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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Challenges Of Marine Clay
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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Challenges Of Marine Clay

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The property of John and Nancy Scruggs contains the storm sewer which collects the water flowing from the several properties above them on Colonel Ellis Avenue as well as the hillsides surrounding the synagogue and adjacent properties.

The following open letter was sent to the mayor and City Council.

We live at 3929 Colonel Ellis Ave. in Alexandria, just behind the Beth El Synagogue, separated by one property from the proposed development of Karig Estates at 3832 and 3834 Seminary Road. Thank you for your efforts to facilitate necessary corrective improvements to this proposed development.

We are adamantly opposed to the Karig Estates development as presently constituted. As the attached photographs demonstrate, our property contains the storm sewer which collects the water flowing from the several properties above us on Colonel Ellis Avenue as well as the hillsides surrounding the synagogue and adjacent properties. During even relatively minor storms our property contains essentially two flowing streams causing us to fight a constant battle with erosion. In fact, we recently had to beg the city to take corrective action to prevent the storm sewer from collapsing. The erosion was so severe that water had undercut an entire corner or the structure. Given the well-established nature of the soil and topography of the Karig site, the massive flow of water across our property, with all the attendant problems described above, will be exacerbated.

We are now living in our second home in the Seminary Ridge development. Because of various improvements made in both homes, we have had some not insignificant experience with marine clay. Extensive, expensive remedial action was required in both locations. The structural implications of marine clay are a matter of ongoing concern to virtually every homeowner we know in Seminary Ridge. To construct a development like the proposed Karig Estates, with the identical issues related to soil, drainage and topography is simply irresponsible.

We hope you will review the attached photographs and just imagine the flow of water we experience. I would also be happy to show you the extensive work that was necessary to maintain the structural integrity of our home due to the marine clay. We understand that reasonable modifications can be made to the proposed Karig Estates that would be acceptable to all parties while ameliorating some of our concerns. We urge you to give these your careful consideration.

John and Nancy Scruggs

Alexandria