The Terre Haute City council voted to rezone part of Sycamore Terrace on Thursday night. A new zoning ordinance will allow the contractors to start the second phase of construction. Wayne Horn, the owner of land adjacent to the development, spoke out against the measure. An improperly constructed retention pond caused silt to run onto the Horn property. Horn believes that the damage done by the pond has lowered the value of his land.
Sycamore Terrace's first phase called for a retention pond to control erosion. Silt and mud from the pond flow onto the Horn's property through a three-foot storm drain.. The drain flows into a ditch that was originally used to provide drainage to a corn field. The ditch remained dry before construction on Sycamore Terrace began. Now,. Mud flows through the area continuously, and the owner say that he needs mud boots to walk through the area.
Meyer's Engineering drew the design for the retention wall and the retention pond. City engineer Charles Ennis reviewed the plans. According to Ennis, the engineering firm designed the erosion control measures properly, but Thompson Thrift did not follow the engineering company's plans. (Note: this corrects an earlier Examiner article.) Terre Haute cited Thompson's Thrift for two MS-4 erosion control violations.
Horn made his case at last week's city council meeting, and he repeated his appeal this week. Although he was disappointed with the outcome, council members had warned him that the measure would pass City engineers have reviewed the plans to make sure the water retention pond and wall met standards. Even though the site currently meets erosion control regulations, the damage has been done. Councilman Bob All attempted to work with the Horns and Thompson Thrift to reach a solution. He arranged to meet with both parties on Wednesday. All and the Horns met at the agreed upon time. No representative from Thompson's Thrift showed up.
The housing project's second phase calls for additional drainage to the east and west. Despite the plans for new drainage, Horn believes adding more houses to the development will cause further damage to his property. The work Thompson's Thrift did on phase gives Horn little hope that Phase 2 will not cause any additional issues.