Kevin Burger, developer of Riverside Commons, the 40-unit workforce housing project at the corner of Baker Street and Richter Road appeared before the Plymouth Common Council last week with architect Brent Martin to discuss a drainage issue.

There is an existing alley on the west side and north side of the property. Martin said, “When the Stellar application was originally submitted the city agreed to several things in order to have our application favorably reviewed by IHCDA and ultimately awarded tax credits.  Among those things were the existing alleys on the west side of the site and also on the north side at the corner of Baker and Richter, the site where Riverside Commons is going to be built, the city agreed that work that needed to be done in those alleys would be on the city.”  Martin continued by saying the project is working to avoid a lot of work in those alleys because it would include costly repaving for the city.

Brent Martin explained that there is already an existing sanitary sewer line, and a new water line, and the consulting engineer for the city wants the development to install a storm sewer line.  Martin explained the 10-foot separation rule that requires water lines to be physically separated from sewer lines by 10-feet.  He said if we put the storm sewer line on the south side of the alley the waterline would have to be installed under the pavement in the alley causing the alley to be torn up. 

The City Council heard their request to run a drainage swale along the alley to an inlet on the property for retention thus avoiding putting the waterline in the alley roadway. Martin said it saves demolition to the alley, saves the developer some costs, and will save the city some significant costs.   

City Attorney Sean Surrisi said Jim Marquardt from the Street Department and Donnie Davidson the city’s Utility Superintendent has looked at the swale and doesn’t see an issue.

Developer Kevin Berger said, “Your consultant that doesn’t know the property, doesn’t know anything about Plymouth other than what is sent to them on plans says the ordinance says this.  That’s what we are up against.  We need some leniency in the ordinance.  Yes, the ordinance says that and we are complying with the water, we just want to do it a different way.”  He said engineers like pipes. 

Berger said they are doing sustainable landscape on the project and will probably be some type of rain garden around the inlet so there won’t be any standing water.

The Plymouth Common Council unanimously approved using a swale to drain the stormwater to the inlet.