Saturday, April 4, 2015

5-Acre Flooding Field Hounds City

VISIT: SEJ, Society of Environmental Journalists.  SEJ on track as Trump thunders.

Of note: Scientists' March on Washington. Earth Day, April 22.

Update, A NEW YEAR ::: February 09, 2017 ::::   STILL NO DRAINAGE!  Building of second luxury home inside development OK'd and nearly finished WITHOUT separate stormwater sewers or sufficient drains inside plat. (More Zika news. Two more species = 3)

May 16, 2016

Desperate for Drainage Pinecrest Breaches Aquifer, 900 Homes on Well Water

One travesty begets another in South Florida 
Village Digs into Aquifer for Stormwater Relief, 
Adds Fouling Drinking Water to Litany of Environmental Blunders

Snap shot: 2008 to present
• Around 2005, five acres of horse pasture / sumpland up for grabs
• Permitted in 2008 for development without drainage upfront
• Desecration: land filled and elevated 
• Flood Number 1 in 2008 
• Flood Number 2 in 2013, after fail safe berm overtopped
• During a Council meeting in December 2014, City banned the term sumpland, sounds too icky
• GREC/ Bindor /Dorsy paid 3M by Village to settle lawsuit, same LCC with big stake in sumpland mansions  (Links in Zika story)
• In June 2015, Miami Herald kills sumpland story
• About same time, Google bounce backs show pinecrest gov rejects pinecrest floods email
• On October 29, 2015, building begins in sumpland, aka Pinecrest Place without drainage beforehand
• Absent stormwater outlet, Pinecrest says drainage will be approved upon occupancy
• On December 5, 2015, Flood Number 3 and MOAT LAND arrive together
 Zika hatchery comes with
• In late 2015, GREC/ Bindor/ Dorsy LLC register indemnifying Homeowner’s Association
• Building continues lickety-split, still minus a positive drainage system
• In early April 2016, developers dig into limestone aquifer for stormwater outlet
• Oops …contaminate groundwater more so? 
• 900 homes in Pinecrest alone remain on well water, a portion already contaminated 
• An ongoing saga without resolve 
• Hurricane Season 2016 begins June 1, a positive drainage system does not exist

An eight year battle in bullets.  Flooding, a Zika tank, plus a breached aquifer on land too valuable to pass up. The pleas for common sense, environmental considerations, plus angst left out. The emails, snail-mails, Village meetings, intimidations, omitted.  

We did not flood during Hurricanes Andrew, Wilma or Katrina, all before the sumpland was destroyed. It had served as a storm water basin for streets above, and protected those below. All before desperate measures.

For full story, documented with startling images, visit:

This is an ongoing sad tale. The Zika story attempts a humorous take.

PS: In case you missed, Nina Burleigh did a superb job in her Newsweek article. "An unusual January storm bent palm trees and turned city sidewalks into creeks as a small group of Miami-area mayors and administrators huddled in Pinecrest, one of Miami-Dade County’s 34 municipalities. They had come at the invitation of Pinecrest’s mayor to discuss rising sea levels, long predicted by climate change scientists and now regularly inundating their towns. The mood in the room was somewhere between pessimism and panic... .”

From the Daily Kos:  Nearly 1 in 3 American mayors think they may already have hurt their own citizens by making cost-saving decisions on critical infrastructure—a startling admission of fearfulness and accountability from the nation’s top urban executives on the heels of the Flint water crisis.  This isn’t an admission of evil.  It’s certainly not bragging.  The guys who are expressing this worry are likely the good mayors—those who have a real concern for the citizens who have trusted them with the responsibility of maintaining services. The mayors that we should be worried about are the other two-thirds, the ones who think they’ve done no wrong.

PSS: Why didn’t DERM know?  Pinecrest used its "Incorporation Powers" to do as it wanted and held off the telling.  Having lost the GREC land case and after shelling out 3 M to Bindor, aka Dorsy, the same LLC with a stake in developing the sumpland, Village delayed filing the mansion construction permitting with Miami-Dade County.

Contact: Hope Marcus
305 815 4726
Pinecrest Floods <>
Pinecrest Floods

Caption for above: May 6, 2016. Cesspool in sumpland.

August 14, 2015:

The comment below was picked and posted in The New York Times in response to an interactive video, The Upshot: The Natural Cost of Disasters. Had more hits than ever on Pinecrest Floods because the link online was live and people saw. Also made Reader's Choice.

Question: If strangers are seeing, why aren’t Pinecrest officials? Click on any image to make larger.

June 9, 2015: 

Large area illegally cleared by developer without permit.  Sign awaiting permit is posted, would city truly sell out neighborhood?

