VISIT: SEJ, Society of Environmental Journalists
PINECREST, FLA. SKIPS POSITIVE DRAINAGE, HAILS UNTRIED SUMP-MOAT-TOILET DESIGN
5/27/17. No building, but tree moving, one transplanted to exact location drain system should be. Hurricane season begins June 1.
3/27/17. ALL remaining trees in sumpland area butchered, chainsawed. Years of growth felled in a few hours. Inland floodplain destroyed: positive drainage in area does not exist. Acreage will be a sumpland-moat-toilet overflowing into homes below.
Second home inside development nearly complete, houses higher than next, water circling like a flush loo with no place to go. Stormwater sewers/sufficient drains absent inside plat. // Zika, CDC. Zika. Current news. Two more species, perhaps 35 species transmit.//
A: What would you think?
Image from unnamed storm in October 2013. Moat land, 2015. Aquifer breach, and cesspool in May 2016 below.
03.27.17 //STILL NO POSITIVE DRAINAGE. Storm above was a night time event, photo taken the following morning. Streets and area flooded when berm(s) overtopped. TODATE: A separate stormwater sewer system does not exist and despite the documented risk, was never proposed. Eight plus years later, area remains without a sewer stormwater outlet.
03/27/17. Morning of March 27. LAST OLDER, MATURE TREE alongside house chainsawed.
03/13/17. GOING— GONE! Most TREES in this image felled, untold decades of growth cut.
Trees had absorbed some stormwater. No more canopy, city again backtracked on its own rules. Photo above 9/24/16. Model home opened for viewing. Certification of occupancy issued October 2016. Camouflaged earthen undrained stormwater holding tank southside.
Acreage had been an INLAND floodplain until the city deemed it too valuable to pass up.
Southside of the completed two-million-dollar sumpland luxury home, 9500 SW 72 Court. Ten mansions are planned. This one features a 5-ft deep sump pit, a flooding hatchery side yard, stormwater from the elevated acreage above runs into it. There is no sewer outlet, you see the result (page top), and cesspool below. Plus, breaching the aquifer for drainage following three floods, and moat land — pictorial underneath.
Notice fence in horse pasture above. Prior to 2008, fence had divided higher wetlands from lower sumpland. During the rainy reason, horses were kept in stalls on higher terrain to keep their hooves from rotting.
The mansion under construction (summer, 2016) is built in the lower sumpland, atop marl soil. All the water from acres above rush into the mansion's southside yard. When the berm (s) top, the area floods. Otherwise stagnant water pools inside and remains for days. Marl soil, a defining wetland / sumpland feature, is not very permeable. A true positive drainage system at the lowest point, or anywhere, does not exist.
JULY 13, 2016 — U.S. EPA Weighs in on Pinecrest Mess, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Cites Developer (Pinecrest didn't see necessity of doing)
7.13.16 (Reply Due Date 8/13/16)
Builder cited! "Please be advised that engaging in construction activities of greater than one acre (including those as part of a larger common development plan) without an appropriate or valid permit issued by the Department is prohibited in accordance with section 403.161(1)(b), Fla. Stat., and 62- 620.300(2), F.A.C. Facilities or activities without proper NPDES Stormwater permit coverage may be subject to enforcement action." .... "The Department requests that you respond within 30 days of receipt of this letter indicating one of the following:
In the beginning, October 2008, with backhoe stuck in 18 inches of muck, first warnings ignored.
Since then, three significant floods during the years of 2008, 2013 and 2015, all after the wetland was messed with. After the flood of 2013 ...
In December of 2014, city officials banned the word SUMPLAND (link to site titled "Pinecrest Bans Sumpland") during a Village council meeting. In December 2015, MOAT LAND materialized.
"Pinecrest has provided a service no other city has so readily offered: a mosquito sanctuary for disease carrying insects — a hatchery for ZIKA bloodsuckers on land permitted for mansions without a place for the water to go — a breeding ground in a populous neighborhood subdivision lacking a positive stormwater drainage system, a.k.a, a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4)."
February 6, 2016. Health news.
The Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Standing water without drainage is a breeding ground. Building continues minus drainage. Heath threat is /was predicted.
December 5, 2015. MOATLAND arrives!
Days after climate talks in Key West. Rainstorms, a downpour, building in sumpland is underway without a drainage plan, and we flooded in a way we did NOT experience before land was tampered with.
10/29/15: PINECREST ALLOWS HOMES ON SENSITIVE LAND WITHOUT DRAINAGE, sumpland houses to imperil existing neighborhood and future.
My city of Pinecrest participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and residents and businesses receive subsidized rates for flood insurance. Rather than finding a solution for the specific and documented risk, my city has abandoned its responsibility to prepare against a definite foreseeable event. They are negligent in meeting their responsibility as a municipality to adequately prevent the flooding of my neighborhood and property.
Drainage an afterthought while an entire neighborhood faces foreseeable and dangerous flooding events. Three have occurred since acreage was filled and elevated, one in 2008, the other in 2013, and most recently in December of 2015. The city's first Stormwater Master Plan was completed and excluded a sumpland solution: a fix does not exist. Trouble ahead for S FL area, more so for Pinecrest as leaders push for mansions at our neighborhoods' expense — immediate gratification over sound planning. The sumpland had been a natural ecosystem that controlled flooding yet rather than proactive measures, the city ceded its own protection by ignoring the initiative to identify and preserve lowlands for future needs — the pumps ahead.
|December 5, 2015. Bootie selfie, |
water 7 inches on city street
Pinecrest permitted the 5 acres of land in 2008 without drainage as they couldn't figure it out, and /or didn't want to pay for, so the cost and doing was left to developers.
ONGOING, 03/ 30/ 2016 ** Inland sea rise a parenthesis, a moat land not even on the drawing board. Building continues without drainage despite 3 floods in the years 2008, 2013 and 2015, all after the altered sumpland became a flooding field rather than a protector, its spread from rolling acreage into a flood basin along side the 2.4 million dollar mansion in progress. City refused to reclaim even as core responsibility of government is to protect.
