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GeorgerwilliamsW
(Indiana)

Posts:975


01/20/2009 2:26 PM  
A bill has been introduced in the Indiana General Assembly to require developers to install barriers (i.e. guard rails) around newly built privately owned detention/retention ponds to prevent automobiles from running into the ponds. The situation is particularly acute where a street borders a retention pond.

Also the legislation provides that current homeowners may be assessed the cost of installing such barriers (Barrett Law funding) for existing retention/detention ponds by the appropriate government authority.

Are you aware of similar laws/requirements/zoning in any other states at this time?


    Synopsis: Barrett Law funding for retention pond barriers. Specifies that Barrett Law funding may be used to finance a fence, mound, guardrail, barrier, or other structure necessary or useful to: (1) limit access by children to a retention pond; or (2) reduce the likelihood that a vehicle will enter a retention pond. Provides that if such an improvement is constructed under the Barrett Law within a platted subdivision, the works board may assess all or part of the lots in that subdivision for the improvement.


http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2009/IN/IN0351.1.html
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/20/2009 3:11 PM  

George,
How do you feel about this proposal? Having lived with ponds/drainage ditches, etc, they are everywhere down south. Indiana?? probably not as much. So now associations have to spend thousands of dollars in case someone cannot control their cars? It could happen. Along the Fl. Turnpike down in Palm Beach and Broward/Dade counties, they are installing very strong cables in a double row to keep drivers from taking their SUVs for an upside down swim when they drive 90 and clip the back of someone. How about 124 million dollars.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:778


01/20/2009 4:57 PM  
if anyone were to get his/her car in our retention pond, he/she would truly be a bad driver - ours is in the middle of the community and to get to it, you have to go through a set of at least 8 townhomes.

This may seem like a good idea for safety reason, but the part about assessing homeowners for installing barriers on existing ponds may pose a problem if the association doesn't have the money.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


01/20/2009 5:43 PM  
On the surface, it would sound a little over reaching. I don't think all detention ponds need a barrier around them. Some are such that a person would really have to try to drive in. On the other hand, I could see where some might have places that really should have a guard rail (and don't).

I think it would be far better to leave some human element where the "experts" can compete on the need. Then those with no need for one don't end up forking up for a barrier.

The other thing is that especially in these times there needs to be some protection for the HOA in how quickly they have to come up with the money for a new barrier. Keep in mind that in some cases said costs could cause a special assessment which would put the owner over the edge of solvency.
GeorgerwilliamsW
(Indiana)

Posts:975


01/21/2009 7:59 AM  
I have no firm opinion on this bill yet. From an automobile safety standpoint it could be a welcome proposal, since just in the last couple of years there have been several deaths when cars slid off of an icy street into a retention pond.

On the other hand, creating a child resistant barrier around every retention/detention pond in the state would be a monumental task. I would guess that every pond would have to be fenced like a pool. Several children have died in the past few years, playing on ice covered ponds or by wandering into them.

And it says nothing about natural lakes or streams that pose equal hazards.

Most retention ponds in subdivisions are owned by the homeowners associations. It may be that if the association, itself, chose to erect a suitable barrier, it could use Barrett Law financing rather than association funds.

Barrett Law financing allows the county to pay for improvements specific to property (such as neighborhood sewer upgrades) by spreading the cost over a 7+ year period and adding it to the property tax bill. The county sells bonds at low municipal rates and then pays off the principal and interest via the amounts tacked on to the tax bills of the impacted real estate.

This bill does not mandate anything for existing ponds. It simply allows the county government to use Barrett Law funding if the county government chooses to require the construction of protective structures.

However, should this bill become law, it would certainly encourage counties to mandate barriers around retention ponds, particularly those in subdivisions owned by homeowners associations.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


01/21/2009 6:04 PM  
It sounds like it could be a good thing. To be sure, when there is a reasonable chance that a car could go off into a pond, there should be a barrier to prevent such from happening.
DavidW5
(Virginia)

Posts:508


01/22/2009 6:11 AM  
Here in Virginia storm water management ponds, as they are called, come in two varieties, wet and dry. As the name implies, a wet pond has water in it all the time. During a storm, the water level increases and the outflow is limited to allow time for silt and sediment to settle out. A dry pond is dry except during a storm when it fills rapidly and then drains slowly. A fence is only required for a dry pond. The reasoning being that it can fill rapidly during a storm and trap anyone who ventures in, while a wet pond's hazard is obvious. In our community we have 4 dry ponds and one wet pond. The routine maintenance (mowing, minor debris removal, etc.) is the HOA's responsibility. The county inspects the ponds each year and is responsible for any major structural repairs and maintenance.
MelissaM4
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:27


01/23/2009 9:19 AM  
Our retention basin is in the middle of our community, no threat of a car goiing in it. But there could be a chance a child could fall in it. Luckily for us, our community is still under construction and the Declarant paid for a fence around the basin.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/23/2009 9:59 AM  

Having lived in several States, I can maybe understand where in Indiana or Arizona or even Texas but I could not imagine many parts of Florida having such a law. There is no end to water, waterways and lakes/drainage ditches. One would see a never ending line of fence, everywhere that the eye could see. That would create a new problem for the HOAs as the Gators would get stuck and lined up for crossing. EEEEuuuu.
GeorgerwilliamsW
(Indiana)

Posts:975


01/27/2009 2:01 PM  
From today's newspaper
    A car ran into a Far Southside retention pond this morning, but the driver got out and was unhurt. According to dispatchers, a woman driving a car swerved to avoid a child and ran into the retention pond.

