Condo association blames neighboring developer for muddy mess

Messenger photo by Rachel Scofield
The Taylor Square Condominium retention pond has turned brown from excess construction silt.  The condo association blames the developer of a neighboring property for tapping into their storm sewer without permission.

The Taylor Square condominium association is accusing developer Donald W. Kelly & Associates with making a muddy mess after it allegedly tapped into the association’s storm sewer without permission.

The developer received permission from the city to build new condos on land abutting the existing condos – under the condition that the developer enter into an agreement with Taylor Square to tap into its storm sewer.

The developer did tap into the storm water system, but allegedly without the consent of Taylor Square, association member Michael Hof told Reynoldsburg City Council members at their Nov. 10 meeting.

"The city just assumed it was taken care of and now we are stuck in the middle," Hof said.

"Reynoldsburg is built on handshake agreements," city attorney Jed Hood said.  "We do take people on their word to accommodate people who want to develop in our city. That is sometimes to our detriment."

Now, the water in the association’s retention pond is brown from the construction run-off.

A contractor estimated the cost to restore the pond to be $38,000 plus the cost of a new pump.

"There is 12 inches of fresh silt (in the pond) and it’s kinda an eyesore," Hof said.

The developer told the city that it planned to join the condo association thereby contributing to the cost of maintaining the storm sewer and retention pond, city officials say. Later the developer told the city that it changed its plan from condos to apartments, therefore it could not join the association.

The city did not grant permission for apartments.

"We don’t get to pick who chooses to develop here," Council president William Hills said, "but if they don’t do what they say they are going to do, they are not welcome back. The developer made misstatements at best – if not lies to the city."

Hills said he prefers the new buildings "not sit empty," then "everyone would pay" as a result of the city’s misplaced trust in the developer.

Had the developer planned the buildings for condos and joined the Taylor Square association, a second retention pond would have been dug, "plus they would have shared the cost to clean up the construction mess they created," Hof said.

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