Click to read: The Siege of Miami Click to read: A Rising Tide Click, Greenland is Melting
26 OCTOBER 2015 — month of 2008 + 2013 unnamed flooding events + King Tide, highest water level. TS Danny, Erika, Hurricane Joaquin missed. The next storm coming. Pinecrest: please tell me you have a plan for ANY heavy rains: pumps, ditches, a gully— a northern drain basin in sumpland. Reply from City: denies 24 hr standing water this year, wants a wall? On limestone? Water rises from underneath! Won't reclaim even as core responsibility of gov't is to protect. ** Post in NYT re Hurricane Patricia / Andrew, both Cat 5, we did not flood, sumpland saved us, was intact. Same for Katrina and Wilma, we did NOT flood! Scroll to see.
21 SEPTEMBER 2015 — Budget hearing, NO line item for reclaiming land, or area fDeception by city & builder for sumpland mansions. More scheming, stalling: ignoring. Irrefutable Risk Necessitates Immediate Action to Add Drainage Basin///Protection is Paramount. Click to read. Also,Pinecrest Florida 33156 Floods. Also, Pinecrest Bans Sumpland
Dredging a second illegal lake may seem extreme, but given the situation, it is valid planning — the viability of it sounder than filling in to begin with. Less preposterous than permitting ten plots for mansions on land lacking drainage that floods. Less egregious than being told again and again ten luxury sites fit the bill and never mind the existing neighborhood and homes.
Updated August 10, 2015. PINECREST UNDERWATER post: With the worst of hurricane season ahead, the complacency of homeowners, fearing lower property values, ..... Click to read
Updated July 17, 2015. Cited for unauthorized, illegal land clearing June 9, GC3 Development dumps 40 x 5 foot high fill in cross section of acreage. // Lacking drainage, their plans failed inspection in May 2015 due to to that issue, the builder's responsibility unmet. Pinecrest permitted the land in 2008 without drainage as they couldn't figure it out, and /or didn't want to pay for, so the burden and cost of doing left to developers. Now, there is a semi-cleared lot on one parcel and truckloads of fill on another. City still with green light for mansions as GREC aka Bindor + GC3 for Pinecrest Place join the dubious ranks of former owners.
Updated June 26, 2015.
Newly found images show scope of flooding, placed here and on sister sites. Look at them and ask yourself how acreage from a sumpland and horse pasture became a flooding field and why people are reluctant to come forward.
Updated June 9, 2015
Pre-fab sign for holding permit posted. Large area at 72 Ave. and 96 St., illegally cleared by developer without one. Police arrived and stopped for now. City knew plans were in progress but had not permitted. Q: Knowing the land must be reclaimed, cost effective drainage is not possible, why were plans even considered? Pinecrest Afloat has photos of police on scene and flooding of area in 2013 recently found. Sumpland site is also popular. This site was first and contains more history. There are 7 total, listed below. All begin with Pinecrest.
Updated June 4, 2015. Hurricane season began. Land filled, elevated 2 feet a disaster.
Pinecrest's Public Shaming: Flooding Families
Author's grandson & friends, summer 2008, same
area as below in backyard
|Flooding, October 2008|
It has taken Katrina’s victims ten years to apply the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to their favor. This Pinecrest issue has been going on since 2008, albeit on a much smaller scale yet my neighborhood and property have unwittingly become the victims of Pinecrest’s negligence.
Maid Wading to Pinecrest Home Grabs Visitors
|Pinecrest: inland city afloat|
Still flouting building code, claims of "infusing elegance" on sumpland homes as name changes to Pinecrest Place, 4th owner. Acres of flooding field re-approved for mansions @ 2.7 million a pop. No answers on stormwater estimate of 40 M that excludes sumpland mess. Canal hook-ups for positive drainage system a no-go, canals overflow. TIME TO RECLAIM — Pinecrest's flawed filling folly is not fixable. A floodplain best.
Seminal Event that Revealed Future Omitted from Council Agenda
|2013. Five foot holding basin topped, streets and backyards —an entire neighborhood flooded.|
* Descriptive 'sumpland' for lowland without drainage rebuked in Pinecrest by Pinecrest officials at Dec. 2014 meeting. Truth sounds bad.
June 5. Hurricane season 2015 begins. Realizing that local government filters block the word BANS, as in Pinecrest Bans Sumpland, I placed the jpeg (image) of the site here. Pinecrest Bans Sumpland reveals a wetland habitat despite the desecration my city allowed. The entire area must be reclaimed.
|Sumpland filled and elevated.|
Indented tree roots at entrance to 96 Street
* Curiously, percolating tests of MARL soil showed it passed inspection on undeveloped sumpland. By definition "drainage of marl soil is poor or very poor," cite <http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/tr004>. Sumpland: a seasonally inundated basin, a wetlands classification. * Curiously, CLAY fill was permitted, truckloads, perhaps tons, (refer to google images below) of non porous fill was allowed on sumpland that had served the mid-century homes built around and above it. Sumpland had been an effective water retention site and ecologically sound.
* In 2008, land was elevated, and filled without drainage. Can you imagine! I've been unable to locate a permit for the incorrect clay filling used. The city blamed inland sea rise for the disastrous flooding results, and denied their flawed permitting.
* Nearly five acres of low-lying horse pasture had been a natural sump — sumpland, a seasonally inundated basin, a geomorphic wetlands classification. During meeting Pinecrest disowned sumpland term, said must call sumpland 'horse pasture' except it had been both. The original owner had to take great care that the horses hooves would not rot. Although flood criteria requirements did not apply to undeveloped land, filling in wetlands is a Federal crime.
* There was never a connection to the canals that empty into Biscayne Bay; the sump was the drainage system. Now, linking is illegal, canals are full re: sea rise.
* Despite the evidence, rather than reclaiming the sumpland to combat the undisputed reality of inland sea rise, City insists mansions can be built on land without drainage. Says residents are on their own to fix city's HUGE blunder that is not fixable from homeowners side.
Following morning, 12+ hours later. (Oct 2013 was a night time storm) Flooding over side berm along and into the neighborhood.
The back berm with a 5 foot pit behind it also overtopped, flooded additional streets as well as backyards.
|Foliage / tree clearing in progress, 2008.|
Land was denuded lickety-split.
November 2014. Study from Climate Change Summit, Miami Beach, October 1 & 2, 2014
Was an eye-opener. Scroll down for news release, summary and images.
June 2014. Hurricane season begins.
