Beginning of the Pond dream

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We left off on this thread with commentary about the politics, so it only seems right to give an update on these processes we're currently going through.

Last Thursday we attended the Zoning & Planning Committee board meeting at our township. We expected to go in at 7 PM, be told we have to fence in the back yard and be home by 7:30 PM. What a surprise it was when we first were heading home at 9:30 PM with the discussion tabled till the next meeting in July where we need to provide additional info on the volume of water we'll be pumping into the pond from the sump pumps, estimated pond volume, an overflow plan and a plan if we hit an artesian spring when excavating.

Apparently there have been other water related issues in our neighborhood for years that noone felt was necessary to bring up at other meetings before our pond project came along. There was also several points made by one particular guy that the natural flow of water would be disrupted by this. I don't know...i personally think that whoever built the very first house in that neighborhood disrupted that. But what do I know?

One of the board members said the area we are in was meant to have cottages by the lake, not houses. So we asked why building permits for structures other than cottages were approved then. We did not receive an answer.

One neighbor swore up and down that his yard is being flooded by everyone on our side of the road. One neighbor stated that the sewer line we're tied into was put in illegally and goes right through his property. Supposedly the individual that did it did so without his permission on a day he was not home. And they all felt our pond was going to make the overall water issues worse not better....hence why we need to bring more into to the next meeting. In fact, a few of them laughed when I said we had researched trees that would have a higher usage rate for water and found that weeping willow would be a good choice. So we are planning on putting in at least 4 along with other water loving trees to help with water management in our yard.

We also listened to two people telling the board "It's my lot so I'm going to do [XYZ] and there's nothing you can do about it." Meanwhile, my husband and I are thinking... well, this is our lot and what does any of that have to do with our pond?

In addition, the board wanted to know our plan for mosquito population control. We are less than 1000 feet from a large lake. I'm feeling like that shouldn't even be a topic of discussion. But I don't know, maybe I'm wrong? LoL

In the last 3 days we have been able to address everything except the possibility of an artesian spring. The people were mostly seeking an answer to whether the head pressure would have a risk of flooding everyone. A call to a local well digger is in the to do list for this week.

Maybe we'll win this battle, but wow! What a journey this has become.
We left off on this thread with commentary about the politics, so it only seems right to give an update on these processes we're currently going through.

Last Thursday we attended the Zoning & Planning Committee board meeting at our township. We expected to go in at 7 PM, be told we have to fence in the back yard and be home by 7:30 PM. What a surprise it was when we first were heading home at 9:30 PM with the discussion tabled till the next meeting in July where we need to provide additional info on the volume of water we'll be pumping into the pond from the sump pumps, estimated pond volume, an overflow plan and a plan if we hit an artesian spring when excavating.

Apparently there have been other water related issues in our neighborhood for years that noone felt was necessary to bring up at other meetings before our pond project came along. There was also several points made by one particular guy that the natural flow of water would be disrupted by this. I don't know...i personally think that whoever built the very first house in that neighborhood disrupted that. But what do I know?

One of the board members said the area we are in was meant to have cottages by the lake, not houses. So we asked why building permits for structures other than cottages were approved then. We did not receive an answer.

One neighbor swore up and down that his yard is being flooded by everyone on our side of the road. One neighbor stated that the sewer line we're tied into was put in illegally and goes right through his property. Supposedly the individual that did it did so without his permission on a day he was not home. And they all felt our pond was going to make the overall water issues worse not better....hence why we need to bring more into to the next meeting. In fact, a few of them laughed when I said we had researched trees that would have a higher usage rate for water and found that weeping willow would be a good choice. So we are planning on putting in at least 4 along with other water loving trees to help with water management in our yard.

We also listened to two people telling the board "It's my lot so I'm going to do [XYZ] and there's nothing you can do about it." Meanwhile, my husband and I are thinking... well, this is our lot and what does any of that have to do with our pond?

