October 25, 2014

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North Ridgeville condo owners consider suing city over flooding

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Nita Morrison and several fellow condominium owners in the city’s Northview Circle development have dogged City Council over recurring episodes of flooding dating to 2005.

Morrison is circulating hundreds of fliers around town to try to drum up support for a class-action suit against the city.

“I have had enough,” Morrison said Tuesday. “I’ve flooded five times and have not seen any improvement. A lot of other people are furious and feel the same way. We want to recoup some of our losses over the years.”

Morrison and others in the development plan to talk with a Detroit-area attorney who specializes in flooding and other damage arising from municipal sewer systems.

“We haven’t yet spoken with him, but we plan to soon,” Morrison said.

In the meantime, the group hopes to get at least 100 people to join the suit and share its costs.

“I have no idea what they will be, but the more who sign up, the less the cost will be per person,” Morrison said.

To date, close to 500 fliers have been handed out door-to-door in flood-prone neighborhoods, including the Gina-Pitts Boulevard area, the Mills Creek development, Highland Drive north of Jaycox Road, and the Muirwood Village condos off Mills Road on the North Ridgeville-Avon border.

Morrison also hopes to publicize the suit, and get signatures, from a booth she’s looking to rent at this year’s Corn Festival Aug. 8 to 10.

Northview Circle condo owners were among many residents suffering flood damage during torrential rains in May. The condos have sustained flooding damage dating to 2005.

Northview Circle resident Cathy Coleman and Mayor David Gillock had a heated exchange during an August 2013 meeting in which Gillock said it was unrealistic to expect substantial progress to reduce flooding in 60 days as Coleman demanded.

Gillock told the condo owners at the time the city lacks the millions of dollars needed for a significant overhaul of its sewer system.

Gillock said he is aware of the pending lawsuit.

“Anyone is welcome to sue anybody they want,” he said. “We’ve done a lot to try to improve the system.”

Sanitary sewer rates were recently raised, as well as a monthly base charge that is going from $1.82 to $9 to generate money “to continue to maintain and improve the system,” Gillock said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • Fred Garvin

    Unfortunately, the Detroit area attorney will head back to Detroit with the loot and the problem will still remain unresolved. Too bad there isn’t an attorney from this area who is also familiar with this particular problem. I also doubt that the Mayor really cares about the resident’s flooding problems since he has had years to address the problem.

  • Fred Garvin

    Hopefully, there will be some quality candidates to run against this Mayor and get new people in city hall. Time to go back to term limits.

  • piyanis

    flood is everywhere

    • stillsleepyeyes

      and so are you and your ridiculous advertising………………

  • TheRustyScupper

    Has it not occurred to the greedy residents that the city’s topography was there long before their condos? They thought they got a “steal” on the condos, without checking out the flooding issues. Can’t people see even the highway rides ABOVE the housing plain? Doesn’t anyone realize that water runs downhill? I simply cannot see where a lawsuit will do anything but put money into the pockets of the lawyers. As far as the mayor not caring about the flooding, why should most of North Ridgeville residents pay for the problems created by a few owners and ignorant developers? YOU bought the land. YOU or the developer should now pay to protect it !

    • Brian_Reinhardt

      Uh…they’re talking about SEWAGE not rainwater.

      Using your explanation, no one could live downhill of a sewage plant.

      • Jim

        No, they aren’t talking about sewage… they are talking about storm sewers, which fill to capacity during heavy rainstorms. Excess rain water collects in low-lying areas, such as the Gina Drive area and causes flooding.

        This is nothing new for this area. There is a reason the land the Northview CIrcle condos were developed on went undeveloped for so long: because it floods easily.

  • NR2004

    North Ridgeville’s website has the FEMA flood map for the city. Some of the streets listed are not in flood zones, like Northview Circle. Muirwood also isn’t in a flood zone but is relative proximity to the creek. Schoolhouse Ln floods and that is not even near a creek. So while I agree with what another poster stated about buying in a flood zone, a drive around the city after a major flood easily reveals there are issues outside of those zones.

  • John Q. Taxpayer

    Gillock figures widening Center Ridge from 3 lanes to 5 lanes with a separate bike path should be able to hold back the water and slow down the flooding. It’s amazing that after all these years of flooding that Gillock needs to spend thousands of dollars on a mock up of the city to see where the flooding is.

    • Fred Garvin

      The project will make flooding worse by adding water volume to an overburdened system.

      • John Q. Taxpayer

        sssssh! Not to loud Gillock might hear that and wake up. Right now he thinks the wider the road the more water it will hold. He’ll probably have the center lane lower than the outside lanes so it will act as a channel and carry the water away.

  • Piltdown_Man

    A hoax.