My city of Pinecrest participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and residents and businesses receive subsidized rates for flood insurance. Rather than finding a solution for the specific and documented risk, my city has abandoned its responsibility to prepare against a definite foreseeable event. They are negligent in meeting their responsibility as a municipality to adequately prevent the flooding of my property. (DHS OIG C1410042)
ALSO, see image on bottom from Google Earth / Maps showing land filling in progress.
VIDEO: WPBT TV program link: South Florida's Rising Seas
NEWS: Reuters Investigates. Link to Water's Edge. Also NYT, Climate Has Changed
- January 28, 2014 Pinecrest Floods
- April 2, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Below the Surface
- April 2, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Underwater
- April 3, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Florida 33156 Floods
- April 4, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Afloat (with zip code)
- April 4, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Afloat
- April 5, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Bans Sumpland
- April 6, 2015. New site launched: Pinecrest Awash
- NEW BLOG. January 9, 2016 Pinecrest Place
Flooding of the proposed development land at SW 72 Avenue and 96 Street is ongoing. Where once horses fed and grazed, now a huge water retention and flooding problem exist. A berm finally built in 2012 to keep water contained inside the acreage failed a year after construction.
In October of 2013, rainwater overtopped the berm, an incursion of 80 feet into connecting property. Flooding waters went under this author's house, submerged water pipes leaving her family without hot water for awhile. This from the plumber the following day.
The undeveloped vacant land, a wide swath of about 4.5 acres, had been horse grounds and the unofficial neighborhood sump —an unofficial storm water drainage field. With lots of foliage and acreage, water gathered and stayed until evaporating.
|Horse pasture / sumpland before construction 2007.|
The original owner had taken great care to ensure the horses hooves would not rot.
"I guess the engineers figured water flows uphill," Hope Marcus said. "We were promised that we'd be safe. The contract states that not one drop of water from the development can fall on neighboring properties."
|This isn't supposed to be a lake! October 2013.|
Despite promises and reassurances, and building codes stating that water from a development must be contained, flooding has only increased since the land was filled. Considering that a portion of the acreage remained a swamp, like the entire area had once been — why wasn't a proper drainage system placed beforehand, retrofitting far more complicated?
The images show the result of a changed landscape that now endangers many of us. In the picture below you can see the waterline on the fence. It is apparent and visible. The yard flooded, a five foot berm, measured from the lowest point, not enough. We had water incursion of about 80 feet. The engineering company apparently cannot imagine how this happened even as they designed the plan with drainage channeled behind our home.
At the very least, the berm must be made higher. Water must be contained inside the property. And the water must drain, Miami Beach style if necessary.
Per the video, (also linked above) Miami Beach is pumping water into a collection site and it is injected 80-100 feet into the ground.
October 2013. Below. Flooding and waterline evident, water breached the five foot berm.
Our yard is behind the fence.
|October 2013. My property behind the white fence, and foliage. |
Waterline on fence shows height of rainfall plus evidence of failed berm.
|The engineering company and Village of Pinecrest apparently cannot imagine how all this flooding happened even as they designed the plan with stormwater channeled behind my house.|
|Underwater. Our backyard, October 2013. Totally immersed in water from the development to underneath our house. Incursion of about 80 feet.|
Underwater. Our backyard, October 2013. Totally immersed in water from the development to underneath house. Incursion of about 80 feet. Note: according to the contract "not one inch of water from a development can encroach onto a neighboring property."
|Our backyard, same area in image above. Here dry and normal with doggies in 2013. Development property is behind the trees.|
Land after rainstorm, October 2013.
|Wider view of land 2013. After berm and city improvements. French drain go nowhere, do not connect to anything.|
Images from 2008. First warnings.
After development began in 2008, our drainage problems increased dramatically; we experienced flooding to a much greater degree than ever before. For the first time ever, our backyard flooded almost to the half way point. This after construction started in 2008.
In July of 2012, following years of prolonged assurances and anxiety, a five foot berm was finally built.
In 2013, despite assurances, the berm failed. It was insufficient. Water breached and overtopped the berm and reached under our house.
The reconfigured land behind my home slopes and converges toward our property putting us at a far greater risk than before development began.
Thank you for your attention. Considering flooding elsewhere in Pinecrest, I am hoping a solution is the in the works and look forward to hearing from you.
Hope Marcus Christensen
PS: Added Memorial Day. May 26, 2014.
If there is a solution, no one is telling us. It may be that the land should be reverted back to a sump, I can't say. But I am certain there was a gully on the original plans, a gully behind the berm that would have directed overflow water across the street and into two canal entrances already in place half a block away.
Now that gully doesn't exist. It was erased in the same way the building code mandating that water must remain inside a development suddenly disappeared from enforcement, too. The gully was a last ditch effort as water wasn't supposed to overtop the berm, we'd been assured of that. And then it did, washing away any semblance of protection for us.
Additional images. During construction and storm of 2013.
|Failed French drains do not connect to drainage pipes or canals.|
|SW 72 Court to 96 Street.|
|73 Avenue, October 2013.|
|Clearing begins 2008, disaster for those homes around it.|
|Wonder what happens when the land is changed?|
Dry Land. February 2014.
|Same view as above. Flooding in development after heavy rainfall in October 2013. With climate change, torrential rains are no longer the 50-100 year event. This site documents two heavy rain storms, one in 2008, another in 2013. [Update: three storms; add 2015, |
The fence as seen above lines SW 72 Avenue along supposedly also "ready to build plats."
The image below was taken 3 days after the deluge and shows stormwater still evaporating on soggy land fenced along SW 72 Avenue across from 95 Street. Stormwater was not contained inside project as the permitted plan dictated it should have been.
A road inside divides the land, giving an illusion of two distinct high and lowland areas. The only section of highland had been where original house stood. You can see it behind the horse in image atop. All acreage below was lowland, never filled sumpland: one solid drainage expanse.
Land above 72 Avenue slopes downward into the former horse pasture, hence the sumpland designation, a term once commonplace. Now Pinecrest officials disown the descriptive, offer another word for sumpland, can't recall what — maybe a 5 million dollar mistake?
|Fenced area along higher ground, 72 Avenue across from 95 Street, 3-4 days after storm.|
ADDED — May 7, 2014
Comment below was posted on the New York Times and made the Editors Pick. The blog hits soared, readers saw. The response was to a (link) well researched article titled: U.S. Climate Has already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heating and Floods.
