My question involves an easement in the state of: New York
I have about a half acre of property. There is a drainage easement along the left side and along the back side. On the left side, there is a storm drain on the street, and a drainage pipe runs underground about half way down the property, at which point the pipe comes above ground and dumps the water to run freely down the rest of that side of the property. It runs down to the back, and then across the back from left to right. I believe that the entire easement should be contained underground with a french drain. If you look to the back of my property to the neighbor to my left, he has a drainage pipe along the back which comes out above ground at my property. Then the water runs across my lawn to the right, and across the lawn of my neighbor to the right, and then it goes back underground on the next neighbor's property. I can't understand why when they built the neighborhood they put in this piping but skipped my property and the neighbor to the right.
Also, on the side of my property when the pipe comes above ground, there is nearly no grade for the water to run down, nor is there any kind of ditch. Across the side and back, it's simply lawn. That means any time it's been raining, it's impossible to get the lawn mowed for the next week or two because when it rains that section of my lawn turns into a running stream. In addition, trash that gets washed from the street down the drain ends up spread out on my lawn, and I even found a dead mouse in the mess as well. Plus since there is no well defined place for the water to run, there is ALWAYS a stagnant pool of water at the outlet of the pipe where it's perfect for mosquitoes to grow.
Now about a year and a half ago I submitted a drainage complaint to the town, complete with documentation and plenty of pictures. I've been told that something will happen eventually, but I keep getting excuses of budget and weather causing nothing to happen. I have been keeping a log of all my calls to the person I've been talking to in the zoning department, and that log goes back almost a year now. I'm really starting to loose my patience with this, as it is a major headache each week when I mow the lawn, especially when I have to go pick up trash first. Do I have any legal ground to perhaps take the town to court? I did find the below text in the town code which is all available online, but I'm not a legal guy so I don't know if it's applicable or helpful to me. Is there anything I can do to make them move on this issue? Thanks very much for any advice.
§ 185-16. Storm drainage.
A. All subdivisions shall be related to the drainage pattern affecting the areas involved, with proper provision to be made for adequate storm drainage facilities. Storm drainage plans shall reflect potential surface runoff within the drainage area after development and shall comply with the requirements of the designated engineer of the Town or Town Planning Board and Onondaga County Public Works Commissioner, where applicable.
B. Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainageway, channel or stream, there shall be provided a stormwater easement or drainage right-of-way conforming substantially with the lines of such watercourse, and of such width as to encompass the twenty-five-year-flood area of such watercourse.
C. Right-of-way for storm drainage must be sufficient for facilities to handle not only the anticipated discharge from the property being subdivided, but also the anticipated runoff that will occur when property at a higher elevation in the drainage basin is elevated.
D. All subdivisions shall comply with Chapter 179 of the Cicero Town Code.
[Added 12-10-2007 by L.L. No. 18-2007]