In addition, the board wanted to know our plan for mosquito population control. We are less than 1000 feet from a large lake. I'm feeling like that shouldn't even be a topic of discussion. But I don't know, maybe I'm wrong? LoL

In the last 3 days we have been able to address everything except the possibility of an artesian spring. The people were mostly seeking an answer to whether the head pressure would have a risk of flooding everyone. A call to a local well digger is in the to do list for this week.

Maybe we'll win this battle, but wow! What a journey this has become.
The mosquito population has notably gone down. I see a mosquito land on the surface of the pond or along the edge but and this is no lie. We could never sit outback atthepatio unless it was to cold For the little buffers . But now We can certainly deal with the few that there are. I having been a builder I have heard the so called complaints from wonderful neighbors. You can tell the artisan well person that the concerns are ludacris as if there was any pressure to the well it would. Now or in the very near futcher would make it's self known if it was that close to the surface. Seems 90 percent of those here did less then 3 feet deep.
 
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Oh, the bureaucracy!
Sounds like you should have just did what you wanted to do and not say anything. No one would have known you changed or added anything.
You try to do the right thing and look what happens. Overthinking and second guessing by bureaucrats that have nothing better to do.

My wife was asked by a friend to have a garden club group come look at our pond. I said no way, I don't need the wrong person finding some whatever reason to object to whatever!
Maybe I'm just paranoid?
 
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Oh, the bureaucracy!
Sounds like you should have just did what you wanted to do and not say anything. No one would have known you changed or added anything.
You try to do the right thing and look what happens. Overthinking and second guessing by bureaucrats that have nothing better to do.

My wife was asked by a friend to have a garden club group come look at our pond. I said no way, I don't need the wrong person finding some whatever reason to object to whatever!
Maybe I'm just paranoid?
'


I always love the committees the president of construction affairs is a retired shoe sales man and his right hand " man"
is telemarketer and part time baker. (NOT SAYING ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH THOSE VOCATIONS) i'm just saying that those in charge in such cases know enough to be dangerous when it comes to construction. And you really wouldn't want them running your personal affairs. But you need to go to them for committee permissions I am with @poconojoe and don't tell them nothing next time around. I'd be willing to guess that the loudest opponent is retired as well.
 
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Of the 8 of us in the public seats, at least half had to be retired. Of the board present (there were 4) two probably are retired, one for sure isn't. The other was hard to tell, as he didn't say much at all.

And we definitely feel like, we're the ones trying to do this the right way and through the proper channels and are being "punished" for it. But on the flip side, we talked with our nextdoor neighbor yesterday, who didn't go to the meeting. He said he thought it was a no brainer, so that's why he and his wife didn't attend. But he has his own recollection of how things have played out since he's been living there, which is about 10 yrs now, and it is totally different than what a couple of them were saying. So now he's fired up and said he is going to the next one to clear the air. At least we have one family on our side!
 
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All this bureaucracy is even worse when you live in one of those "communities" with a home owner's association, commonly known as an HOA.
My daughter lives in one of those. She pays a yearly fee ( I think it's $1,000) for a mismanaged, rule for everything community. It's run by members who are there only for their own agenda. The pool is broken down because they waisted $50,000 on the wrong part that can't be returned.
"Certain" privileged members were having a hard time with their kyacks, so they dredged out the vegetation from the lakes which in turn devastated the fish population.
She has one of those "invisible" fences for her dog. She got a ticket for not having the dog on a leash. Etc....etc....
Horrible.
 

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Unfortunately, agree as was said better off keeping the minutiae of exactly what you are doing on the qt, when it comes to dealing with boards and commissions approvals. As you will get opinions from busy bodies and know-it-alls, on what you can or can’t do.

Have to deal with people like this in my line of work constantly, I learned a long time ago only provide them necessary info, as to what we are trying to accomplish on customers properties. Around here there is one individual who is the supposed “expert” on living shorelines/marsh creations when he has never built one in his life and has failed at running a construction business in a related field. Yet he is now the go to guy on these projects, and will tell you how you need a sediment study, wave attenuation study to obtain the proper permits. In reality is just a bunch of b.s. to justify charging $8,000 for permits that should cost less than half to attain.