ADDED — April 7, 2014 and February 25, 2015
Q: Where did 'they' get the permit, the apparently illegal fill that now causes my property to flood?
I am the last house on the left. In this image the trees block the berm area not yet built, that would occur in 2012, after the construction was completed. The pictures above clearly show the finished berm overtopped. The elevated land right behind my house channels the water into my property and floods it. The land had been a sump — unfilled swamp land that served as a neighborhood storm water drainage field.
Sumpland from Google Earth showing flawed filling on western border.
Sumpland showing flawed filling on east from Zillow image to promote homes that "infuse elegance.
ADDED— February 24, 2014
Added photo from Pinecrest neighbor, also from October 2013.
Everyone, please remember to send your images!
|Garage after storm in October 2013. About 5 blocks from my property, |
74 Ave and 99 Street. Waterline on fence (not shown) shows water incursion of about 4-5 inches.
ADDED— September 2014
|Home across the street, back yard, 8 inches to 2 feet.|
Section updated: October 2014
305. 815. 4726
Pinecrest Ground Zero for Inland Sea Rise
Development Without Stormwater Drainage at Issue
- · 5-acre natural sump becomes a flooding field
- · Platting stayed for ten homes regardless
- · Sea rise forbids storm drainage to canals
- · Standards of 2012 not enough for the rains of 2013
- · In 2014 no relief for residents in jeopardy
Pinecrest, FL 33156 — It is hard to remember that the land underneath our feet was once marshland. The reality of land reverting back and ways to combat the effects of global warming will be discussed at the Southeast Florida Climate Change Summit October 1 and 2, 2014 on Miami Beach.
"A natural sump was turned into a flooding field and became approved platting. I’d like to know how this happened.”
Lessons from Climate Change Summit, October 1 & 2, 2014. Miami Beach
(Additional notes to follow)
Local residents do not understand what inland sea rise is, never mind the environmental injury that has produced human and ecological risk.
* Lacking a positive drainage system, our entire sumpland must must be preserved, it is an essential land asset against inland rising waters.
* In local Sweetwater, golf courses are now stormwater retention fields.
* Our unofficial drainage basin is still there.
* We must reclaim the acreage, and perhaps consider adding to it an ecological habitat plan for mosquito control. Maybe even injection wells. Not just for me, as has been insinuated, rather for the neighborhood and the streets along side and above.
* Reclaiming, buying back, is expensive yet other cities have resorted to this, and there are Federal funds to help. The climate conference addressed ways to get money for reclaiming.
* Ignoring now will cost millions upon millions more in very the near future.
* Exactly how much it will cost is difficult to say, but consider quoted paragraph below from an (link) NYT article about Hurricane Sandy and rebuilding for the future.
During the 6th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, speakers stressed transparency regarding anticipated costs of climate related infrastructure projects.
The Village had a passed a budget without so much as a a blip, a teeny-tiny reference of the pending costs to implement its first Stormwater Master Plan.
Stormwater plans are reviewed every five years, from now on, this cost and the updating are as fact.
The flawed horse pasture survey is more than five-years-old, way past the time for a serious review yet remains platted despite what is known.
Note: Although unmeasurable on a month-to-month basis, inland sea rise is occurring sooner than expected. Pinecrest blames the sumpland mess up on inland sea rise claiming neither they nor the engineers anticipated it. Click here for Miami Dade Sea Level Task Force Report
Images from Climate Change Summit of Sweetwater Study
- Local Sweetwater reverted gulf courses into stormwater reservoirs.
- Pinecrest's horse pasture must be reclaimed, returned to sumpland.
I've lived here in Pinecrest for nearly 35 years, moved to the yet-to-be incorporated area in my early 30's with a young family. So if you are one of those younger households and think you have plenty of time, perhaps best to get in the huddle and take a stance for our community.
Farewell 2014 — Parting Shot from New York Times, December 31, 2014
Comment posted: How Putin Forged a Pipeline Deal That Derailed
|During Dec. 2014 meeting, mayor said term sumpland was not allowed. Meeting was recorded.|
A Dubious First Year Anniversary.
Not a happy celebration. Pathetic Pinecrest — looking at the city's website with its sunshine and accolades, you wouldn't suspect. Now you've seen.
Posted on NYT day of site's first anniversary. Article: How Warmest Ever Headlines and Debates Can Obscure What Matters About Climate Change
Questions? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
My cell is 305 815-4726. ( PS: Email preferred, thanks!)
Added June 16, 2015
Pinecrest Police Called to Illegal Land Clearing
‘Land is Sensitive,’ one official FINALLY concedes
Miami-Dade County, Fla., June 15. Pinecrest police responded to illegal clearing in a contested area of former sumpland that had not been given the green light to proceed. The status of the permitting remains unknown although two homes are in review even as drainage for the five-acre area does not exist. At issue is the lack of drainage and the ensuing flooding following a land filling.
“I’d seen guys measuring and thought the city was preparing to dig underground wells,” the caller, Hope Marcus said. “Last I heard, the land was to be a passive park, and a floodplain when conditions are right. That the city is even considering houses is mind-boggling. Can you imagine permitting houses without effective and proven stormwater drainage in place beforehand?”
When Pinecrest permitted the acreage in 2008, officials were aware of the drainage issue and rather than solve it, said the developer had to find a solution. To date, four different developers have taken on the task, not one has succeeded.
“Permitting land, giving the go-ahead, knowing there are major problems is hardly sound planning,” Marcus mused. “The regs have to be reversed: drainage first. Drainage before, then houses. Pawning your problems to the next in line won’t work.” The sumpland had protected by absorbing water and by serving as a drainage basin for the homes around it. When cleared, filled and elevated 2 feet higher than the surrounding, the area flooded.
Marcus has been battling with city officials since 2008; her flooding began after the land was violated and cleared. She launched her first protest site Pinecrest Floods in early 2014 after a second, more dangerous flood engulfed her property and immersed the hot water pipes.
“The images online are telling,” she said. “There is a huge lake without any place for the water to go, a backhoe stuck in 18 inches of water, my backyard underwater, a maid waddling to work on flooded streets, cars with water plumes. The entire area is affected.”
