Kiwanis battling town over potential flooding by Hidden Rock project

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kiwanis floodingThese photos taken last August by Kiwanian Toby Payne during a 25-year storm event highlighted Kiwanis’ concerns about the potential for flooding of its building as the Hidden Rock project continues development.

CAVE CREEK – Ever since the rain storm last August, said to be a 25-year event, Toby Payne, on behalf of the Kiwanis Club of Carefree Building Committee, has engaged an engineer and legal assistance to highlight the potential for the flooding of their building, which was originally built for the Epicurean Palette, a gourmet cooking shop located at 6535 E. Cave Creek Rd.

Hal Marron, P.E., in cooperation with surveyors Slyder and Associates, provided his findings in a drainage report with an analysis of the potential impacts the Hidden Rock project could have on the Kiwanis property, along with some recommendations.

According to Payne, Kiwanis has met with town staff and representatives from Hidden Rock on several occasions to present these findings, all to no avail.

kiwanis floodingWhat does stand out as peculiar is the fact that a portion of the retaining wall built by the Epicurean Palette owners on the east side of the property is built partially on Hidden Rock’s property.

However, since the retaining wall is comprised of stacked masonry units, Payne said it can be moved if Hidden Rock were to request it be moved.

When the original Epicurean Palette site plan was approved and permitted, the design included a sewage lift station.

There was no design, however, to bring power to the lift station. So the contractor ran the power line a foot or so into Hidden Rock’s property, the only place available to run it with the lift station at that location.

Payne notes Kiwanis did not create these problems but rather inherited them when it purchased the property and is willing to fix them if so requested.

Additionally, according to Payne, the engineered grading and drainage plans approved for the Hidden Rock project, which abuts the Kiwanis property on three sides, has been approved to modify the approved engineered grading and drainage plans for Epicurean Palette.

kiwanis floodingAdding insult to injury, it appears T.C. Thorstenson, who owns Hogs N’ Horses Saloon to the east of Hidden Rock, at some point in time, filled in the retention basin that was part of his approved engineered grading and drainage plans, which Payne believes has contributed to excess flooding of Kiwanis’ property during rain storms.

We were told Thorstenson has been cited for a violation in connection with the filling-in activity, although it appears Thorstenson is currently installing lighting in the same area that was once a retention basin.

Sonoran News has made a public records request to obtain additional information.

Meanwhile, Hidden Rock is continuing with its project as approved and permitted by the town and Kiwanis, although it has engaged an attorney, has not filed any legal action and although Payne didn’t believe it has suffered any damages, yet, their attorney claims Kiwanis does indeed have damages in that the town is allowing for the modification and narrowing of the release area for its retention basin.

Payne said Kiwanis has already expended $14,000 to raise the elevation of its east driveway in order to stop the flow of water traveling west on Cave Creek road from entering its property and finds it baffling as to why it was constructed below road level.

Again, he said this is not something Kiwanis created, but a problem, which he called a “bad design approved by the town,” it inherited and corrected.

According to Payne, the town has no intention of altering any of the approved plans, while representatives from Hidden Rock refuse to have any further meetings with Kiwanis and plan to continue construction as approved and permitted.

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