Resident sympathizes with Lamberts

Published 1:19 am Wednesday, July 23, 2008

By Staff
I have listened to the Lamberts' very kind and persistent pleas to the city council about the continuing damage to their property in the Dogwood Lane area from the construction of the new Wal-Mart. I do not know them personally, but my heart goes out to them and the other residents as they watch their property and ponds be damaged by the construction.
Many years ago when the first part of the shopping center on Highway 31 north of Virginia Drive was built, the residents faced similar problems. Those of us on the lower end of Virginia Drive had uncontrolled water flowing through our properties. The land had been clear-cut, and there was nothing to break the flow. As more and more parking lots were paved, it grew worse. Before we purchased the lot where our house sits, we watched the water flow through the ditch on the west side. The ditch was shallow and the water flowed through in heavy rains quickly and only a few inches deep. As time went by, and commercial buildings went up and the land was paved, the ditches eroded. We spent a lot of money building a wall to protect our property. The ditch went from being a shallow place to a very deep ditch even more with each heavy rain and even beginning to near the foundation of the house.
We asked over and over for help - the construction company promised we would suffer no damage, but their final answer to our please was “so sue us.” A number of years went by, and the city finally had the means to put in big pipes and cover them so that our problem has been taken care of, but the question is, what right does anyone have to cause damage to someone else's property? I once read that a famous author said, “Why does progress look so much like destruction?”
Surely, more control can be exercised to protect these homeowners who will be counted on later to support these businesses.
Lorena Frederick
Brewton resident

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