In April, still being ignored, she launched six more sites; all begin with Pinecrest as in Afloat, and Underwater, and Awash that feature images of gross flooding. Because of IT filters, one called sumpland can only be accessed away from government offices. In addition to gory images, it shows egrets waterside, suggesting a semblance of the wetland remains, and reverting back is possible.
As South Florida eyes lowland areas to cultivate for stormwater holding areas, both saltwater intrusion and flooding identified risks, Marcus contends that Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner hasn’t kept up. “Rather than seeking solutions, she’s traded her enviro-maveness for luxury homes, homes permitted without drainage on land that since altered, floods a neighborhood.”
The unspoken issue is money, short-term thinking: money now over safety and her city’s future. It will cost perhaps 5 million to reclaim the property, to buy it back from the current developer. While reclaiming land is expensive, actual structures have not yet been built. Should greater damage occur to existing homes, Pinecrest could be liable for many times that amount.
In the past cities weren’t accountable for the mistakes they made. A recent Katrina court case struck down a city’s sovereign immunity, to quote: “ … make no mistake: we have seen a significant breach—a breach in the immunity that public water-management projects have long enjoyed against allegations of abuse and malfeasance. In an era of climate-change induced storms and floods, this is a very big deal, no matter how this particular claim gets resolved.”
Scientists contend the specific 5 acres of reconfigured land in Pinecrest should be reclaimed, put back to its former state and held for the future. A valuable preserve to be used as a passive park and a floodplain when conditions are right. They foresee the need to restore the original drain basin and hold it for the hydraulic pumps that will come ahead.
When interviewed in 2008, after the first flooding, and having received verifying images in emails, Lerner asked homeowners to send written complaints of the flooding to the Pinecrest Public Works Department. She acknowledged many residents along 72nd Avenue have experienced storm water runoff because of the area's lower elevation.
''We'll make sure they follow up and if work needs to be done we've got funds for that specific purpose and we shouldn't have anybody in Pinecrest complaining about poor drainage,'' she said.
That was seven years ago and the problem has worsened. In 2013, a second more significant flooding occurred. Although 2014 was a quiet storm year, rather than finding a solution for the specific and documented risk, Marcus accuses Pinecrest of abandoning its responsibility to prepare against a foreseeable event.
“Pinecrest is negligent in meeting their responsibility as a municipality to adequately prevent the flooding of my property and neighborhood, Marcus said. “Lerner’s environmental accolades are essentially lip service for a deeper problem: water everywhere with no place to go. What lies ahead requires profound leadership, revamping the building codes, drainage up front, not the last on the check off list. You don’t take property, a governmental is accountable for the mistakes they made.”
Contact: Hope Marcus
Mobile: 305 815 4726
notes to save - need to reorganize 7/ 17/ 15
Cited for illegal, un-permitted land clearing June 9, uncaring GC3 Development dumps 40 x 5 foot high fill in cross section of acreage. Lacking drainage, their plans failed inspection in May due to to drainage issue, the builder's responsibility unmet. Pinecrest permitted the land in 2008 without drainage as they couldn't figure it leaving the burden and cost of doing to developers. That folly a dangerous precedent.
GREC aka Binder aka Jim Dorsey is the same person / company that won a 3 M lawsuit against Pinecrest in 2012, our tax money paying 2 M of it, insurance, also paid with tax dollars, the rest. Setting up his office in the same city (he screwed, or Pinecrest got its due, winners and losers, no compromise, why not????) he + GC3 for Pinecrest Place replace several owners who failed to to meet the city's criteria, thus leaving nearby homes, an entire neighborhood, prone to foreseeable and dangerous flooding events.
Two have occurred since acreage was filled and elevated, one in 2008, the other in 2013. The city's first Stormwater Master Plan is complete and excludes a sumpland solution: a fix does not exist. Known trouble ahead for S FL area, more so for Pinecrest as leaders push for mansions at a neighborhoods expense. Immediate gratification over sound future planning. The sumpland had been a natural ecosystem that controlled flooding yet rather than proactive moves, the city is ceding its own protection, ignoring the initiative to identify and preserve lowlands for for future needs.
With the quackery marketing developers are doing, showing fake images, lying about what will be, cost to reclaim grows higher and higher for Pinecrest as owners will add to tab, claim all sorts of things. The legal games: lawyers will make out, the city and its residents get shafted. We so deserve better.
MARCH 8, 2015: Florida Officials Banned from Saying Climate Change and Global Warming Newslink & also here for FCIR. Pinecrest Bans Term Sumpland (see below)
MARCH 5, 2015: PINECREST ALLOWS QUACKERY MARKETING
Claims of "infusing elegance" on sumpland homes as name changes from Coconut Palm Estates to Pinecrest Place Pinecrest's flawed filling folly is not fixable. Quackery here.
February 2015. Think mental duress along with negligence. Sump acres renamed from Coconut Palms Estates to Pinecrest Place. Pinecrest officials continue to flaunt and get away with non-compliance: ignoring building codes and traumatizing us. How they pull it off is anyone's guess. Four months until next hurricane season and we remain without preemptory ACTIONS to mitigate known risk. Meeting March 3 'to talk about a study' for the rest of Pinecrest .... a five year plan. Hurricane season months ahead with its winds, floods and thick-marsh misquotes for our neighborhood.
October 2014. Chutzpah!
Yet another developer takes over, for sale signs up the day after climate conference that city officials attended. Talk about audacity!!! Minds made up, mansions over existing homeowners. "Neighborhoods are meant for houses," city says while also confirming, no denying, Pinecrest is ground zero for INLAND sea rise. Budget passed, city opts out of rising waters. Cost of drainage omitted. Reluctance by city equals denial despite evidence. Negligence.
Link to MIami Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force Report and Recommendations, July 2014
For an Analysis of the Vulnerability of SE Florida to Sea Rise Level, click here.
Copy below, May 6, 2014 from NYT article: World: Rising Seas
"Miami, one of the nation’s most populous cities, is built atop a porous limestone foundation on the South Florida coast, making it extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels, according to the federal government’s 2013 draft National Climate Assessment. As Arctic ice continues to melt, the waters around Miami could rise up to 24 inches by 2060, according to a report by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. Residents say they are already experiencing the effects as roads and outdated sewage systems flood. The porous limestone creates a unique threat as seawater seeps through the city’s foundations.
