By Sharon Daly
Commish Chris Harris tells us that the VFP has no ordinance against in-ground downspouts. Can anyone explain how this is possible? In the case of new construction, does the village have the 'power' to insist on above-ground downspouts or are we doomed and our Electeds and the whole damn Building Department should just go home and clean up the flood mess in their homes?
Chris reports he has requested such an ordinance and that it be enforced upon transfer of property (property sale.)
Odds & Ends:
1) After the FloodFest at the Community Center three years ago, Commish Tom Mannix told me the village would need Home Rule in order to enforce a downspout ordinance.
2) The village talks about downsputs a lot.
3) Yes, we understand that there are a minority of properties where above-ground downspouts are not an option, for safety and other reasons.
4) As VFP requires home inspections before a property can transfer, do they need Home Rule to insist that GFI outlets be installed next to the bathtub?
5) Forest Park homeowners deserve a clear, sensible answer.
UPDATE: from Chief Glinke...
"The Village has for many years prohibited direct connections to the storm/san system for new construction although I cannot give you a time when this became the standard. Permitted connections for "development" are covered in Chapter 11 "Flood Control" of the village code. This requires engineering/MWRD review and approval and does not apply to single family dwellings.
For the three years I have been Director, the Department has made every attempt to require disconnection (for surface discharge) of downspouts as part of the title transfer inspection. The qualifying "every attempt" is a function of practicality. Simply put in over-built urban areas there are circumstances whereby disconnection may exacerbate surface flooding and create neighbor-neighbor disputes ANY time it rains. I respectfully disagree that such cases represent a "minority" as you suggest. We get downspout/dispute calls frequently.
The enforced code of this office comes from the International Property Maintenance Code, Section 507 Storm Drainage, "Drainage of roofs and paved areas, yards and courts, and other open areas on the premises shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance". There simply is no one-size-fits-all solution and this is yet another example of the difficulties we encounter when attempting to apply contemporary building codes to a 100+ year old densely built environment." 4/22/13
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