More about the Ocean Sands and Crown Point Stormwater Committee

About the Stormwater Committee

As noted in our first communication, the Stormwater Committee was formed at the April 2014 annual meeting of the Ocean Sands Property Owners Association.  Subsequently, the Crown Point POA joined the Committee.  Currently there are discussions with several other contiguous communities with varying levels of interest.

The Committee is responding to the outcry from our community for a solution to the repeated flooding of their homes, surrounding areas and local streets over many years.  Beyond the negative effects on rental activities, this standing water poses many health hazards and negatively impacts property values (after all, who wants to pay top dollar in an area that floods?).  Of course, different storms bring different effects on different properties.  Also, there are many diverse players involved with multiple, competing objectives and needs.   Due to the complexities involved, both from an engineering and a “political” standpoint, the Committee concluded that a continuous focused effort was needed to resolve the many issues related to the stormwater problem.

Mission

We all know the cause of flooding – rain storms, Nor’easters and hurricanes!  But the conditions that create or allow pervasive flooding are different and varying.  The Committee’s mission and objectives are several:

  • First, to determine the reasons why the Northern Outer Banks communities are experiencing the levels and constancy of floods.
  • Second, to identify any potential solutions that address all aspects – topographic, land use, regulatory, technical, fiscal, as well as political constraints.
  • Third, to determine the optimal resolution which takes into account the cost and financing aspects, the engineering challenges, government regulations and the needs of all constituencies.

The Committee has agreed that a major objective or, more accurately, a key responsibility, is our obligation to provide owners with an understanding of all aspects of this very complex multi-community recurring problem.

Membership

There are currently 14 Ocean Sands and Crown Point homeowner members on the Committee, plus Eric Weatherly, the county engineer, and the Coastland participants.  We are overwhelmed by how many people are willing to volunteer significant amounts of their time for such a daunting task, so we would like to introduce the Committee members to you.

Homeowner representatives:

  • Ed PenceCommittee Chair– Structural Engineer, Founding Partner and Principal of engineering firm of Stroud, Pence and Associates, Ltd.; Virginia Beach, VA.
  • Terry Anderson – Land development engineer/land use planner, Board Member Ocean Sands Water & Sewer District.
  • Linda Garczynski – Environmental consultant, retired Director of the USEPA brownfields program.
  • Karl Suter – Geotechnical engineer with 34 years of experience including groundwater, earth dams, structure foundations, and ground improvement as well as construction inspection and testing.
  • Barbara Marzetti – Board Member OS Water & Sewer District, Corolla Civic Association President & founding member, local business owner, former OSPOA Board Member.
  • Barrie McLeod – Board Member Crown Point POA, Retired Nuclear Engineer, Energy Consultant, and Mathematician.
  • Gerri Adams – Board Member Crown Point POA, teacher, jewelry appraiser, and business owner.
  • Rick Kinner – Board Member Ocean Sands POA, retired insurance executive, tax & business consultant.
  • Al Marzetti – Board Member:  Ocean Sands POA, Currituck County Economic Development Advisory Board, Corolla Education Foundation (WEVS), CFR Foundation; Corolla Magistrate, retired tax attorney.
  • Pat Riley – Board Member & Chair, OS Water & Sewer District, former Member OSPOA Board & Currituck County Planning Board.
  • Jeanne Fitzpatrick – Active member of Corolla Fire and Rescue, Friends of the Corolla Library, and the Corolla Civic Association, retired from Fannie Mae.
  • Bill Dondarski – Chemical Engineer, Retired Senior Executive in Chemical Industry.
  • Peggy Cowdrill – Retired Nurse Practitioner.
  • David Cowdrill – Retired Engineer, Ceramic Artist.

Coastland participants:

  • Bob DeFazio – OS Property Manager for Coastland, President of OSPOA
  • Braxton Hill – Attorney for Coastland Corp., Board Member of OS Water & Sewer District
  • Carlos Gomez – Engineer for Coastland
  • Jeanne Marcinko – Coastland employee, OSPOA Treasurer
  • Sara Duling – Coastland employee, OSPOA Secretary

Technical guidance & assistance provided to the Committee by Eric Weatherly, Currituck County Engineer

On-Going Activities

The Committee has been meeting monthly since the beginning of 2015, with a majority of the Committee members at each meeting in the County satellite office or the Corolla Library.  We have formed a number of subcommittees to address different aspects of this highly complex issue.  The subcommittees are having conference calls, conducting research and developing recommendations for their areas. Activities to-date include:

  • Ongoing discussions with Moffatt & Nichol following receipt of their preliminary study.
  • Dialogue started with other POA and HOA organizations to gauge interest in participating in a global solution.
  • Communicating with entities which might take our collected storm water.
  • On-going efforts to engage Coastland Corporation in arriving at a comprehensive solution.

Significant time has also been spent by numerous Committee members to put in place stop-gap measures to mitigate flooding issues caused by the recent storms (and we can’t emphasize enough just how lucky we were that Hurricane Joaquin moved out to sea).

The Stormwater Committee will continue to communicate with all owners and share news and developments about our efforts.  All of the owners and residents within our communities must be made aware of all components of this multifarious problem.  We believe that people must recognize that there are many ways they may be impacted by the pervasive flooding in the northern outer banks – not just whether they have standing water in or under their house.   In addition to damage to homes and personal property, pervasive and continual flooding impacts access to rental property, dents fair rental values and increases insurance rates.  Obviously, potential flooding conditions result in reduced property values for all.  Moreover, there is a clear and lasting impact on the appearance of our communities and the impression people have of Ocean Sands and Crown Point, not to mention the potential adverse health impacts from standing water.

Please pass this information on to your friends and neighbors as we still don’t have a complete email list of all property owners and can’t afford postal mailings.  Tell them to email:  OceanSandsStormwater@gmail.com so that we can add them to our list for future updates.  Thanks for your help and cooperation & stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “More about the Ocean Sands and Crown Point Stormwater Committee”

  1. As a new home owner in Section F of Ocean Sands Sea Loft Village, I am very concerned about the flooding. Every time we get any substantial rain I worry about the flooding issue. I can only hope this problem can be resolved. By looking at the list of committee members there is a substantial amount of talent there to handle the challenge. I am anxious to hear outcome and recommendations of how we can resolve this flooding issue. Thanks to all who participate.

    1. The issue of flooding is real. If your home doesn’t flood, standing water in the streets could prevent access to yours, and other homes. This could negatively affect market and rental values of your and other homes. Health and safety are a concern as well. We hope that you will stay tuned for more details about a comprehensive solution, coming in early April. Thank you for your comments.

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