“You’re not necessarily getting water pouring up over a barrier — instead, it’s seeping through the limestone and coming up through drains,” said Leonard Berry, co-director of the Climate Change Initiative at Florida Atlantic University. “It’s already happening. And it’s not very pleasant.” "
A study by the Florida Department of Transportation concluded that over the next 35 years, rising sea levels will damage smaller roads in the Miami area, and that after 2050, major coastal highways will also experience significant flooding and deteriorate as the limestone beneath them becomes saturated and crumbles." ***
RESUME CURRENT: Below added August 17, 2015
The comment below from The New York Times in response to an interactive video.
Click to:The Upshot, the cost of natural disasters from NYT. Had more hits than ever on Pinecrest Floods because the link online was live and people saw. Click on image to enlarge.
Q: If strangers see, why aren't Pinecrest officials?
Added September 29, 2015
From New York Times article dated September 28, 2015:
Limited Progress Seen Even as More Nations Step Up on Climate // Click to read
September 13, 2015— Irrefutable Risk Necessitates Immediate Action to Add Drainage Basin///Protection is Paramount. Click to read. Updated Pinecrest Florida 33156 Floods. Also, Pinecrest Bans Sumpland 10.20.15
Oct. 23, 2015
From NYT header: Hurricane Patricia, a Category 5 Storm, Threatens Southern Mexico.
"In the United States, only three Category 5 storms that made landfall have been recorded, Mr. Feltgen said: a 1935 hurricane that killed more than 400 people; Hurricane Camille, which hit Mississippi and killed 244 people in 1969; and Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992, killing at least 10 people there and three others in the Bahamas."
We were in the zone of devastation for Hurricane Andrew, but did not flood because the sumpland was intact and absorbed, did what wetlands were designed to to: protect.
24 Oct. 2015. // Site hits spiked with this post.
Published in NYT Oct 23, 2015
Updated October 26, 2015
Eye popper video from Miami Herald, superb — October 23, 2015
Click here for video: Miami Beach waging a battle against sea level rise
Updated December 5, 2015
MOATLAND Day Arrived
UPDATED December 5, 201
Blog is tired, cannot fix. ABOVE: Image shows water height. Looking over side berm of 96 St into flooded parcel #1 or #0010 as labeled on map below . Moat house is parcel #2. Heavy rain, not sure how many inches, will fill in, not as many as 2013 when all berms overtopped. Our yard flooded from water curling around and coming back up as in the neighborhood image near top of page showing the entire area flooded in 2013. Similar water dynamic in the curling aspect. Sorry to lack engineering terms. Will describe if anyone asks. BELOW: Bootie selfie showing depth of water at 7 inches. Drain located at 96 St south-north side near 72 Court .
Yet, despite the irrefutable risk, Pinecrest approved homes without drainage.
Added December 9, 2015, comment from New York Times, ed titled: The Assault on Climate Science. Link to The Assault on Climate Science
Below added Jan 21, 2016.
Lower left, moat land surrounding 1st of several mansions in progress. The new houses are behind homes of lower elevations, houses built in the 1950-1960's. The small center image from 2008, shows the land being cleared, but still flat, before it was filled and elevated. It had been even with the street.
Now, guess whose backyards flood? Not to mention the side streets and adjacent neighborhood. The five-acre former sumpland should have been preserved but wasn't ....
Below is a map of the sumpland—divisions with folio numbers
Posted Jan. 25, 2016. How the Perfect Storm Became the Perfect Cop-Out, NYT link, also another Curved Angles comment, the article, Perfect Storm, sensational!
Link Comment below: March 19, 2016.
EPA Faces Bigger Tasks and Louder Critics http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/19/us/politics/epa-faces-bigger-tasks-smaller-budgets-and-louder-critics.html
RIP: March 19, 2016 . Peter Harlem, a geoscientist and coordinator of Florida International University’s Georgraphic Information Services Center, created high resolution maps to warn of the dangers of sea level rise.
EXCELLENT Pete Harlem youtube video, 35 minutes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbBlChnX7m8 worth your time
Contact: Hope Marcus
305 815 4726
Pinecrest Floods <email@example.com>Pinecrest Floods
Section added May 26-31, 2016
Image below: The building site on May 24, 2016. Trenches dug in a U shape close to the inside street, the highest elevation. The trenches do not connect to a positive outlet.
Image underneath: Cut-out of the single mansion in progress pasted over photo from 2013 storm. The location and angle are correct to lower image that shows moat land in December, 2015. The mansion is behind the port-a-potty.
A drainage pipe / system is needed at the lowest point, across the back where neither pipes nor a drainage system have been placed.
Building was allowed on land that floods minus drainage upfront.
Cesspool, May 6, 2016. Location of port-a-potty same as above — side yard next to mansion under construction
Above-SUMPLAND Ruination, 5 acres
TOP LEFT: When flooded after after storm, a lake.
TOP MIDDLE: As of May 2016 with aquifer breach insert.
TOP RIGHT: Other side of land, street divides, it had flowed.
Click to enlarge
Land before 2008, undivided 5 acres of sumpland. Fence (s) divided lower land, horses were kept on higher ground during rainy season so their hooves wouldn't rot.
Area was a low impact development as in green development.
An inland LID floodplain that provided drainage for the streets above and protected those below.
Look at the image of horse pasture above. It had divided higher wetlands from lower sumpland. During the rainy reason, horses were kept in stalls on higher terrain to keep their hooves from rotting.
The mansion in top image is built in the lower sumpland, atop marl soil. All the water from acres above rush into the mansion's side yard. When the berm (s) top, the area floods. Otherwise stagnant water pools inside and remains for days. Marl soil, a defining wetland / sumpland feature, is not very permeable. A true positive drainage system at the lowest point, or anywhere, does not exist.
From 10/08, to the current 10/16, drainage a no-go, worse than an afterthought — dismissal. A necessary separate stormwater sewer system does not exist, has not been proposed, and a second mansion MINUS effective drainage is underway.
Miami-Dade Mitigation Strategy, LMS, link here. A weak start at best yet even so, we all knew codification was coming down the pike. Pinecrest raced ahead just under the wire, didn't even tell DERM building had begun without drainage upfront. OOps!
