Monday, September 20, 2010

A River Runs Through It

I just had one more hoop to jump through before Arlington County would bless our deck project: get approval from Environmental Services. Because our project is relatively small, this was expected to be a trivial thing to do.

I knew I was in trouble when the lady at the counter stepped away to get her supervisor.

"How far are you from the bank?" he asked me. Uh, bank? I'm thinking: well, we've got a Bank of America down the street. With my puzzled look he expanded - you know, the creek behind your house. How far are you from it?

Uh, the only thing behind my house is more houses. Townhouses, to be exact.

He brought up a map of the various lots and on it was a red line. The red line just nicked the back part of our property. That red line represented 100 feet from the Resource Protection Area - or stream.

I just knew this wasn't going to be easy.

The folks at the county were actually very nice. They gave me the necessary paperwork to fill out and instructions to take photos.

This weekend, I figured I'd seek out this body of water and see it for myself. And what do you know - it's there! In fact, here's what it looks like:

That's actually a down-stream photo. Up by us, there area is pretty much fenced off.

I felt a little bad snooping around the area by the stream, but I figured if it's going to cause me such pain, I should see and maybe even enjoy it.

Today, I took our paperwork and photos in to the county. The nice lady at Environmental Services walked through our paperwork and had me clear stuff up using the terms they prefer. It's been a painful process, but one that everyone is trying to streamline as much as possible.

So now we wait.

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