Long winded way of saying I feel your pain on dealing with these types of things, hopefully you can get it sorted out.
 

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Ugh...NIMBYS...I would never dream of telling anyone what they can do on their own property. Yet I got cussed out on Father’s Day because his newspaper got a little wet due to some of my garden runoff...In the street!
 
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Wow... glad to know we're not alone, but man I don't wish for anyone to have to go through this. I can understand the purpose boards and committees are suppose to serve, but they don't work wihen the wrong people are in charge.

Before the meeting adjourned, the board asked if they could come to our place and take a look. They thought seeing everything in person may help them get a better grasp on things. We agreed and they are coming Wednesday evening. It rained off and on Friday through the weekend so I hope they bring their rubber boots because it's soaking wet out there in our backyard! Could not be better timing for rainfall. LoL It definitely won't be dry by Wednesday.
 
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I lived in {THE CONDO COMPLEX IN THE TOWN} AS MY WIFE OWNED THE CONDO FOR SEVERAL years before we moved in . Well the place was clean but sorely out dates. the fireplace had 2 1/2" colonial molding around the opening and that was the mantel . the cabinets were Formica DArK WALNUT, tacky huge sconces etc etc . so i refaced the cabinets with spanish ceder cabinet faces i made myself in the garage of the condo i would get home at 3 and start the saws up and shut them down by 6 pm so everyone could have dinner in piece i would glue and sand after 6 pm . made a mahogany 5 tier mantel for the fireplace installed hickory hard wood flooring WITHOUT THE DARKS (NO COW LOOK) ANY WAYS THE ASSOCIATION WAS THREATENING TO SUE US FOR RUNNING A BUISNESS OUT OF THE GARAGE . THEY DID EVERYTHING TO STOP US . well they failed and for the year that it took i was always nice when they came knocking . Well i finaly lost it one day and while the president of the association was showing a unit i flipped out on him i mean i started screaming at him for some paint i had been asking for for weeks . ANd low and behold 30 minutes latter the paint was at my door and i never had another problem with them. We sold the unit for 35 k more then any other unit had sold for we had a bidding war for the unit i loved every minute of it. moral of the story they think they have all the power but they still have to follow the law. go through the bi laws know them better then they know them them selves
 
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A couple weeks ago we got a call from one of the board members asking if we could dig a test hole. Basically 1 cubic yard. I guess they wanted to see what happens with the ground water between that day and the next meeting (coming up on Tuesday next week). Considering this is almost like a puddle compared to what the finished size of the pond would be, I wasn't sure it was going to give an accurate display of what to expect. But we did it anyway.

It took a couple days to collect about 3 inches of water from it seeping out of the ground. About thr 3rd day we got a couple rain showers. It gained 17 inches even though we didn't get that much rain. It rained again a couple days after that and it did overflow some. But it surely didn't flood the neighbors. We even got two really nasty thunderstorms blow through on July 4th with massive downpours. The overflow still didn't leave our yard.

We haven't went out to check since then, but maybe there will be enough information for us to win "The Battle of the Pond" yet.

Fingers crossed!
 
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I forgot to post the other night, but after an hour and a half of more discussions Tuesday night about our pond plans. We finally passed and have the blessing of the distraught neighbors. Conditions of the permit are that we have to add a one foot berm around the perimeter of the pond, and we have to berm the west and north lot lines to the height recommended by the excavator. For some reason everyone is still worried our pond will overflow and flood the neighbors.

Only downfall was we learned this is just the planning and zoning committee. They have to send their recommendation to the actual township board, and it has to be heard at their board meeting next week Thursday night. But hopefully with everything we had to go through to get this far it will be finalized easily.

Then we have the board meeting on the county level July 30th. After that it will be about another 10 days till we have all the physical permits in hand. Hopefully the excavator we are using for the project can fit us in right away after that. We are getting so excited to finally get this going!

So now the research resumes.... water plants not prohibited by the State of Wisconsin, where to have plant shelves, what plants/trees/shrubs to put on and around the berm, can some of the edges be more verticle, aeration decisions like wind versus power....the list seems endless. I want a waterfall also, but can't afford to do it right away, so I need to make sure I know where I want to build it so there isn't a lot to do down the road.