Updated June 8, 2015. 

In 2008, 5 acres of sumpland, INLAND WETLAND, were elevated and filled without drainage. Money wise, is a 5 million $$ curse for messing with wetland, its actual worth priceless. Five million is the amount the developer paid for land that must be reclaimed because a cost effective drainage solution for ten new mansions does not exist. The city permitted the acreage and not wanting to pay for a stormwater plan, placed the burden on developers to try, 4 have failed. Please also visit additional protest sites at bottom of page for more images and facts.

Pinecrest Floods was launched in January 2014, six sister sites were added a few months ago. Note: Because of filters on some computers, the name of the sumpland site has been changed on the bottom of this page.

Backhoe stuck, 2008

The above image holds the key. Sumpland had been a long sheath of flowing terrain. 

Horses had grazed during the dry season and great care was given so their hooves would not rot when it rained. This image was taken from author's side yard shooting behind her house. There were no barriers, or berms. The land not been elevated or filled with non-porous clay on top of marl soil, marl also non-absorbing and she did not flood because the sumpland protected.

After a heavy rain in 2013, stormwater topped the berms on the side and back, it had no place to go. 

The street is flooded, as did this author's backyard.There had been warnings, the area also flooded in 2008, when the decimation began but the city ignored. 

Both events after the land was altered, not before.

Back berm overtopped, water to 80 feet under house not in image. Toolshed is.

Follow the flooding down the street

Side street bordering the berm

Author's backyard bordering land in 2008, in 2013 another more dangerous flood. 

Flooding viewed from side street across the back. There is a five foot pit behind author's home that did not exist before the sumpland was butchered and the altered land channeled there.

Side streets bordering sumpland

This is the fifth protest site, first was in January 2014, titled Pinecrest Floods.  This Pinecrest is the well-heeled Village in Miami-Dade County, zip code 33156. Thought for sure the city would notice, thousands of site hits. But, no, so the public shaming continues on this site and others.  Hurricane season 2015 began June1. Last year, thankfully a miss, but in 2013, lots of water, a deluge. No wind. Or drainage.

 Our protective wetland toyed with!

Could you imagine this as a full lake without drainage? Along with the wind and churning waters? Looks pretty doesn't it?

Except consider: the lake isn't supposed to be there, wasn't in the plans Pinecrest permitted! Where will all that water go? HINT: This author's home adjoins, one long flow over the berm into her backyard, under the house and into streets: other people's homes.

Care so horses hooves would not rot, 2007
The sad saga is here in pictures, mostly images on this site, text needed while they load so I'll take you back a bit ... back to when the land behind me was a sump, both sumpland and a horse pasture. When the horses grazed, care was given so their hooves would not rot. Then the land was sold, had never been filled in. 

Then the promises we'd be safe because the building code mandated that not a drop of water from a development could encroach onto a neighboring property. Never mind the desecration of wetland. At the time in 2008, I didn't know they were protected.

And whoa, the buck stopped, literally, new mansions more important than the existing — I've been living here 35 years, and with all those new households just waiting, we no longer matter. 

Tree roots indented in soil so they won't smother.
This land had been flat, even with the street and surrounding. 

Horses had once grazed in this same spot.
Pinecrest participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and residents and businesses receive subsidized rates for flood insurance.  Rather than finding a solution for the specific and documented risk, my city has abandoned its responsibility to prepare against a definite foreseeable event. They are negligent in meeting their responsibility as a municipality to adequately prevent the flooding of my neighborhood and property by failing to address the ecological harm they permitted.

What I can say with certainty is that we did not flood to the extent we did in 2008, and 2013, both events after the land was filled.

Our shed, what happens during, 
all that water into backyard

Work begins 2008

What happens during
What happens during, all that water into my backyard 
to 80 feet under my house. 

Plumber next day said the pipes had been
 immersed. Called when we didn't have hot water.

Under the fence, into my backyard, this is the same area where my doggies play

It has taken Katrina’s victims nearly ten years to apply the taking clause of the Fifth Amendment to their favor. This Pinecrest issue has been going on since 2008, albeit on a much smaller scale, yet my neighborhood and property have unwittingly become the victims of Pinecrest’s negligence. 


Contact: Hope Marcus

Mobile: 305 815 4726


January 28, 2014 Pinecrest Floods
April 2, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Below the Surface
April 2, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Underwater
April 3, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Florida 33156 Floods
April 4, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Afloat (with zip code)
April 4, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Afloat
April 5, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Denies Sumpland
April 6, 2015.  New site launched: Pinecrest Awash

Note: Because of filters on some computers, the name of the SUMPLAND site has been changed on this page. The actual name remains.