Grading on Woods Estates project moves on, causes concerns

Grading on Woods Estates project moves on, causes concerns

In an email received by City staff on Wednesday, developer Seth Woods announced his company’s intention to begin the next phase of grading on the Woods Estates subdivision project.  This will involve cutting through the hillside currently between the former Welch Farm property on top of the hill and the planned entrance off of State Street, across from the Arconic Davenport Works.

“The current site grading has been more or less out of sight of the general public up to now, so the contractor wanted me to give you a heads up that this will be starting soon,” read the email. The grading “will be very visible to everyone.”

Drainage from the cut-through area will be directed to a sediment trap excavated this past week by Woods Development sub-contractors. The most recent site erosion control plan provided to the City by J+M Civil Design (engineers for Woods Development) can be found by clicking here.

A diagram showing how water is predicted to flow over the updated grading of the site can be viewed by clicking here.

Citizen Concerns and Complaints

Notice from Woods Development came to City Hall the same time as some citizen complaints about current grading work, the possibility for water runoff flowing into the backyards of existing homes and the amount of dust and dirt in the air as a result of the grading activity on the job site.  City Administrator Tim Long informed the developer of the concerns in a Thursday afternoon email (on September 13) and said he will operate as an intermediary to work through the grading concerns with all parties.

Free Car Wash Program Announced

To address issues related to dust raised as a result of grading activities in the new subdivision, the City and Woods Development have agreed to purchase 100 car wash certificates at the Devils Glen Car Wash (across the street from Hy-Vee on Devils Glen Road) which can be claimed by any resident of Riverdale who feels his or her car has been covered by dust from the construction site.

Program details:

  •  This program starts on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
  • Certificates are for a standard wash (value of $6 each) and can be claimed in-person at City Hall.
  • If a resident wants additional features added to their wash, they must pay the difference in price at the car wash.
  • Residents claiming a certificate must provide their name and address at the time of the claim.
  • All claims must be made in person.
  • There is a limit of one coupon per person per day.
  • This offer is good while supplies last.

 

Woods Estates foliage replacement plan announced

Woods Estates foliage replacement plan announced

 

In response to citizen inquiries about the plan to replace trees and foliage removed during the building process for the Woods Estates subdivision, developer Seth Woods provided this statement:

To whom it concerns the existing tree cover in Woods Estates of Riverdale was 37.8 acres.  Tree cover removed for development purposes was 11.1 acres.  The 15% allowed equals 5.7 acres.  The area overage of trees removed was 5.4 acres.  The 5.4 acres of overage consisted of 512 trees which where 3″ and greater caliper (diameter).  Per the city of Riverdale’s Subdivision Ordinance we, Woods, will be planting 1,024 trees to mitigate the amount removed.  Replacement is 2:1 ratio.  We will start this process as the streets are poured and all infrastructure is in place per phase.  Trees will be planted on the entrance hillside and on the northeast property line, to create a buffer between the homes along Circle Drive.  As homes are built we will plant the remainder in the new yards.

What this means is that the developer of the Woods Estates project, Woods Construction and Development, Inc., has committed to fulfilling the requirements set by the City to replace tree cover removed during the grading/development process.

The City will continue to work with Seth and his team of engineers, sub-contractors, realtors and legal professionals to make sure all of the City’s requirements are met and that the City will provide any support possible (with regard to timely correspondence, prompt reviews of plans, etc.) to ensure the timely and successful completion of the project in a way that is mutually beneficial to both the City and the developer.

Labor Day weekend work schedule for Woods Estates

Labor Day weekend work schedule for Woods Estates

 

According to the developer of the Woods Estates sub-division, the sub-contractor hired to do the grading for Phase I of the project will be working regular hours on Saturday, September 1st but will not be working on Sunday or Monday during Labor Day weekend.

Please plan accordingly.

Woods Estates SWPP inspection helps keep the project moving

Woods Estates SWPP inspection helps keep the project moving

(Above: MSA’s Chris Cooper conducts an on-site inspection of the storm water handling features installed by Woods Construction.)

MSA Engineering, the civil engineers representing the City of Riverdale, inspected the site to evaluate progress on the development’s storm water handling plan (a SWPP) on August 13. Although some exceptions were noted (there are almost always exceptions), Seth Woods and his crew had addressed concerns about major erosion and uncontrolled storm run-off.

According to Woods’ civil engineers, J+M Civil Design, the site grading on the top of the hill should be finished in mid- to late-September, at which time the grading contractor will begin the work of cutting in the new street up the hill.

Photos from the inspection trip can be found below:

Grading to continue on Woods Estates project for the next 3-4 weeks

Grading to continue on Woods Estates project for the next 3-4 weeks

According to a status report from J+M Civil Design, LLC (the engineering firm working with Seth Woods on the Woods Estates subdivision in Riverdale), grading for streets, detention basins and storm water infrastructure will continue for the next three to four weeks. At that point, the “last phase of early grading is anticipated to begin.”

You can review the complete update from J+M’s Bryce Johnson by clicking here.

According to the report, the City Council will be able to review the subdivision’s final plat in September – approval of which would allow Mr. Woods enough time to install streets and utilities necessary for home construction over the winter season.

Planning & Zoning Commission asks developer to address concerns on Woods Estate water detention area

Planning & Zoning Commission asks developer to address concerns on Woods Estate water detention area

Riverdale’s Planning & Zoning Commission met on Thursday, May 24th and was joined by 8 residents, and Council members Littrel and Heddlesten. According to Zoning Administrator, Tim Long, the meeting included “a reasoned Q & A with the public, the Commission, our engineer and J & M’s new engineer.”

The developer, Woods Construction, will work to address issues with the proposed detention area – looking to greatly diminish the large one originally proposed by means of distributed detention throughout the project.  As a result, the proposed subdivision will lose building lots in the process. The exact number of lots and the re-configuration of the neighborhood is not known at this time.

The preliminary plat, once re-drawn, will come back to the Planning & Zoning Commission for another review.  The developer is in process to define and obtain needed real estate from Arconic to build out an Iowa DOT-approved intersection.

City Engineer review of preliminary Woods Estate plat identifies various issues

City Engineer review of preliminary Woods Estate plat identifies various issues

The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, reports they have met with City Administrator, Tim Long, and Council Member Anthony Heddlesten to discuss concerns with the preliminary plat submitted by Developer Seth Woods for the Woods Estates housing addition.

According to MSA:

“After the Planning and Zoning hearing is complete, it seems obvious that the developer and their engineer will have many issues to resolve. We suggest that the City, MSA, the developer and their engineer have a meeting to discuss the possible resolution of some of the more major concerns.”

Woods Estates lot sales begin

Woods Estates lot sales begin

Builder/developer Seth Woods has cleared most of the hillside leading into the new Woods Estates development (formerly known as the Welch Farm) in Riverdale. The project – currently in front of the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission – calls for 117 lots with homes expected to sell in the $450,000 range.

Signage announcing the availability of lots were posted on-site by Mel Foster Company, the agent handling lot sales for Woods Construction.

Interestingly enough, it was Mel Foster who developed the Pleasant Hills additions (I through IV) which included Elmhurst Lane, Fieldcrest, Manor and Circle Drives.