March 13, 1997

County Sues Developers Over Stormwater System In/Around: Moran Prairie

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane County has filed a lawsuit against the developers of a Moran Prairie subdivision, claiming their stormwater diversion system doesn’t meet county standards.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ron Arkills alleges in a complaint filed last week that the developers of J.J. Land Third Addition failed to satisfy an agreement with the county for an adequate stormwater system.

The county is seeking an order from Superior Court to require the developers to improve the stormwater system and to pay the county for work it has done in an effort to get the existing system to work. The subdivision at 57th and Rebecca has 27 homes and was developed by Frank Etter and James Welsh.

Etter was not immediately available for comment about the lawsuit, but in an earlier interview he said much of the stormwater is coming from property up the slope from J.J. Land and is not his development’s responsibility.

The county requires developers to handle stormwater coming off their subdivisions.

“There’s a problem up there we want to get solved,” Arkills said. “I think it’s in everyone’s interest to work toward a solution.”

Etter and Welsh signed an agreement with the county in 1991 to install a system that meets county acceptance. The county has never accepted the system at J.J. Land.

They are named as defendants along with their wives, Patricia Etter and Jacqueline Welsh, and Michael and Sharon Welsh, and Jack and Mary Jane Wilson.

The developers tried to address storm runoff during construction. They built settling ponds at the front of the subdivision along 57th Avenue and laid storm pipes to help move stormwater to those ponds.

During heavy rainstorms, the water floods the streets entering the subdivision off 57th Avenue. It has backed up into yards and flooded the basements of a few homes, residents said. The problem was so bad during a New Year’s Eve storm that nearly four feet of water poured into the home of Dean and Carrie Capaul, who live in an older subdivision next to J.J. Land.

The subdivision is one the worst spots for flooding in southeast Spokane, an area plagued by stormwater problems. The county is studying the possibility of a storm sewer system throughout the Glenrose watershed, which includes Browne Mountain and Moran Prairie.

, DataTimes


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