Developers of subdivision suing engineering firm for delays

Developers of subdivision suing engineering firm for delays

Source: http://www.tribtown.com, October 4, 2018
By: January Rutherford

The developer of Burkart Crossing Apartments in Seymour is suing an engineering firm for “poor” design and implementation of plans for a 104-lot subdivision on the city’s northeast side.

Construction of homes has yet to begin in Redbud Meadows subdivision, located on about 60 acres of property north and northeast of the apartments.

The major hangups are due to ongoing stormwater drainage issues and roads that were not built wide enough to meet city code.

Attorneys for Bushmann LLC of Columbus have filed a complaint in Jackson Superior Court I for breach of contract against LandWater Group Inc., also of Columbus.

The complaint states Bushmann entered into an oral agreement in 2013 with LandWater Group to prepare zoning documents and development plans for the subdivision.

Those plans were to be designed to meet city code so the city would accept the subdivision into its inventory.

In November 2017, the city approved the development’s sanitary sewers and lift station but would not accept the stormwater drainage system due to its poor design or the streets because they were too narrow.

City code requires residential streets to be 33 feet wide and sidewalks to be 5 feet wide. The streets in Redbud Meadows measure 30 feet in width, and the sidewalks are only 4 feet wide.

The city sent a letter to Bushmann in November 2016 indicating noncompliance.

Bushmann claims LandWater Group did not properly measure the streets or sidewalks.

LandWater Group’s failure to design the subdivision to industry standards and to city code constitutes a breach in the contract, according to Bushmann’s lawsuit.

Bushmann also states in the complaint that two residential lots were lost because the design of the stormwater drainage system required a retention pond where those two lots would otherwise have been located.

The lawsuit also described the retention pond and stormwater drainage system as “faulty.”

Bushmann claims LandWater Group failed to conduct a hydrology study prior to designing the stormwater drainage system, and the design had the system at the wrong depth to handle drainage adequately.

According to Bushmann, this failure led to heavy flooding on several occasions, including an event in February 2017 that resulted in and continues to result in damages.

The lawsuit claims Bushmann paid LandWater Group in accordance to its contract and has spent $406,011.98 to date to fix the design flaws and will have to spend more money in the future.

Bushmann also is claiming lost income from the development and other financial losses due to the lengthy delay.

The developers are demanding a jury trial, which has not been set at this time. LandWater Group has not answered the complaint but was given a deadline of Nov. 5.

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