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An example of the state environmentalists squashing a homeowner (me!)

During a heavy rain, the tiny polluted stream under our driveway flooded and washed out our driveway completely. Washington Fish and Wildlife would love to have every culvert in the state transformed into a "fish passage system". Mind you, there are no fish in this little drainage in my front yard, but someday, far in the future, a little fish might decide to swim upstream (that is if it could hop up past all the other fish-barrier culverts) and if it did, we want to make sure that it has a completely pleasant experience. Mind you, I am not "anti-fish". I spent 15 years of my life in the field of environmental research and planning. I was saving gnatcatchers and tortoises and red-legged frogs and kangaroo rats, etc. I am all about preserving our wildlife and habitat...but not over the dead bodies of my children.

The problem is that DFW would like me to install a "fish passage system" that includes a 10.5 foot culvert. This will cost about $165,000 and take about a year to get the permits and SEPA approval. That's assuming that we could find a second mortgage for that amount (which is not likely as we are living right above the poverty line and our property is only worth $200K anyhow). In the meantime, no emergency vehicles can access my home. We had a small fire here a week ago so that was very scary. I walk up and down the hill to my home about 5 times each day after playing taxi for my kids...often laden with groceries, sacks of feed, and library books on my shoulders. My pedometer says I average 8,000 steps a day. I can deal with that. But, I can't stomach the kinds of demands the state is putting upon us and many other homeowners on the Kitsap Peninsula as many culverts are failing.

Here is a link to a local news article that explains our situation. Note: the City's response in the article is not entirely truthful. Please, if you have a moment and are so inclined, post a comment at the bottom of the online article.


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What about the neighbor's tree

that knocked the retaining wall for the culvert? Homeowner's insurance?

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

They rejected my neighbor's

They rejected my neighbor's claim. He wanted to help us. My homeowners also rejected me. They said they would pay to reconstruct the felled retaining wall (after our $1000 deductible) but they won't touch the driveway as we don't have flood insurance. Considering that we live on the side of a hill, we never considered that we might need flood insurance. I'm currently submitting a claim to my title company but they don't think they can help me either. No one wants to get anywhere near our problem because it means dealing with Fish & Wildlife.


Look at your insurance policy of flood definition.

Flood Policy Definitions:

Flood: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres (general) or two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) of normally dry land area (temporary) from the: (posted lead in text at top to replies)

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

I'll do that.

Thanks for the info!


Sorry for your predicament. Why did the neighbor's homeowner's reject? Have you appealed to the state insurance commission? Scares the hell out of insurance companies.

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

No idea on why the neighbor's was denied

I did not know this was an option to contact the commission. Thanks!

Skamania is for Ron Paul 52 percent's picture

We've got state reps on our side!

You'll like this article, and you'll really like Olympia's freedom agenda team and the work they're doing to hack away at the chains.

No law can give power to private persons; every law transfers power from private persons to government.
-Isabel Paterson

Ha, I love the cartoon!

Thanks for the link. I'm all for hacking chains.

the problem is that you live in washington

you are seeing just the tip of the iceberg, i saw the rest of it when i lived there and left years ago

Yep. Believe me, if we had a

Yep. Believe me, if we had a job opportunity somewhere else, we would be GONE!


"customary & usual" & "reasonable man"

Search: customary+usual private+driveway+culvert city+responsibility

Search: ... +"reasonable man"

Make copies of all related construction & permit work nearby your land. You will likely find the city & other government agencies are not careful about following their own rules.

There is also common law that requires those taking away or restricting your property usage (rights you value) to compensate you for your loss. This is seldom given w/o you standing your ground.

"Short Order" is kitchen talk at your local diner.

Expample: kitsap customary+usual private+driveway+culvert city+responsibility

Search Results ▼ Related Local Kitsap News

Social and Institutional Barriers to Stormwater Infiltration -
private firms), and developers in areas surrounding Dane and Milwaukee counties. .... development; the district is responsible for water flows throughout the ..... city of Maplewood attempted to address poor drainage in several .... tighter the development, the tougher it is to go with swales because...of the driveway culvert ...

Bainbridge Conversation - Kitsap Sun
Aug 31, 2007 ... South Beach Drive would be good, as would Fort Ward or Point White Drive. .... The ones that worked had "very clear roles and responsibilities" among players. ... That's when the city turned to private developers to share the farm and ..... city staff members map all culverts, storm water detention ponds and ...

Best wishes.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Collect photographic evidence.

Fix your driveway, but be sure to prove that no fish can a)survive/breed in the polluted stream, and,b), can't get as far as your place because of fish barriers before your place.
Research local by-laws about emergency access to your property, and threaten to sue if emergency services can't reach your home because of the councils restrictive measures.
Good luck, and power to you in fighting the system.
PS let EVERYBODY who has a driveway over this creek know what they are in for.