south, where the subdivision will be.

“The picture that I submitted that will be circulated, you’ll see that ponding is actually in our backyard and extends well into the field and this happens several times a year,” Swift said.

Swift continues to look for solutions to a flooding problem that, without specific solutions incorporated into the subdivision plan, could get worse.

“So one of the other mitigating measures we were going to do this summer was extend all our downspouts to the backyard but now it's not sure that it’s actually something that I should be doing because I can view this retaining wall is actually going to hinder the drainage of our property. That’s my biggest concern,” Swift said.

Scott Patterson, of Patterson Planning Consultants Inc., speaking on behalf of the applicant, VED Homes, assured Swift that her concerns will be taken seriously.

“We will be getting back to you directly or through township, municipal staff about that issue and retaining wall and basically the water issue in your backyard. We don’t want to see that get any worse than it is naturally in the long term. So it’s something that we’ll be looking into for sure,” Patterson said.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Jesse Gault, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,