Excerpt from A Zika Story: Sump, Floods, Bugs
"...Could you imagine the nightmare of living along side a Zika breeding ground, waking up to a sludge lake or a flood?
I’m seeing the new mansion owner holed up inside, his expression of disbelief, eyes fixated on an expansive side yard holding tank.
Next up will be a censorious parade of attorneys in courtrooms, scurrilous blabber for mortar and glass.
Lawsuits like candy.
What I couldn’t afford, someone else can, and will... ."
And for all those Pinecrester's who don't think they have a stake here, consider how our taxes will pay for this. Money better spent on infrastructure allocated to settlements instead.
Added June 26, 2016
Added July 8, 2016
Below, disturbing comment from NYT — our grim future.
Article and graphics superb.
Added: July 18 -22, 2016
Given what has been done, and is on-going, the city relentless in its pursuit to develop homes on land that should have been preserved, how best to deal with the problems created?
Google map #5 below. Land filling and elevated about 2008 to July 2016
In permitting land for development without drainage upfront, the city has created moat land in a populous neighborhood.
The land was elevated 2 feet and filled with crap soil that is not permeable. The added cement will also decrease absorbency.
CURRENT: Above Google Earth (my map # 6 wide) July 2016.
TOPIC: Walled Community
Left side. All the homes along the walled shopping center flood. Wall was built about 38 years ago, and now, despite the extra large backyards awarded homeowners, water reaches the patios and bedrooms of the homes bordering it.
Q: How deep was that wall dug 38 years ago that now fails to keep the water away from homes that border it?
The relevance relates to a wall Pinecrest has proposed on land that floods. The wall does not address stormwater drainage, rather it literally walls it in.
Pinecrest concedes that they lack a stormwater sewer system.
There is not a positive plan to serve the development in progress.
Pinecrest insists a swirling-toilet-like stormwater drainage system will suffice.
Several homes inside moat land will be built higher than the one next to it.
Vast amounts of cement will be poured. Supposedly 35% of green terrain area will remain.
PINECREST MEETING NOTES/ LETTER: WALL BEHIND HOMES, July 26, 2016
July 26, 2016
Village of Pinecrest
12645 Pinecrest Parkway
Pinecrest, Florida 33156
Dear Pinecrest Officials,
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the proposed RETAINING wall along the southeastern boundary of the sumpland project also known as Pinecrest Place and Coconut Palm Estates Subdivision. Please forward to Chen Moore, the consulting engineers.
Per the notice Pinecrest hand delivered to residents, “the proposed RETAINING wall is planned to be constructed by the developer along the rear (west side) of lots 1 through 4. The wall is proposed to be constructed adjacent to your property as follows:
SW 73 Avenue: along your rear (eastern) property lines of 9401, 9425, 9501, 9525 and 9595 SW 73 Avenue.”
The RETAINING wall does not convey drainage. There is not a sewer stormwater drainage system inside the wetlands acreage filled and elevated such that the destroyed ecosystem now floods homes adjoining it.
Unresolved issues of flooding and drainage have placed the Village of Pinecrest under extra scrutiny.
Also in attendance were homeowners whose property floods since the 5-acre parcel of wetland was filled and elevated without proper drainage.
On July 23, a second meeting was held with residents and Pinecrest engineers to better explain the proposed RETAINING wall.
As discussed during the meeting, the wall will be 12 inches thick, the 12 inch thickness was assured, meaning the blocks will be placed width-wise accordingly. It is to be constructed of cement and stucco, have a tie-beam on top. At the lowest terrain elevation, the wall will be 40 inches deep and will be about 7.4 inches high. A wall along the sectioned 96 Street will be erected. The berm will remain until the wall is completed. The berm at the rear of 9595 will remain in place during and after completion per the grading topic discussed below.
Ten homes are planned; one is near completion. A certificate of occupancy cannot be issued until flooding / drainage issues have been resolved.
Contingent upon a wall ensuring that the water does not curl back and flood the 9595 SW 73 Avenue property, the proposed retaining wall should ease flooding of adjoining homeowners.
In lieu of a stormwater sewer system, Pinecrest has proposed grading the land. Water is to remain on each plot, or on public areas inside the development.
The current two-step drainage system touted by Public Works Director, Mr. Spanioli, is ineffective. He has insisted and continues to insist that there is a positive stormwater connection. He has said he will relook, believing the drains connect to a pipe on lower 72 Court to a stormwater sewer pipe on 72 Avenue. An examination will show the facts. A sewer stormwater drainage system does not exist. Several drains outside the vicinity of the wetlands connect to each other; none connect to a stormwater pipe.
Again and reiterated, a positive stormwater drainage system does not exist in the vicinity where it is desperately needed.
Since the land was filled and elevated in 2008:
All events are documented on Pinecrest Floods, http://pinecrestfloods.blogspot.com/, and Pinecrest Bans Sumpland https://pinecrestbanssumpland.blogspot.com/
The effectiveness of the proposed grading system is contingent upon:
A project timeline has not been set. Rift with uncertainties, an estimated construction duration is unknown. Considering the setbacks, and unmet requirements to date, a prediction from start to finish is neither likely nor feasible.
While a retaining wall may contain water inside the development, it does not constitute a positive drainage system. A sewer stormwater system does not exist and was not proposed.
Stephen Olmsted, Building Manager Solmsted@pinecrest-fl.gov
Mark Spanioli (PW) firstname.lastname@example.org
David Mendez (BPD) email@example.com
Pat Janisse firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
Miami-Dade County, Fla.
October 27, 2016.
Contact: Hope Marcus
305 815 4726
Pinecrest’s hankering for mansions threatens Zika prone city, building continues on land without drainage
With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declaring Florida is facing a long-term Zika threat, and Florida’s surgeon general demanding a plan to control mosquitoes in the winter, spring and summer, defiant Pinecrest continues building on wetlands without drainage. Pinecrest’s fix for the oncoming? Bombard with aerial poison.
Rather than proper health planning, the city is forging ahead with massive home building on 5-acres of former wetlands that had served as the neighborhood stormwater drainage basin. There is no separate stormwater sewer system.
“The city has issued a certification of occupancy for the sumpland house with a sump/cesspool for its south side yard,” resident Hope Marcus said.
