Category: Recap

Sebastian City Council Discusses Swales

April 15, 2022

There has been a lot of time and money on drainage solutions, and there are questions about who holds the responsibility of maintaining our residential drainage systems when they become overloaded. As currently written, homeowners are required to fix their culverts or risk code violations. These violations carry fines accrued daily while the problem persist. Oftentimes the complainant is a resident with standing water in their swale due to a backed-up culvert belonging to another resident down the road. The complainant has no way to fix their standing water problem without fixing the culvert belonging to someone else. Many homeowners with backed-up culverts, especially those who are elderly, do not plan to ever move and are not inclined to spend money to fix their drainage. They are content to allow fines to accrue until they pass on, knowing that the eventual seller of the house will be responsible for paying the fines. For this reason, the City of Sebastian is in a tough position. As discussed in the Sebastian City Council meeting on April 13th, there are three options for the city to weigh:

  1. Continue as normal – allow the systems to become overloaded, fine homeowners, deal with residential complaints, and wait until residents sell their houses to collect violation money.

  2. Contract additional temporary code enforcers to compile a list of all culverts and swales in violation, contract a third party to clean up the culverts and swales, and bill the taxpayers in violation

  3. Execute special assessments against major problem culverts of which the cleanup would be for the collective good of the city and bill the taxpayers in violation

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