Can't wait to get started!
 
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Woo hoo!

Someone thinking your pond will flood their yard is just goofy - they know it's not spring fed, right? Haha!

Our power in our subdivision was out after a big rain storm a week or so ago for almost ten hours and we were the only ones on our street who didn't have back up water in our basement from our sump pump. We think it's because our pond takes up so much of the rain water that would otherwise be collecting in the grass and going into the sump pump. Everyone else was scrambling to get their generators going or batteries for their back up pumps while we were calmly waiting for the power to be restored.
 
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Woo hoo!

Someone thinking your pond will flood their yard is just goofy - they know it's not spring fed, right? Haha!

Our power in our subdivision was out after a big rain storm a week or so ago for almost ten hours and we were the only ones on our street who didn't have back up water in our basement from our sump pump. We think it's because our pond takes up so much of the rain water that would otherwise be collecting in the grass and going into the sump pump. Everyone else was scrambling to get their generators going or batteries for their back up pumps while we were calmly waiting for the power to be restored.
There is a chance we could hit an artesian spring when they start digging. And it's a high water table. The test hole we dug started to fill up from water seeping out of the ground, which is almost all clay under the 4-5 inches of topsoil, and we only dug it 33 inches deep. But we want the pond to be full all the time anyway. What we couldn't seem to get them to accept or understand is that even though it would fill up with ground water, the evaporation in our area for a pond as large as we're putting in is much greater than what we'd be pumping in from the sumps. There's no way it would flood the surrounding neighbors even if we didn't put a berm around it.

But you are exactly right. When the ground is mostly dry because the pond gives water a place to go, the sumps get barely any. That is one of the main reasons we wanted to do this, along with needing fill around the house. The lot is always so soggy, sometimes with standing water in a few places, because the clay underneath is saturated.

I guess i thought this was all common sense. Silly me!
 
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Some people just like having something to worry about. In our neighborhood, they all complain about people driving too fast. Not over the speed limit, mind you. Just "too fast". Alllll righty then!

Can't wait to see your pond in progress!
 
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So our town board meeting was last night, and we got their approval to move forward. They will be sending their authorization to our county for their meeting coming up on July 30. We're so relieved!

My husband has had a few conversations with the involved parties on the country level throughout our battle with the township and our neighbors. He hasn't gotten any indication from them that there will be any issues, so we're pretty confident we'll be able to move forward with our project in early August.

[Insert huge sigh of relief here]

I will post pictures as soon as we get started!
 
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After weeks and weeks of processes, meetings, waiting for the permit to deliver and waiting for the excavator to be available we finally have a date! Tomorrow the pond will be dug and the day after all the grading will be done! Woo hoo!

I feel it's too late now to plant anything, but I don't mind. It'll be done and ready for spring, and the dang ruts the big equipment left from building our house will be gone too. They have prevented us from mowing around the house this season so the weeds have ran rampant. It will look so much better.

Pics to come!!
 
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After weeks and weeks of processes, meetings, waiting for the permit to deliver and waiting for the excavator to be available we finally have a date! Tomorrow the pond will be dug and the day after all the grading will be done! Woo hoo!

I feel it's too late now to plant anything, but I don't mind. It'll be done and ready for spring, and the dang ruts the big equipment left from building our house will be gone too. They have prevented us from mowing around the house this season so the weeds have ran rampant. It will look so much better.

Pics to come!!
for anyone reading your post and who may be in the same stage of construction we have used wild flower mixes to stabilize the soils until final grading can be done and the lawn is able to be planted . yes some call most of the mix weeds but they flower and looks better then just tall weeds.
 
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for anyone reading your post and who may be in the same stage of construction we have used wild flower mixes to stabilize the soils until final grading can be done and the lawn is able to be planted . yes some call most of the mix weeds but they flower and looks better then just tall weeds.
I never even thought about that! Such a great idea. And we moved in middle of March so we totally could have planted wildflower seeds.

Thank you for sharing!
 
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