Gold Canyon, Arizona - Sprawl - Disaster - Destroyed Ecosystem - Fissures - Flooding

file under:
1. carpetbaggers & property thieves
2. house investors sold a bill of goods.
3. local house builder wannabe demonstrates complete lack of respect for other people's property.
4. man-caused flooding
5. caveat emptor

e-mail snippets between/among,, residents of e. agua vista way, pinal county workers

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Subject: It is embarrassing to be exposed to this.

T.V. is turning out to be yet another questionable development.

... during the 3 or 4 heavy rains of August the water came running down into the little depression and then on into the fast-moving wash area. Plus, we had the added bonus of all their beer/pop cans and building materials flowing down their 'property' into our backyard & the wash.....

... Yesterday's english-speaker stated that 'they' were unable to determine if this hugh wash area by us was a dry river bottom, an arroyo, or a wash. I hate to think what that may mean.

He did go onto to state that he believed 'they' would just do away with the water retention area / concept.

Wed, 29 Sep 2004

I have to bother you and ask -
Who stores / is responsible for the approved drawing board (blueprint) plans in Florence ?
If the smiling Canadian decides that he does not need stormwater detention / retention area(s) and would rather have a few more 'units' to sell we are going to need some HELP.

Fri, 1 Oct 2004

I'm just guessing, but I think those are on file in some format at Planning and Development. If drainage areas are involved, I would think civil works might also be involved. They are supposed to file with the feds if they are going to disturb any runoff, or at least ADEQ, depending on jurisdiction.


Dear J. - County worker

We wanted to know if you have any news on our serious drainage problem. We still are having a major drainage problem on our property. We have owned this property since 1997 and never had this problem before the development went in north of us. We live in Gold Canyon on E. Agua Vista Way.

Yesterday we had to spend about $1000.00 to alleviate some of the problem. There has been water coming across the road for about 2 months now and our property is saturated. We believe the development has caused a change in the natural flow and drainage of the water.

Any guidance or assistance with problem would greatly be appreciated.

Residents E. Agua Vista Way



We have arranged for a Geo-Tech firm to investigate the area to see what is happening. The problem is quite strange, but we believe we can find the cause and hopefully alleviate the problem. Thank you for your patience. I will try to keep you informed but feel free to email me.

Thank you,
Pinal County Public Works

Mon, 28 Feb 2005

County worker, As of today, 2/28/2005, no drainage plan has been produced or provided for the T.V. development. Another attempt was made in person today with Phil Hogue and other officials in the Florence office once again being unable or unwilling? to produce said plans. I need a date that I can count on for obtaining these records and it needs to be soon since this request was originally made some time ago. If I cannot get a date in the near future for obtaining these records, I need to have a lawyer subpeona said records since it seems I can get them no other way.

Reference is made on old copies of a Final Plat we have access to stating that 'The storm water retention volumes required by the 'drainage ordinance' have been met and the overall gross retention/detention volumes will not be changed without prior county approval'. What is this ordinance and how can I get a copy of it? Mr. Hogue stated that he thought this problem had been solved because he had come out and not seen any standing water on the property.

I'm wondering which day he was here because some of the standing water on their property has never drained and I will take a picture of it when I am done at the computer today.

Has the outside engineering firm contract been awarded yet? If not, when will it be awarded, or when are all bids to be submitted? Mr. Hogue also stated that he was going to contact his friend H.C. (paperwork seems to show he is the previous owner of the TV property) about this problem. Why would he do this? Has this person any official standing with the county?

Mr. Hogue also stated today that 'I thought that problem had been solved'. Is he that unaware of what is going on as it seems or could he be deliberately misleading us?

Sorry for the rambling, but every request for things in writing seems to be met with buck-passing or no response as in Mr. Hogue's treatment of every request made of him. We have again been told there are multiple violations on the T. V. development, but no one can provide a copy of these violations even though many requests have been made from many different people.

Water continues to percolate out of the ground and flow continuously across Agua Vista Way between my home and the residence accross the street. The pothole created by this flow in the beginning has changed to a trench that nearly crosses the entire road and has continued to deepen. Failure by the county to address this road hazard that was reported to the county more than two weeks ago leaves the county open to more liability in this situation. At the very least, maybe some warning signs to let driver's know there is a hazard and to reduce their speed accordingly seem to be in order.

Is the county using this kind of 'Retention/Detention' drainage plan on other developments? This would seem to be in conflict with your own Pinal County Environmental Health brochures about West Nile Virus and the need to drain any standing water on private property. Why would the county have any drainage plans that restrict runoff in favor of retention/detention that could cause possible health problems and /or death of local residents?

The household to the west of the C. property is now having similar problems as their septic tank blew its cleanouts with overflow and they had to have their tank pumped by Cooper's Sewer and Drain on Sat 2/26/2005. I do not know the quantity that was pumped but suspect it was more than the tank's capacity. Water pressure under the ground in my yard continues to push water into my septic tank on a continuous basis preventing us from using it for anything other than gray water waste. This means no toilets and no laundry for us still a full 2 weeks plus after the major storm that began on 2/11/2005.

Any response to these concerns would be appreciated, but I feel I am being backed into a corner by the county who may not have my best interests at heart and may in fact have a conflict of interest since they approved this drainage plan to begin with.

Increasingly Frustrated Resident

E Agua Vista Way


Dear J.;

We met with you several weeks ago on Agua Vista Way, Gold Canyon concerning the water problems we are having. We are trying to get up to date copies of the drawings of T.V. regarding their water retention/detention. We have personally been to the county offices requesting these plans but no one is able to produce them. Can you get a copy of these for us? We still have running water over our street and standing water behind us. Can we also get a list of their violations that you discovered in your inspection? Thank you for your assistance.