“And a second construction site has begun. There is no drainage. We’ve had three floods, moat land, aquifer breach and cesspool. The city’s stated solution for health planning is bombarding the entire area with the neurotoxin pesticide Naled when the need arises.”
Marcus says that after heavy rains, water remains for days inside the sump development, enough time Zika mosquitoes to “have a field day.”
She lives directly behind the acreage and can hear the bulldozer butchering the land as she writes. [And she requests that you email this to Pinecrest officials as three of her email addresses, including this one, are blocked.]
“My home and safety have been compromised,” she says. “I moved here in 1980. And since 2008 when the city permitted the land, life has been topsy-turvy for me, always scared to tears of the next rain, wondering when the next flood will be. No one should suffer like this, be placed in harm’s way for a developer.”
Now that danger has raised eyebrow’s of officials everywhere. More than eyebrows actually, demands for sound planning that somehow Pinecrest has evaded.
For a complete history with documented grizzly images visit:
Pinecrest Bans Sumpland
305. 815. 4726
Associate Member, SEJ
Society of Environmental Journalists
About the Society of Environmental Journalists
Founded in 1990, the Society of Environmental Journalists is a global nonprofit based in the U.S. and dedicated to improving environmental coverage in all forms of media. SEJ’s members advance public understanding of critically important environmental issues by strengthening the quality, viability and reach of environmental journalism. Every day SEJ member reporters, editors and freelance writers reach millions of readers and viewers around the world.
Update 10/7/. Spared flooding, but expected loop more frightening, 3 previous floods were regular downpours. 10 /6 /16 12 noon. Hurricane Matthew beginning: in progress. SEJ Society of Environmental Journalists alert. First rain bands arrived. Cat 4 expected in Palm Beach, perhaps 60 miles north, we also very much in harm's way.
10.03.16 //STILL NO POSITIVE DRAINAGE. Hurricane Matthew headed our way! Storm above was a night time event, image taken the following morning. Streets and area flooded when berm(s) overtopped. TODATE: A separate stormwater sewer system does not exist and was not proposed. Questions on pesticide safety, here, here and here. Updates: Uncertainty re Hurricane Matthew. More Zika // Miami Herald Sues for Zika Records. More to follow. As Zika fears emerged, a muted response /// Mayors say state told them to keep Zika mosquito sites secret ///
Notable: Zika, the race for a vaccine, Siddhartha Mukherjee
Sept 16, Miami Herald Sues for ZiKA records (copy from top)
9.16.16 //STILL NO POSITIVE DRAINAGE! Storm above was a night time event, image taken the following morning. Streets and area flooded when berm(s) overtopped. Water gushed from five-foot pit inside former sumpland, its topography changed, re-engineered. Acreage robbed of its absorbing power yields 3 floods, moat land, tainted water, and cesspool. At long last, Pinecrest under scrutiny. Please email request for entire pdf notice. Scroll to very bottom for updated events, specifically a July 26 response to City's suggested plan that excludes drainage. A separate stormwater sewer system does not exist and was not proposed. Questions on pesticide safety, here, here and here. Aerial spraying began on Miami Beach using neurotoxin insecticide naled. 9/16.16 Miami Herald Sues for Zika Records. More to follow. ///
Sept 7, found in Forbes Wolbachia - infected mosquioes, not GMO
August 31. 5 ft deep sump pit remains a flooding-hatchery side yard of model mansion open for viewing. Still no drainage, TS Hermine to landfall/flood N. Fla.
August 16, 2016. Air attack against ZIKA hit and miss in Miami, CDC reports
August 16, 2016. Air attack against ZIKA hit and miss in Miami, CDC reports
Miami Herald: 10 miles sprayed, 20% effective with toxic naled alone, need another poison to get larvae. Zika hops from Miami to Texas.
August 12, 2016. Another Zika case outside of Miami's transmission zone
August 10, 2016. Zika Cases Rise in Miami, and Officials Try to Soothe Fears
August 16, 2016. Miami Herald: 10 miles sprayed, 20% effective with toxic naled alone, need another poison to get larvae.
August 8, 2016. Patch of Miami Is Ground Zero for the Zika Virus
July 29, 2016. Nation's first local outbreak of ZIKA in Miami confirmed
July 30, 2016. Public Health England, Pregnant women stay away from Florida
August 02, 2016. C.D.C. Urges Women to Avoid Zika-Hit Miami District
Posted on New York Times re article Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’
Miami, FL 23 minutes ago (9/8/16)
THIS SITE DOCUMENTS INLAND FLOODING, MOAT LAND, AQUIFER BREACH, CESSPOOL: A CITY'S NEGLIGENCE. Launched January 28, 2014 (Miami-Dade County, Florida 33156) City: Village of Pinecrest. Timeline: Flooding 2008 to present, after protective sumpland destroyed. Five acres of wetlands filled & ELEVATED, SW 72 Ave. & 96 St. Permitted WITHOUT drainage, NO stormwater pipes connect to canals, or sewers, they also top and spill — inland sea-rise — channeling to canals now illegal re: sea rise and heavy rains flood. First-person account of man-made disaster that is Pinecrest Floods, filling and elevating inland wetlands without drainage, the result of that desecration evident. As Zika fears emerged, /// Mayors said state told them to keep Zika mosquito sites secret ///
Inland sea rise a given.
THIS SITE DOCUMENTS INLAND FLOODING, MOAT LAND, AQUIFER BREACH, CESSPOOL: A CITY'S NEGLIGENCE. Launched January 28, 2014 (Miami-Dade County, Florida 33156) City: Village of Pinecrest. Timeline: Flooding 2008 to present, after protective sumpland destroyed. Five acres of wetlands filled & ELEVATED, SW 72 Ave. & 96 St. Permitted WITHOUT drainage, NO stormwater pipes connect to canals, or sewers. First-person account of man-made disaster that is Pinecrest Floods, filling and elevating inland wetlands without drainage, the result of that desecration evident. 10/24/16 Elizabeth Kolbert,"... when I first visited Greenland in 2001... now, in the flooded streets in Florida..." (more). Plus:12/28/15 The Siege of Miami.v
10 /5 /16 Hurricane Matthew: SEJ Society of Environmental Journalists alert.
Key deer hopefully saved by sterile flies from screwworm outbreak