Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jamestown Villas complaint 09.11.09

Citcomp Jamestown Villas 09/11/09

See Photos of Jamestown Villas complaint

Please accept this citizen complaint on behalf of John L. Wathen and Friends of Hurricane Creek.
I was informed today that the Tuscaloosa County inspectors also filed a complaint about this site today with ADEM. So far ADEM has taken no action here or at any of Mr. Burns site in Tuscaloosa County.

This complaint is a follow up to the ongoing violations at Jamestown Villas in Tuscaloosa County on Stone Creek, a tributary of Hurricane Creek.

On 09/11/09, a citizen complaining about off-site run-off coming from Jamestown Villas called me out. Upon arrival I found the following problems.

No NPDES permit or city permits posted.
Off-site sediment coming from Jamestown Villas has all but stopped up the tributary.
Sediment can be seen throughout the wetland area surrounding the creek.
Off-site impact to the Whitley’s lake is devastating the small and beautiful private lake.
Failing silt fences throughout the site.
A vast amount of the site drains directly into the tributary without coming in contact with the retention pond.
The area directly across from the entrance leading to Vassie Drive all drains into the creek with out retention.
A large portion of the site along the Whitley property off Cumberland Rd. drains without retention into the creek behind the huge slope.
Failure to stabilize slopes.
Large cracks can be seen all along the slope leading away from the pond. The drainage from this leads directly into the creek without aid of the retention basin. In my opinion… Imminent failure is only a rainfall or two away. When it does there is no stopping the flow of mud into the creek.
The entire area is doomed to further failure due to poor planning and lack of sound engineering.
The fuel tank mention in prior complaint is still exposed. Excavation close by has left it sitting precariously on the edge.
By piling construction debris and downed brush the operator has in effect dammed up the creek and is using it for a treatment basin.
Piling construction and demolition debris in a stream for the purpose of creating a treatment basin is also a violation of USACE 404 laws.
i. I have photographed roofing material, 2x4s, barbed wire and other assorted items in the fill material in the creek used as a dam.

City engineer Chad Christian sent inspectors to the site recently. I can see very little in the way of improvement. Workers today were trying to use Earth moving equipment in the rain, which will only make things worse with more rain on the way this weekend.

The project should be completely shut down and only repairs to BMPs allowed. The stream must be cleaned out at the road crossing and all slopes stabilized immediately.
Slope grades should be reduced to a 3 to 1 grade to prevent failure.
All of the exposed area should be immediately graded to assure that storm-water passes through the retention pond.
A plan to mitigate the off-site impacts should be presented ASAP.

Jamestown Villas is owned by Jimmy Burns of Burns Construction. His other construction sites in Tuscaloosa present a long history of consistent violations and non-compliant practices. Construction is slow and most sites have some vegetation. It is a fact that in every permitted site he owns, all homes under construction are non-compliant.


  1. This is really sad. Unfortunately, most folks aren't going to get issues immediately re: turbidity and even this disaster without some beauty shots showing a before and after. Let's see'm, John. If not re: this egregious situation, any foundations out there willing to offer a stiped to provide a photo intern to help you create a catalogue of what things look like prior? I know that there will be more of this...

  2. Right you are Jane K. I will work on getting Before and after when the rain dies down enough to get shots with no mud in them.

    I am going out now to get more ugly ones though. I will up-date this page tonight.

    Watch closely. There might just be a pretty one or two show up!


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