    Full story here (just for a limited time):
    http://www.indystar.com/article/20090127/LOCAL/90127048/-1/ARCHIVE
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/27/2009 2:08 PM  

I still will not believe that this can solve the problem of drivers and the hazards that we face daily. Hitting trees is far more common than going into water. So now we cut down all of the trees alomg each and every road? If it were my vote? It would be a "NAY"
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/27/2009 4:44 PM  
I think zoning approval officers and developers need to do a better job of designing and allowing the designs of developments that have such an obvious hazard.

Rather than use a scatter-shot shotgun approach, use a zeroed-in rifle and stop designing and approving developments that have clear and obvious hazards.

Fix it on the FRONT end. . .
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


01/27/2009 7:20 PM  
As Donna says as a Floridian for many years both in South Florida with its many canals and in North Florida with all it's drainage ditches and Central Florida with all its lakes this would be imnpossible in our state. What's next fencing in the Atlantic ocean? Little kids need to learn how to swim early. When I lived in a condo I saw some old gals who thought I was terrible for not being by my three year grandson every minute by the pool ..that was until they saw him swim the length of the pool two times. Another thing that comes to mind is when I saw my great grandaughter less than two who hung on to her father's back and went to the bottom of the pool. It petrified me and she came up screaming more, more. Perhaps education is a better answer.
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/28/2009 4:35 AM  
No need for such a thing in AZ since we hardly ever get any rain. Most of the retention areas are dry beds, usually covered with gravel or grass. Otherwise, they're called lakes! If we get a heavy rain the area may fill up with a few feet of water but drains rather quickly. Some of these retention basins are on the perimeter of the s/d along a major roadway; however, in most instances an auto would have to go thru a lot of landscaping (trees and bushes) before reaching any water.
DwightT
(Idaho)

Posts:664


01/28/2009 7:35 AM  
A motorist swerved to avoid a child in the street and wound up in a retention pond, so the solution is to put up guard rails. There are so many problems there:

What was the child doing in the street in the first place? Any child that is prone to wander into the street needs some adult supervision. A better solution would be to provide education both to the child to not be playing in the street and to the parents to supervise their children.

Even with kids in the streets there is rarely a need for a motorist to swerve that drastically unless they just haven't been paying attention. The solution here would be better driver education (of course, that's generally true anyway).

If there had been a guard rail, the car may have been kept out of the pond, but it also could have been diverted back onto the road where it would have taken out the child that she was trying to avoid in the first place. Sometimes letting the car go off the road is a good thing.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/28/2009 7:51 AM  

Dwight,

HOOORAAAY,

What is going on in the minds of these legislators thinking that we can accident proof the entire world. Gads, where does it end. Cars go off of bridges, so then we take down the bridges and ferry boat every car? Trees get hit, cut them all down.
Drunk drivers??? Shut the distilleries?
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/28/2009 8:21 AM  

Boy, this one really has me riled up. It seems to me that everyone is complaining about too much government and over regulation. I think that this State-Indiana has so much infrastructure to be rebuilt, so many people in need of basics like homes and health care so the logical thing then is to worry about a person or two running into a pond in a HOA? NOT!
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


01/28/2009 8:24 AM  
Count me in w/Dwight and Donna. This is more Nanny State Police nonsense.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/28/2009 11:20 AM  
Posted By MicheleD on 01/27/2009 4:44 PM
I think zoning approval officers and developers need to do a better job of designing and allowing the designs of developments that have such an obvious hazard.

Rather than use a scatter-shot shotgun approach, use a zeroed-in rifle and stop designing and approving developments that have clear and obvious hazards.

Fix it on the FRONT end. . .





. . . that's why I suggested this approach.

Rather than trying to "fix" the problem after the developments have been built and moved into, STOP DESIGNING (AND APPROVING THE DESIGN OF) DEVELOPMENTS THAT CREATE OBVIOUS SAFETY HAZARDS!
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/28/2009 11:33 AM  

EXACTLY MY FRIEND!!!
AnnaD2
(Florida)

Posts:935


01/28/2009 3:45 PM  
I'll try to make this brief, yet I feel this is a good example...

A couple of years ago two guys from Massachusettes were on vacation in the Orlando area. They never went home. A massive "hunt" was on to find these two family guys. No luck.

A year later, during a drastic drought, the wheels of their SUV were discovered sticking out of a retention pond. It was on state-owned land where there is an exit ramp coming off a highway, going into the Celebration area. I know the area well.

Just two guys going back to their rental unit and took the curve a little too fast. They went off the road, flipped upside down and no one found them for a year later.

My point is: Why does the State allow open retention ditches where thousands of vehicles drive...but insist that private properties "protect" eveyone who uses those roads? It doesn't make sense.

I was just so relieved that they finally found those poor souls. Every time I drove by it (before their accident) I actually made a comment about how dangerous it was.
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


01/29/2009 8:12 AM  
I'll try to make this brief.

A few years ago, ordinary folks in the Twin Cities area were going home late one afternoon and a bridge collapsed. Death toll 13. Just 13 peeps going about their daily busines.

How can states allow their trusting citizens to use bridges that could collapse, as this one did? Shocking. Just shocking. All bridges crossing water in America should be retrofitted with massive flotation devices, emergency phones, jumbotrons and helicopter pads at taxpayer expense. Just in case.

If you ask me.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/29/2009 8:43 AM  
Posted By JohnK3 on 01/29/2009 8:12 AM
I'll try to make this brief.

A few years ago, ordinary folks in the Twin Cities area were going home late one afternoon and a bridge collapsed. Death toll 13. Just 13 peeps going about their daily busines.

How can states allow their trusting citizens to use bridges that could collapse, as this one did? Shocking. Just shocking. All bridges crossing water in America should be retrofitted with massive flotation devices, emergency phones, jumbotrons and helicopter pads at taxpayer expense. Just in case.

If you ask me.






I'll bite. . . .





At least they didn't approve of one being built with no guardrails.

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