A second phase of Windmill Plantation subdivision has been given a preliminary approval by Columbia County's planning commission after county officials said they had resolved drainage issues in the area.
The development, which includes 119 lots on 52.45 acres on the west side of William Few Parkway, was approved by a 4-0 vote.
The proposed new phase had been voted down at a November planning commission meeting because of drainage concerns in the area. However, Jim Leiper, the county engineer, said recently a plan has been developed to solve that problem and have storm water flow into Windmill Lake.
"What the engineer has done is taken some of the (storm) water and changed where it goes from William Few Parkway, where the houses are (that are getting their yards flooded), and re-directing the pipes," he said. "(The idea) is to have the water directed to Windmill Lake."
Also at a recent planning commission meeting, residents of Windmill Plantation addressed their concerns about drainage problems in the developed area of William Few Parkway.
"We have flooding in our yards, underneath our houses and in our swimming pools," said Mark Schmidt, president of the Windmill Property Owner's Association. "We have filth up to six feet high in our area. Sediments from phase two, section two, which was formally phase four, has all of the soil and sediments running into the lake, and the county refuses to remedy this."
Schmidt said the bulk of the problem is because of water flowing from the underdeveloped land into the developed land along William Few Parkway, which is causing "storm water flow problems."
By installing roads in the phase two area, Leiper said, the roads will intercept a large amount of storm water, directing it in the pipes and routing it around residents' back yards. But he stressed that the drainage will not be alleviated completely.
"The (residents suffering with drainage problems) will still have some storm water going into their back yards, but it's a much smaller drainage area that will go there because of the curbs on the road," Leiper said.
Leiper added that the county is looking into ways to help relieve drainage problems for those residents.
"I owe it to these people," he said. "It is our responsibility."
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