E. Agua Vista Way

Fri, 11 Mar 2005

Mr. S.,
We sent Mr. E. a set of plans on March 10, 2005. We have a geo-tech firm ready to do some drilling to determine what is going on under the ground, and I am meeting with the owners next week to get them to fix the drainage basins.

Thank you,
Pinal County Public Works

the solution
The month of May - county removes chip seal from road == the solution

Wed, 01 Jun 2005


Weeks ago we talked briefly in Gold Canyon on the west end of Agua Vista Way.

I approached you with the topic of rock squirrels displaced from the wash area burrowing up through the chip seal where you were drilling.

Please, e-mail a summary statement or paragraph of your report findings.

Have you or MACTEC interacted with Greg Stanley of Pinal County? "Greg Stanley was appointed County Engineer in August of 2004, and Director of Public Works in February 2005."

Wed, 1 Jun 2005

Briefly, we discovered that the geology at the eastern end of the street is significantly different from that at the western end of the street, and I seriously doubt that you will experience the problems encountered by Mr. E. or his neighbors. I regret that due to apparent pending litigation involving the homeowners, the town home developer, and the County I am unable to comment further. For further information you should contact:
Mr. J.R.
Flood control District Chief
Pinal County Department of Public Works
P.O. Box 727
Florence, Arizona 85232

Best Regards,

Sat, 16 Jul 2005

You know that one guy that came out to meet all of us at that empty lot a long time ago, J.R., guess he no longer works for the county. He went back to school and moved away. (2008 UPDATE: John Rotter has graduated Vermont Law School, and is teaching at Norwich University.) Now the new person's name is A.M.

I guess they are making the condo's drill some kind of wells, or something to make the water flow away to a different place. But the guy who did the Geo Tec report told my husband that this would not help that much.

How nice of the county to give the developers a work around idea instead of making them tear out the condo's and making them build them the way they were supposed to be done in the first place. They never even responded to our emails regarding giving us back our money for what it cost us to have the water removed.

A long time ago County worker supervisor Smith told me that she was passionate about helping us, but she has never once even called us to tell us what was happening or what was being done to mitigate any future problems. Have you heard anything?

2008 - local newspaper article
No related education - No related experience - Thank goodness, she's gone.
Former Pinal manager wants early out from prison
Judge Doubles Griffis' Restitution Payments

Thur, 1 Sept 2005

The county see's too many tax dollars to worry about the little guys like us. The county never did produce original drainage plans and for some unforseen reason, they can't seem to find them. Right now, tonight, there is water coming right through the block wall right behind our house.

December 2005 - House for sale

March 2006 - Sale Pending

August 1, 2006 - Where did you people move to...?

Do you know who purchased your house ?

August 3, 2006 - We moved to Higley and Southern across from Lowes.

an investor bought it and moved in tenants.

I hear they tore out the landscaping and are trashing the house. I painted every room and had the house looking perfect when we sold it.

How is the street doing ...?

January 2008 - House for sale again

March 2008 - House Vacant

November 2008 - Foreclosure Auction

PR release
Beautiful New Luxury Toscano Villa Resort in Gold Canyon has been completed.

West end of the development has another unique drainage situation.

1. They eroded their own sewer line area with rain run-off water.

2. Then filled-in their token rainwater and storm water retention, detention, and catchment area with stone. Wonder who voted for that one?

3. Water redirected & undermined their unpainted wall which was built in the 12' easement / alleyway - eroding another area to the wash.

4. Plans 8 inch pipeline

5. Plans on stealing more of the easement (2009)

- may be a danger to itself and to others -

Risk of a slide increases if owners have altered a slope by adding fill at the top of the slope or by removing soil at the bottom.

Sept. 2008 - 2 landscapers in Golden Springs Development backyard looking for 'the road' into west end of Toscano Villas.
- landscapers given brief history & tour of unfinished west end of Toscano Villas.
- landscapers informed that flooding/erosion across the 12' easement would be stopped.
- landscapers never returned.

Oct. 2008 - rain run-off water redirected from easement north of Lot 1 Golden Springs Development.
No bill sent to offenders.

Nov. 26, 2008 - Pinal County called via telephone -
Q: What is the name & phone number of the person that maintains the county maps of the streets & roads ?
A: No one

Dec. 15, 2008 - Golden Springs Development e-mail to county worker
On Thursday, I met with Stephanie S. of the Public Works Dept. in Florence. She said I should contact you with my concerns regarding the following:

1) Drainage/erosion in the easement north of Lots 1 and 2 of the Gold Canyon Golden Springs Development.

- Recently, erosion has occurred near the NW corner of Lot 1.

2) The placement of the Toscano Villas' wall appears to encroach on the easement.

- What can you do to clearly identify and mark the easement north of these lots?

I would appreciate your help in resolving this situation.

The mission of the Pinal County Department of Public Works is to:

* Construct and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system.
* Implement structural and regulatory measures to minimize flooding related damages.
* Receive requests and provide timely responses to citizens regarding local roadway and drainage problems.

Pinal County Flood District reviews the Drainage reports for all new developments. We also enforce the Pinal County Drainage Ordinance.

County worker L.S. visits on-site
12' easement measures 9'
Sees latest erosion path towards Lot 1

Jan. 2009 - county workers rediscover original drainage plans -- development was to contain its rain run-off water

Summer 2009 - months required to replace their leaking rooftops - focus given to erosion on north side of development at wash area.

Sept. 2009 - east end of agua vista way - House Still Vacant & for sale

Oct. 2009 - east end of agua vista way - House for sale or lease

Apr. 2010 - east end of agua vista way - for sale sign on the ground, vehicles in the driveway with Oregon license plates

Sept. 2010 - still replacing their rooftops

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